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Twinkler Pony · 17 November 04

After months of vague allusions and subtle hints, I’m excited to be able to toss out the first tangible form of the idea we’ve been working on:

43 Things, Twinkler

This is a stripped-down version of the site we’re building. As a former creative writing major and failed novelist, I love paring things down to their bare minimum and then building them back up. It helps you find the essence of what you’re trying to do. So, upon Jason Fried’s suggestion, we reduced our big idea into a 3-page site. We can throw this out there and learn from it in our favored prototype quickly, iterate often, fail (and learn) early fashion.

Over the next 43 days, we’ll be unveiling a little more about what we’re building, give screenshots, explain our motivations, reveal our hopes, invite people to the beta, and talk about our new favorite lunch-time game, Credit Card Roulette.

The basic idea of 43 Things is this: it’s a well known fact that by writing down your goals you greatly increase the chances of actually completing them. Part of it is just knowing what your goals are. Another is being able to hold yourself accountable. Here’s a place to write down some things you want to do with this life, look at what other people want to do, and generally think about what makes life exciting for you.

When the full site launches, you’ll be able to export your information if you so desire. So, I challenge you to add a few things to your list, save it, and take a look at what everyone else is adding to their lists. If you have any feedback, comments, or suggestions about good places to go for lunch in the Seattle area (or about Twinkler), we’d love to hear them.

I should mention that we’ll be releasing a lot of this data out there for people to play with if they’re into that (I know I am). Things like number of people who have a particular thing on their list, similarities, etc. So if you want me to let you know when this stuff is available, send me an email (erik at this domain).


Posted by Erik Benson | Announcements |

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  1. I just visited your 43 things site and refreshed several times, and several times there was a very offensive image of a man holding open his butt hole. I don’t think that’s what your site is about (I certainly hope not), so you may want to get on fixing that before you offend everybody before your official launch.
    Mark    Nov 17, 9:52pm    #
  2. Yeah, we saw that one too. Not pretty. Part of why we’re putting this out there is to see how people use it. We put it out there with very few restrictions… and ideally we’d like to keep it as open as possible and then find ways to control the undesired edge cases (offensive, illegal, irrelevant, destructive, etc).

    It’s an experiment. I look forward to learning from it.
    Erik Benson    Nov 17, 10:02pm    #
  3. Also… sorry you (and others) had to see that. Yuck!
    Erik Benson    Nov 17, 10:02pm    #
  4. Nice idea!

    Just realised that on the “personal pages” there is
    Link to this list

    But the link only works without the slash at the end
    porti    Nov 18, 2:18am    #
  5. I’m confused (unusual?)... I don’t know how to see my own list.
    Scott    Nov 18, 6:57am    #
  6. What? Goatse made it on 43 things?
    -b-    Nov 18, 9:04am    #
  7. Porti—thanks for the tip. Yeah, we’ll fix that soon.

    Scott—if you click one of the plus (+) signs, or type something into the “What do you want to do with your life” box, there should be a link to your list under the text field. If you’re not seeing that, make sure you have cookies turned on… otherwise, let me know as it’s probably a bug.

    -b-—Yup. :) We’re honored.
    Erik Benson    Nov 18, 12:25pm    #
  8. Re: lunch suggestions

    With a north-of-the-Lake-Washington-ship-canal bias)
    * Tacos Guaymas
    * Pies & Pints
    * Snappy Dragon
    * Musashi’s
    * Agua Verde

    Harry    Nov 18, 12:52pm    #
  9. Let me know if you guys what to get the word out about this at the Blog Business Summit, in Seattle, January - there’s some free sponsorhip deals, etc. Jason and the usual suspects will be there.
    -b-    Nov 18, 2:26pm    #
  10. Looks a bit like the referal page over at Everything Burns.
    zpg    Nov 18, 4:30pm    #
  11. Yeah… I’m not sure where the first place was that I saw that style of text re-sizing design based on importance. The sites that were in the forefront of our mind were Flickr’s Tags (http://flickr.com/photos/tags/), and Marumushi’s Newsmap (http://www.marumushi.com/apps/newsmap/newsmap.cfm), but now that I think about it I remember seeing this referral page a couple years ago as well. It’s a beautiful UI for displaying importance of words, with a twist. Jim is a genius… hopefully nobody is too offended by our re-cycling of some of his good ideas.
    Erik Benson    Nov 18, 4:51pm    #
  12. If I worked at you worked I would go to Seattle Central for lunch. The culinary students there do it, and it’s cheap and good.

    But it looks like everyone will be too busy living simply with $5 million dollars while watching the northern lights in New York. Or Italy.
    Laurel    Nov 18, 4:56pm    #
  13. (Sorry if this is a repeat—I can’t find the post I put up earlier today & I can’t find email to write you directly.)

    How do I share my link without giving other people access to change it??
    Lisa Chau    Nov 18, 7:15pm    #
  14. Hey Lisa,

    If you click on the “Your List” link from here, there should be a link that you can send out to friends. It’ll look something like this:


    The only way to give people access to changing your list is if you forward the email with the list’s key in it.

    Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
    Erik Benson    Nov 18, 7:24pm    #
  15. Laurel and Harry, thanks for the lunch suggestions. We’ll try them out next week. Our current regulars include Ballet, Taco’s Guaymas, La Panzanella, Baguette Box, and occasionally the Elysian. Variety is good.
    Erik Benson    Nov 18, 7:35pm    #
  16. i visited the site earlier on my PC w/ firefox, and it worked great. Safari on my mac can’t find the URL tho. repeated tries.

    are you blocking Macs?

    daveb    Nov 18, 10:23pm    #
  17. seems to be down right now.
    susan mernit    Nov 19, 6:33am    #
  18. Daveb, no, we’re all mac users here. Are you still not able to access the site in Safari? If not, let me know and we’ll figure out what’s going on there.

    Susan, thanks for the notice. The site’s back up now… I’m going to have to ask for a little bit of patience as I (and the others) get familiar with our setup and learn how to respond quickly to problems like this.
    Erik Benson    Nov 19, 7:41am    #
  19. This reminds me of a matrix I ususally draw when I get confused about what direction to move my life. In the leftmost column, I put down all the things I want to do (ie. stuff that could come from my twinkler account).

    The column to the right of that, I put down a “weight”, how much that thing “counts” in comparison to the other things (index 100). Eg. “Make money” could be one thing, “Have fun” cold be another and “Meet cool people” a third. The weights could be “Make money” 90, “Have fun” 130 and “Meet cool people” 120.

    Then I add more columns, one for each potential direction. Eg. “Work a megacorp”, “Freelancer”, “Buck naked on a Zebra”, “Code in a basement” etc.

    For each of the directions, I put down a value of 1 to 3, where I estimate how much that direction fulfills the things I want to do from the leftmost column.

    Once done, I can calculate products and sums and I’m left with a pretty good overview on what direction to move, based on what I want to happen/do in my life, and how important these things are to me.
    morten    Nov 21, 2:43am    #
  20. Erik Benson is not a failed novelist.( I liked the book.)
    brian    Nov 21, 5:37am    #
  21. When I took an intro to economics class in college, we made matrices like that in class. I’m impressed that someone has managed to make use of them in real life!
    Laurel    Nov 21, 9:26am    #
  22. Ah! Duh! Thanks Erik.
    Lisa Chau    Nov 21, 7:04pm    #
  23. Great idea.

    My only suggestion is that clicking on a goal (or a +) should show a list of like aims, eg.
    click “be a rock star”, instead of seeing “what the world wants to do”, see “what people who want “be a rock star” want to do”.

    If that only gives 1 or 2 goals, then flesh it out with random/recent etc.

    Just an idle suggestion.

    Keep up the good work, its a great idea and very addictive.
    pat mac    Nov 22, 3:47pm    #
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