Busy week

June 27, 2007

We’ve been busy this week with our new blog at petripoject.com 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 shoulddothis.com 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 @robotcoop.com.

The “Fan”

June 26, 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 25, 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 21, 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.

As good as it gets

June 11, 2007

A trio of the robots made it out to see The Wrens on Saturday night. The Wrens have pretty much been the soundtrack to the creation of 43 Things, so I’ll always think of The Meadowlands and 43 Things as related projects.

At one point during the show, the bass player Kevin stepped to the mic and said “We are in love with you Seattle. For us, it doesn’t get any better than this.” Actually, there was a bit more profanity to describe just how much he loved Seattle and to emphasize this really is as good as it gets.

the wrens
Someone in the audience called back “We’re sorry”. The lady thought she was being funny, but really she was just showing that she didn’t understand what it is like to succeed at something on your own terms and define your own success.

Kevin stepped back to the mic and clarified: “We wouldn’t want anything more than this. We don’t want riders, or makeup . . . this is great.” And great it was.

Things & Places are still up — site outages

June 4, 2007

We’re working on 43 People, All Consuming & Lists of Bests right now—they may be down for a few minutes to an hour as we work on some database issues. Hope to have things up before lunch!