Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

Export My Content
explore how 43 Things can promote online learning (read all 3 entries…)
I'm probably being too vague and idealistic

I’m probably being way too idealistic, in that I’m not even recognizing this difference between formal and informal learning. I’ve drunk too much of the age of the amateur kool-aid. As an employer, I’d much rather hire based on your blog than on your transcripts. I’m much more interested in what communication ecosystem you belong to than what university you attended.

Maybe it is premature to say that the formal online learning tools are clear failures – but I guess I’m working from that assumption.

I use a course management tool to manage my college courses – but it is for the most part moribund. I have richer exchanges with students in email and on their LJ pages (and now on 43 Things) than I have in our courseware program. And I don’t even really have a beef with the courseware program – its surprisingly good and feature rich – but it doesn’t touch any of the ways students and teachers already are using the internet. Most of my students use myspace far more than they use the university courseware.

Here are some of the scenarios I imagine students and academics using 43things:
- networking and signaling around research interests like this or this
- meeting like minds on big campuses
- tagging or creating goals with university affiliations like this
- organizing informal bird of a feather sessions or promoting conferences like this
- networking with alumni to learn about admissions process like this or this or

There are probably simpler, better ideas – but sorry if the title of the goals cast this in a more “formal” light – I’m thinking of very loosely joined pieces.


Not really vague or too idealistic...

I like the goal and your examples are great. There’s no question that there’s huge potential on these lines.

I shouldn’t have introduced the dreaded “formal learning” red herring.

portfolios etc.

I totally agree with you on course management systems.
I think rhe reason for us to use those is that we want to build on-line learning like schools – we want to build classrooms controlled by the instructor.

I believe the best way to go is to make every student create his own school/learning environment – right now I can this portfolio

most of my webs are in icelandic but here is one in English (from 2002):

Let's do it!

Let’s link 43 things with an open source project like Moodle! Learning spaces have to be filled with relationships, places to wander, places to reply, and places to cheer.

This is a perfect marriage.

Moodling 43 Things

I second the motion to link 43 Things with Moodle.

It would make for a great marriage transferring the power of learning over to the learners :-)

Staying up and running

How is 43things staying afloat??? We all enjoy it so much, but how is it being funded, etc.? No advertising on the site is wonderful, but can ya all afford to keep up with all of us maniacs? I think I would be lost without my 43things.


Des is still alive but has no joy to share

me too

Hopefully they don’t start charging us for rent. ;-)

(Pssst … there is some advertising … it’s just very small and quiet. Check out the text links on the right hand side on a typical goal page, like this. Then click on the ones that interest you!)


Oh that is good news I think. That means they can afford for us to be here! YIPPPY.

I think I would be lost without you all.

Des is still alive but has no joy to share

I'm not sure

I doubt they’re making much from our clicks at this point, surely not enough to offset their costs. :( I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a Plan though.

On the other hand, pageloads are important in advertising fees, and I’m hoping that our party may have helped that a little bit. :)

I am sure it did

Oh I bet our clicks are priceless. The traffic just from one small group is priceless, we are like mingling machines here! :-)

They are out there

There are ads on the site. The fact that you aren’t overwhelmed by them (to the point of not noticing them) is a good thing. As long as we can grow an audience, we’ll be able to get this thing to work as a business.

Thank you

From a very satisfied customer. Or neighbor maybe is a better word….


(This comment was deleted.)

I'm not in any formal class right now,

but I’d be willing to help test any idea you implement with this goal. Learning is valuable whatever the pathway to it is.

Adar What?

I'm coming in awfully late on this discussion...

maybe too late… but I hope not.

One model for education that seems to me to have a lot in common with 43Things is the traditional model of rabbinic learning: one doesn’t study alone, but one studies with others, usually by arguing and wrestling and discovering a text or idea in partnership, even though you may or may not ever agree on anything about the text or idea.

One of my teachers requires participation in something she calls a “cyber-sicha” (sicha, see-cha, with a ch like Bach)—we work in small groups, via email, responding to readings and bouncing off one another. She “listens in” and occasionally comments on those discussions. With good chemistry among the partners, it can be an amazing way to learn.

I’m already finding here that 43Everything is a good way to locate people, not just people with similar topical interests, but people who mesh well with me in thinking about things. It’s that chemistry thing.

Josh Petersen has gotten 2 cheers on this entry.


I want to:
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