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


wishes to start the Great Music Conspiracy :-)

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create a 43 Things Users' Group (read all 6 entries…)
The Decline and Fall

After taking a look at the more recent stats for 43T, it appears that this goal may now be moot. 43T has lost regular users at an alarming rate: the Zeitgeist page which showed the five most recent comments used to represent no more than 10 minutes worth of comments at any time; now it can be up to an hour before the fifth comment cycles off. The home page drops you directly into the most recent posts, and the Robots’ blog hasn’t been updated for months.

I recently posted that my writing wasn’t receiving that much attention; I now realize that one of the main reasons is that there just aren’t that many people out there.

It’s an unfortunate story. The Robots escaped from Amazon as the titular “smartest guys in the room” and built a user community, but couldn’t see it as anything but a resource to be sold. And the usual ad revenue wasn’t enough. When Zuckerberg turned Facebook into a big house and nice cars, they wanted that, too, and the vulture capitalists around them pushed exactly that onto them. So they hitched their star to Facebook’s, ignored (or disparaged!) their user base, and sold their new look to the ad brokers.

But, of course, once you do that, why should a user stay? If they want Facebook, they’ll go to Facebook. If they don’t, they’ll just leave. That’s what happened, and really, the ad guys are probably coming around to the same conclusion. And yet “Configure Facebook” is now an option under the “Your Account” menu. SMH.

Trend analysis shows that 43T will probably recover somewhat, and eventually, if they are at all canny, level out to a slightly higher plateau than what they have now. (Alexa shows a big part of the user base in India; those in other countries might be eventually sacrificed to keep it profitable for the Robots.) Had they listened to their user base – perhaps in the form of a 43TUG? – they probably could have done better.

(Incidentally, I’m looking anew into starting a social networking site through my company, but it’s just in the planning stages now and has nothing to do with the above. Whatever user base I might subtract from 43T is likely less than a hundredth of the damage they did to themselves.)

create mixtapes with the Great Music Conspiracy (read all 2 entries…)
No music?

It looks like it’s just gonna be me and Smarty exchanging mixtapes back and forth unless somebody else thinks this is a good idea…

start a Gnostic meetup or Bible study (read all 4 entries…)
Found one!

I actually found a group of gnostic Christians online! And they don’t seem exceptionally weird or anything…it’s just a periodic newsletter at this point, but that is much, much more than I’ve had up until this point. Hoping very much that this turns out to be a good, supportive spiritual community…I’m very tired of being “the lone heretic”...

create mixtapes with the Great Music Conspiracy (read all 2 entries…)
So I had this idea

I have an idea for those of us here who like music. Let’s put together a series of “mixtapes” of music that we each like and that we’d like to have each other hear. Each could highlight a different genre or style; I love all kinds of different music, so this would be cool.

Here’s how I think it should operate:

1. We’ll get about twenty or so of us together to agree to it. I’ll form a group for it – this one, in fact – and we’ll all jump on in. We’ll decide on a particular format we want to trade music in – let’s say, 256 kpbs mp3.

2. I’ll name a song, or a couple of songs, or a certain type of song. That will be the “theme” for the mix CD. And yeah, we’ll all be on the group together, so we can make suggestions and such.

3. Everybody sends me one song that conforms to that theme. Something new and different, hopefully – we all know what Lady Gaga sounds like. Not everybody might have a song to contribute, but that’s cool…I’ll just compile the first 15 or so over the next week – whatever fits on a CD. (I think that’s a maximum of 80 minutes or something nowadays?)

4. I will put together some graphics for printing out – a front cover, back cover, label, maybe some funny “liner notes”, and so on. I will almost certainly need some help with this because I’m absolutely hopeless with graphics. If the songs need any mixing or similar work, I’ll do that. (I’m a bit less hopeless with that.)

5. I put it all together in a .zip file and email it out to everyone. And then we do it again! We can do five of them. Or eight, or 12, or 25, or as many as there are episodes of “Trapped in the Closet”.

What do you think?

post random questions daily and see if anyone plays with me and answers them :)
So here I am

Just signed up for this goal because apparently this is where you’re supposed to be if you want to get advice for something that isn’t precisely related to a goal! I’d been posting it using this goal but I’m apparently the only one who does that, so I never get noticed. Yes, 43T has a mechanism for it as well, but right here is where all the cool kids do it. :-)

Anyway, the question I had asked was basically whether or not I should start blogging and/or podcasting again; here’s the whole story.

drink a pina colada at Trader Vic's (read all 3 entries…)

I’ve found some old friends from my days at a former workplace recently…they’re married now, and they frequently go to tiki parties. And these are rather elaborate affairs; one they attend features a barkeep who used to mix cocktails for the President! And they’ve invited me along…which means I have a very good chance to complete this goal soon. :-)

provide occasional updates to my 43 Things friends (read all 20 entries…)
The sounds of silence?

Some of you who follow me closely on Facepuke or on my blog (which would be none of you) may have noticed something about my posting of late. I usually have a whole heck of a lot of political stuff to rant about; I’ve been active in politics here on a national level in the past, follow political news closely, and have a lot of unusual and unique perspectives, since I’m not part of any of the main political parties or large and moneyed political organizations. And I pretty much haven’t said anything of any controversy, political or otherwise, on any social media since before the election.

There are a few reasons. The main one is that I got tired of being called a “tea partier” by Democrats and a “socialist” by Republicans. There wasn’t so much political debate or discussion happening as there was West Side Story, and I got to the point where opening my mouth and speaking to those who weren’t able to listen became a waste of my time.

A second reason was a consequence of the first. I have conducted political activism in order to get things accomplished, not just to hear my head roar. I also try to be truthful about things. When I kept discovering that everyone, no matter what “side” they were on, was more comfortable with that “side” than with doing something different or listening to the truth, then I was no longer accomplishing anything. I needed some time to regroup, at least mentally, and try to reconsider what I wished to do, and whether or not it was even possible, given the political climate in this country.

I’ll admit that I’m having difficulty answering those questions. And I’ll also admit that there’s a lot of inertia – once you stop doing something like that, it makes it hard to start again. I even have some brand new microphones ready to podcast with. They’re still in the box. The whole prospect of talking to a potential audience of nobody listening just saddens me too much.

So what do you think I should do?

figure out how to use my new smartphone (read all 4 entries…)
Going mobile

I guess they don’t have a 43 Things app, do they? Oh, well.

figure out how to use my new smartphone (read all 4 entries…)
Making significant progress on this!

Now all I have to do is install the vehicle mount so I can use it as a GPS!

provide occasional updates to my 43 Things friends (read all 20 entries…)

It’s been pretty good this weekend, actually. Yes, the car did conk out – a long story – and yes, my new niece who was the subject of an earlier update did end up back in the hospital…but she’s doing much better, and we got the car towed, and no one had any kind of dramatic proceeding over Thanksgiving and everything seemed to go pretty well.

The owner of my local pub decided to go on at length about his prowess at darts this evening, so I ended up demolishing him in a couple of matches after hours – which was quite nice. :-)

figure out how to use my new smartphone (read all 4 entries…)

As many people know, I appreciate my privacy, so I’m wondering how exactly to approach having things like an online “cloud-based” calendar. I prefer to have anything of mine in a public medium to be encrypted, but I don’t think this is possible from a smartphone. Anyone have any suggestions?

be the lead singer in a band (read all 9 entries…)

So I appeared as one of the “Karaoke All-Stars” at the local scene. The guy running it selects the best singers and songs that he wants to hear, and this time I got selected! I sang “Africa” and “Brian Wilson”.

figure out how to use my new smartphone (read all 4 entries…)
Brand new!

It’s a Motorola Razr HD, and I’m still fussing with it trying to get it to do the stuff I want. That includes putting my new contacts on it (my contacts from my old phone died with that phone…I have them listed in text, but I didn’t want to type them in all by hand).

I also got the vehicle dock for it, so I can use it for turn-by-turn directions in the car. :-)

create a role playing game (read all 2 entries…)

One of the things I should do with this “reboot” is to come up with the setting of the game first and then write the system. Still working on that, too. I have a vague idea for a game where the players would play characters who were taken from modern-day Earth and transported to either an alternative timeline or a completely different fantastic setting, a la John Carter of Mars…and the characters would receive some “super-powers” in the process. Depends on how much of the world I want to write up beforehand, I guess. Still would be handy to have some idea of a plot – like I said, vague. Does that sound like fun to start with?

provide occasional updates to my 43 Things friends (read all 20 entries…)
Everybody simmer down

Just a quick note to let everyone know we’re okay. My daughter evacuated the university and came home with us; she’ll head back some time after Wednesday once they’ve assessed the damage on campus. And my niece is still in the NICU, but the hospital never lost power. Neither did we, although we did lose a shutter from the front of the house, and there are branches down here and there. We’re still under a high wind warning, but I don’t think it ever got above 90 km/hr during the height of it, and I don’t think it’s more than 50 km/hr now.

A lot of people around here out of power, though, and have suffered some damage; I’m particularly worried about a good buddy of mine who’s cut off from the mainland south of Annapolis. I checked the county’s Web site and there are some road closings and blockages in the area; we might not be able to get much of anywhere before noon tomorrow.

design and order some custom jewelry
Need a couple of things done

First is the practical one: I have to get my wedding band cut off and resized. Hopefully it won’t be too painful or expensive!

Second is to order some necklace pendants with my holy symbols on them. I just haven’t found a cross that I would be comfortable wearing, and there’s absolutely nothing out there which has what I would consider something decent for gnosticism. (Not that anyone can agree on what a “Gnostic cross” looks like anyway – and click on Images) So there’s a corollary to all of this, which is that I must find myself a sacred symbol that defines my gnostic sensibility.

Anyway, I have a friend who is a silversmith. She just got married, so I wanted to wait until after the honeymoon to ask her about these things.

provide occasional updates to my 43 Things friends (read all 20 entries…)
Paring some things down

And yes, I have been eliminating a few goals here. I just have no clue at all where I will find the time or energy to do them right now. I’m trying to focus in the shorter term lately…so I don’t feel as much that I’m spinning my wheels.

build my new computer
Computer Love!

This is actually a couple of computers that I need…but one of them will be the one I build. It’ll probably take me several months, as I’m going to build it a piece or two at a time, and since I’m aiming for high-end components, it will take me some time to save up the money and wait for the sales on the proper bits.

provide occasional updates to my 43 Things friends (read all 20 entries…)
So I'm now an uncle

My first niece was born yesterday! Her name is Margaret Ruth, and she arrived quite a bit early. (My sister has to do things the hard way.)

She is in the neonatal ICU right now, but all her signs are very promising.

I’ll put up pictures when I can. :-)

start a Gnostic meetup or Bible study (read all 4 entries…)
Two more things

No closer to this happening, for the reasons I mentioned a year ago. Two things about it, though: first, a lot of fundamentalist Protestant preachers have been making a great deal of hoopla by comparing Christians they don’t like to Gnostics. I’ve seen two or three articles on Christian Web sites about it, and I’m very grateful for them, as they make me more convinced that I am on the correct spiritual path by being diametrically opposed to their beliefs.

Second, as a sort of sub-goal to this one, I would like to put together a book of the important works of Gnostic Christianity in book, chapter, and verse form, the same way most Bibles are organized.

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