What Should I Consume Next?

January 25, 2006

We just launched a nifty homepage feature on All Consuming. I think we’ll call it “What Should I Consume Next?”. Give it a try on the All Consuming homepage. In short, you get to ask the people on the internet what you next should read, listen to, watch, eat or otherwise consume. Click on the little paperboy or “get suggestions on what to consume next” to get started.

We’re actively working on All Consuming all the time so the design is changing in real time—don’t worry if the shirt doesn’t match the pants currently. We should have things design-alicious in the coming weeks.

Okay, hit us up with some feedback!


January 20, 2006

logmerge is the tool we use to merge access log files from our web servers. As an added bonus you get a utility to quickly perform DNS lookups on the IP addresses in the log files.



January 19, 2006


43 Things Entry of the Day

253 people want to Start a company that survives longer than 2 years

200,043 users on 43 Things, an entry by
Josh Petersen:

Now here’s a milestone. Today we shot past 200K users of the website we built. It took us almost 300 days to reach 100K users and less than 100 to double that.

I love that the simple idea for this site is catching on. Making a list of what you want out of life helps you to focus on what is really important. Going public with your goals helps you find support and connect with people who will cheer you on. Once you meet with success, you can share your story with others and give advice on how you met your goal. It’s a simple, life satisfying cycle.

Here’s a dream for the future. Five years from now, people will be hired based on their 43 Things. Ten years from now, degrees will be granted based on completing your 43 Things. What you’ve done in the past matters, but not as much as what you want to do in the future. The performance review, the prenuptial agreement, the resume, the transcript are nothing compared to a well crafted list of what you want to do with your life, a thoughtful collection of entries and the support of your fellow human beings.

People consuming the same things as you

January 18, 2006

We just launched a new feature on All Consuming today that’ll show you 5 or so people who are consuming the same items as you. It’s cool! Try it out by going to your profile page, scrolling down a bit, and keeping an eye on the right column. Or, check out Josh’s page for an example.


Added “People consuming this item are also consuming these items…” to product detail pages, just as they are on 43 Things and 43 Places. Should we add it to 43 People too?


January 18, 2006

dev.robotcoop.com is a new site that contains some of the libraries and tools we use to make our sites go.

Just yesterday we released two libraries that help make our sites go so fast, memcache-client and cached_model!

Where do you live?

January 16, 2006

Another sort of hidden feature on our sites is the city view for locals… which we’ll probably be working on a bit more relatively soon.

If you tell us where you live, you can receive a unique view of your city that is more tailored for locals than the normal city page.

How to tell us where you live

  1. Log in to 43 Places
  2. Search for your city
  3. Click “I live here” under the city’s name


When you come back to 43 Places, or visit your profile page on any of our sites, there will be a link to your city’s “wanderlust page”.

Features on this page include:

  1. Goals popular in your city: you can see which things people in your city commonly have on their lists. They generally tend to be locale-specific goals and are an interesting view into what your neighbors are like.
  2. Places in your city that are popular to locals: we filter all of the places that locals are going within the city that they live in… this is a good way to find out about new places from people that know the city as well as you do.
  3. Places outside of your city that are popular to locals: where do people in your city want to go?
  4. A list of other people that live in your city: these are your neighbors and friends.
  5. Recent entries about places in your city: find out about a new bar or sandwich shop from people who live in your city.
  6. Events in your city: if your city has been matched up with upcoming.org (a great and simple site for organizing events) we’ll list them here as well.
  7. RSS for all kinds of things: most of these features also have RSS feeds so you can syndicate them if you want.

Some interesting cities

Seattle locals like visiting Bauhaus and want to summit Mt. Ranier.

London locals like hanging out at Primrose Hill want to run the London marathon, and vacation in Brussels.

Shanghai locals want to save $400 to buy a cute cat and want to visit Wuxi.

Where do you live?

Should Lists

January 11, 2006

We added a new feature to All Consuming today that we really love and we hope you will too. We call it a “should list” – the idea is similar to a wish list – but rather than building an eternally growing collection of items you wish someone would buy for you – this is a queue of your intended consumption. Does that sound interesting yet? Well wait, it gets weirder. You can add items to your queue of intended consumption, but so can anyone else. If you don’t like the suggestion you can easily remove it – but gone is the feeling that you need to be in charge of your own consumption.

Not only can your friends, family and adoring fans add items to your list, they also get to drive the priority of the items in the queue by weighing in on what they think you ought to consume. Items with the most endorsements move up your list. You can still decide what book to read next or what movie to watch, but hopefully the annoying problem of “what should I read next” has been solved through clever social software and a little wisdom from the crowd (or at least, comments from the peanut gallery).

We all know the experience of reading a book, hearing an album, or seeing a movie that changed our lives. We want All Consuming to be a site that lets us share those experiences with others and makes the sometimes lonely experience of encountering our culture through privately consumed media just a little more social and humane. One of the reasons this is a satisfying feature for us to release is that it is an idea that helps pull together some of our aspirations for the site. Plus it took a day and a half to go from inspiration to the interweb.

To try out the new feature, first make sure you are logged in to the site (you can tell because it will say your name across the top). Now find someone’s profile page (we know, that is not so easy right now, but here is Erik’s) and on the right hand side of the page you can see the list of what people think Erik should consume (including Erik). Add a suggestion or look at the list and add an endorsement to one that is already there. If you want to add an item to your own consumption queue, on the right hand side of any item page is a link that says “I intend to consume this” (remember – this is serious planning, not idle wishes).

Web services for 43 Things, 43 Places, and 43 People

January 6, 2006

Did you know that we have pretty extensive web services for most of our sites? We’ve been slowly adding to them over the last several months, so maybe it’s time to take another look. Learn all about them here:

1) 43 Things web services
2) 43 Places web services
3) 43 People web services

They all use the same architecture so you can use the same API key for all three services. All Consuming’s will be coming up shortly.

We’d love to hear about any new applications you build with these. We’re beginning to use them ourselves to prototype new sites.

Sample uses

By using the authenticate methods you can use the services to log people into your site with their 43 Things username and password.

If you’re not happy with the many javascript includes and RSS feeds that we offer to allow you to display goals, places, people, and products on your website, use the web services to develop your own wild blog integration.

Integrate stuff with iCal, mash them up with other wacky websites, graph your social network, build plugins for various blog systems, or…

Why not do something completely crazy and unexpected?

Bonus tip

Many of our methods that involve getting a person’s information will allow you to pass either a Flickr username instead of a 43 Things username. Check the documentation for more info. This could potentially make it easier to create a Flickr/43 Things mashup. Just sayin’.

Future Downtime

January 4, 2006

We’ll be getting the last 4GB of memory into our new database server sometime between Friday 10PM Pacific Time and Saturday 2AM Pacific Time.


Your family

January 4, 2006

One day we were talking about creating a community genealogy site to help people track family trees, and we came up with this wacky feature on 43 People:

Your family (or rather, my family).

You can add your parents, your children, your pets, significant others, and even exes. Check out Brad Pitt’s family.

If your parents have parents, they’ll show up as grandparents on your page, and if your children have children, they’ll show up as grandchildren.

This feature is a bit hidden at the moment, but give it a try and see if anything funny or surprising happens. We’ll probably continue to fiddle with it, so let us know if you’d like to see anything else family related on any of our sites.

Bonus family feature

If your family members have 43 Things accounts, you can filter All Consuming activity to show only items consumed and being consumed by family members. Just select “by people in my family” in the second dropdown (you’ll have to be logged in to see the dropdown).