Should Do This launches

August 23rd, 2007

This morning we pulled the curtain all the way back to review what we’ve been working on for a few months. Should Do This is a suggestion box for the internet. The early reviews are coming in:

“Should Do This is dead simple … Should Do This offers another innovative option for companies to manage user suggestions and sort the good from the bad.” - Read/Write Web

“The premise behind Should Do This began from the creators’ necessity for a discussion platform enabling users to make suggestions for their other web service, 43 Things.” - Mashable

“It’s called Should Do This and it allows anyone to post suggestion on companies, politicians, sports teams or anything else they desire: - John Cook, Venture blog, Seattle Post Intelligencer

We’ve moved our idea collection from the old (and confusing) ideas sites over to Should Do This. If you have suggestions for one of our sites use the it’s suggestion box:

Should Do This

August 9th, 2007

We’ve been at work for a while now on a new project called Should Do This. Today we’re welcoming some of the people who have volunteered to help test out the new site.

Should Do This is a site all about suggestions. It is a way to go public with your good idea and see if you can get some support from the rest of the internet. Anyone can create a suggestion box on Should Do This for any company, product, government agency, non-profit, sports team, neighborhood association … pretty much anything or anyone.

The idea for Should Do This grew out of a site we used to run called “”. The Ideas site was for giving feedback about 43 Things and worked great for a while, but we also learned it was confusing to a lot of people. Many people just got on and listed their goals like they were on 43 Things. Can’t really blame them as it looked the same (silly robots!).

Enter Should Do This. What we discovered from the Ideas site was that creating an easy-to-use suggestion box that was visible to the whole community of users allowed people to rally around and support a good idea. So we’ll be bringing back “” but it will link to our suggestion box on Should Do This. The same is true for the other sites we run.

But that’s not all. We thought if a suggestion box is good for 43 Things, it would probably work well for other people’s websites too. So we’ve made it easy for a company or individual to set up and manage their own suggestion box. You can even map it to your domain and customize the appearance to make it part of your site.

Please give us your feedback via Should Do This (enter the wonderfully named suggestion statement: Should Do This should do …). We’ll invite around 100 people today and continue to let others in as we get things more better. If you haven’t already done so, sign up for the beta and we’ll get you on in there soon!

All Consuming down for a short spell

August 2nd, 2007

AC transfer

We’re transferring the DNS settings for All Consuming this morning and that means it’ll be down for a little bit. The back story on this one is that was registered by Buster long before the Robot Co-op was around. He and I spent many hours over the last 3 years trying to transfer the domain from Gandi to Joker (where we have 43T, 43P, 43Peeps, LOB, etc. registered). This was not easy. In fact, it was a total pain in the ass (damn you Gandi!).

But the good news is the transfer has occurred and we’re yanking the band-aid off the DNS settings today. Soon (hopefully later today) All Consuming will be humming again.

 UPDATE (Aug 8): All Consuming is back up as of a couple days ago.

Did you miss us?

July 24th, 2007

You may have noticed two missing sites the last few days:

  • was down as we swapped the blog over to Wordpress — it should be a stable experience now. No more multiple posts and comments or application errors. Phew.
  • All Consuming was down for about 16 hours — this stemmed from trying to renew the domain and incorrectly having the credit card denied. The credit card has now been accepted and we’re back in business!

Hope you enjoy the new blog.

Oops … oops … oo …

July 17th, 2007

7/26 UPDATE: we’ve added more RAM to the slave database and are adding 4GB more RAM to the master database on Monday.  Are people feeling things are zippier?

UPDATE: sites are back up—and things are better than before. This is game of inches on the performance front but I think we gained about 2 inches with the last buffer move. Okay, back to goaling!

UPDATE: we’re taking the sites down for 5 minutes to increase some mysql buffers—that’s a fancy way of saying hold on for just a sec and things should get much better.

Are you getting a lot of Oops pages in the last few days? You are not alone. I could make up an elaborate explanation, or simply say: we’re working on it. More specifically, we should have two new boxes (aka webservers) up by the end of the week. That may help things hum along. In addition we’re looking into other database efficiencies to deliver us from Oopsland to the promise land.

In other news I was lucky enough to make it this weekend to the Bay Area 43T Meetup in San Francisco and met some great folks. It was rewarding as a user of 43T to meet up with a bunch of smart, insightful 43T’ers. I highly recommend attending and/or organizing a 43T meetup of your own. If you do, let us know how it goes.

P.S. If you’d like to lodge your frustration about Oops-ness, feel free to do so here in the comments. You’ll feel better if you get it off your chest.

Lists of Bests … working on performance issues

July 5th, 2007

Thanks for all the email reports regarding performance issues with Lists of Bests in the last couple days. We’re making some tweaks now that should stabilize performance—and we’ll continue to work on getting the site healthy again.

Sorry for the hassle but thanks for your detailed feedback. It’s helpful to us.

Busy week

June 27th, 2007

We’ve been busy this week with our new blog at as well as doubling down on making 43 Things a community focused on personal improvement (rather than self harm). But we are also up to our elbows in our newest project: Should do this.

We quietly gave some folks a very early preview of the site for a few weeks but we’ve since pulled it back while we turn our Alpha product into a Beta.

What is Should do this? Put simply, it is an internet based suggestion box, and we think it works great for any person, product, company or non-profit that wants to be in closer touch with what your customers think. It’s also a fun, community filled site in the style of 43 Things. We’ll be using it ourselves to replace our old “ideas” sites.

You can head over now to and sign up to get early access to help us test out the new site. And if you run a business, website, school or nonprofit and think you might want to test out managing a suggestion box of your own, drop us a note at shoulddothis

The “Fan”

June 26th, 2007

chinese fan

As you may know we regularly eat lunch together and play Credit Card Roulette when the bill comes round. Quick recap: we shuffle our credit cards and randomly pick one. The “winner” pays the bill. Over the years we’ve played this game folks have had losing streaks. Painful streaks where you secretly wish you’d lose just to not see Todd lose for the 4th time in a week. But until now the longest straight losing streak has been 4 times in a row. Here’s what we call it when you lose …

  • 2 times in a row = 2 times in a row
  • 3 times in a row = a Turkey
  • 4 times in a row = an Ostrich
  • 5 times in a row? Inconceivable!

Until now. Losing 5 times in a row is no longer an inconceivable truth. Thanks to Laurel’s loss today we’ve now coined the “Fan” or losing 5 times in a row. Congratulations, Laurel Fan. Lunch was delicious.

Sensitive Goals

June 25th, 2007

Since we launched 43 Things we have seen some content on the site that we would have never anticipated. We meant for the site to be about people’s goals and a group of users found ways to put it to uses we do not support. Over the years, we’ve tried to cohabitate with some of this content, seeing the benefit in the community that grew around them.

However, in recent months there’s been a lot of activity on 43 Things around self-harm goals. Most of the action has been around eating disorders, suicide, and other self harm topics. We began by adding warning boxes at the top with resource material for people struggling with these issues. Unfortunately the problem grew.

Today we rolled out new pages for many of these goals that simply leave the warnings and take away the entries and ability to interact with the goal. We still stand by our community guidelines when it comes to allowing a varied range of content on the site. However, the self-harm goals were a misuse of 43 Things.

If you see truly sensitive goals please let us know. Please note that we reserve the sensitive goal feature for only the most egregious goals (typically self-harm related). Thanks.

The Petri Project

June 21st, 2007

We’ve talked for a while about creating a companion blog to 43 Things. This here Robot blog is good for site outage updates, feature announcements and broadcasting our lunch discussions but we wanted a clean slate for this experiment. Enter The Petri Project and Brangien. Brangien is a friend and freelance writer who has taken on the task of dissecting, learning about and propelling along this thing we call 43 Things. You should try out her first assignment: write a note to my younger self about something I know now that I didn’t know then.

Brangien says it best …

As a companion site to 43 Things, The Petri Project aims to discuss (observe, chart) what it looks and feels like to be an individual trying to make a change.