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.

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AbsnasmThat was so rock 'n' roll!

Man alive, Thursday night was a rush! In fact, the whole weekend has been a veritable roller coaster of emotions, alcohol and bare-faced cheek. Good grief. I can barely remember it to recount it.

Well… for those of you who don’t know, last Thursday I offered my long-dormant services as compere (that’s emcee, non-Brits!) at a John Peel Day tribute gig, featuring 15 acts and a remembrance speech by John Peel’s longtime friend Geoff Docherty. I don’t tend to get excited or nervous about anything until very soon before I have to do it. Consequently, by Thursday afternoon, reality was kicking in and I realised that I hadn’t formed any kind of a plan. Step in my amazing life coach, aob for a 20-minute emergency pep talk, who helped me sort my swirling thoughts into some kind of order, and I was raring to go. Raaaargh! So before we knew it Lucyann and I were drinking free wine and mingling with the acts in the green room. A green room! How rock and roll is that?!

The place was full to the rafters, which made it a lot less scary to get on the stage – a big crowd means you’re more likely to get some kind of a reaction! Geoff, our guest of honour, was running late, so it was left to me to kick proceedings off. Maaaan, it was ace! What was I worried about? As soon as I started I was loving it. It reminded me how and why I used to do it all those years ago, and I set about it with gusto, getting to know each act to glean material to work with, schmoozing and flirting like a good ‘un, and hopping up on stage to chat to the audience before each act as if they were my bezzie mates. It was exhausting – I think I was on the stage every 15 minutes for about five hours – but I got such a rush out of it. Holding the audience’s attention wasn’t always easy – people at the back tended to talk amongst themselves rather than listen, but I didn’t care cos I got a great buzz off pretty much everyone. I worked the audience a few times, promising them that my mate Pete would take his top off in exchange for loud applause. I made the mistake of looking at Pete while introducing Geoff Docherty, and introduced him as Pete Doherty, but turned it to my advantage and got a laugh out of it. I even got a little fan club – a couple of guys who told Roy they thought I was great and want me to host another night for them :-) So many of my friends were there, including Paolo whom I met in real life for the first time, and I’ve attached the photo to prove it! Paolo, thanks for coming to support me. You’re a very nice man! The acts rocked the house to the last man, and it was such a fitting tribute – John Peel would have loved it. We raised £500 on the door, plus a percentage of the enormous bar takings, plus a donation from the bar owner, plus any money we make when the CD of the night is released. The photos can barely even begin to show what a fantastic night it was. I’m still buzzing!

But the night ended in tragedy, and hereby lies my next tale… 9 years ago

AbsnasmI rocked that bitch!

Whoa… Oooooh, that was ace! I’m in work now, and my boss is up from London, so I’ve actually got to do some work today. I will do a proper post later and tell you aaaaaall about it. It probably won’t be tonight cos I’ve got another compering job on, but some time this weekend. Thanks to everyone for their support on this and an extra-specially enormous thanks to Paolo who came along and stayed till the bitter end despite his mate going home and leaving him all alone! He proved to be a thoroughly nice chap. Right, better do some work. I’m so tired I can’t type, which is rather unfortunate considering my job rather relies on typing. 9 years ago

AbsnasmFinal lineup!

The final lineup of supremely talented people, in order of appearance as far as I know, is as follows:

The Eiderdowns
John Egdell
Gavin Makel
Kelly Brownell
Pete Hardaker
James Stevenson
Lauren Staley
Dave Linus
Lesley Roley
Waiting For Volkertz
Paul Jeans
Lucy Pickard
John Nellist

The night has now been affiliated with Radio One as the only official tribute night in Newcastle on John Peel Day (though other gigs are being dedicated to him), and will be covered by the Metro, the Chronicle, and local radio, and is being recorded for posterity to be released as a charity CD at a later date. Programmes have been printed and a green room prepared. This is now a much bigger deal than I ever thought it was going to be! Aaaaaargh! 9 years ago

AbsnasmCome one, come all! More details about John Peel Night.

Update, just in case anyone fancies coming along. Apart from Lucy, other people playing will include Pete Hardaker,
Simma (he’s a gig promoter as well as a performer, Paolo, you should meet him), Kelly Brownell, The Eiderdowns (apparently folk covers of well-known stuff, kinda Hayseed Dixie), and loads of other talented people. I may be putting in a performance singing with Lucy, and John Peel’s brother is rumoured to be making an appearance, so if you fancy getting some Peel DNA and cloning muso children, now’s your chance. It’s £3 on the door, and all the money will be going to Amnesty and the Sally Army (apparently the great man’s charities of choice), with a possibility of some of the bar takings going to them too. I’ll hopefully have more details tomorrow once I’ve spoken to the organisers. I wonder if there’s a way to promote this on 43places without getting told off? 9 years ago

AbsnasmDouble the trouble, twice the panic.

Oh, hell. Now my friend Roy is organising a John Peel tribute night at the bar where he works next Thursday and he’s passed a message to me that he wants me to compere it. Shit the motherfucking bed, what’s going on?! Why can’t he do it?! He’s a trained actor and one of the funniest men alive, for crying out loud! So now, after a three-year hiatus, I’m compering two nights in a row, which means that Thursday’s success/failure will impact vastly on Friday’s, as will the hangover I fully expect to experience from all the wine necked in order to get me on that stage in the first place. Plus the fact that it’s a tribute night to such a well-loved personality means that I might be expected to come up with something touching and meaningful instead of standing there and talking shit.

Calling all Newcastle upon Tyne/north-east 43ers! Next Thursday night at Agora (on Side, near the Cathedral, used to be Zoots, before that it was The Empress – don’t worry, it’s much, much nicer now), John Peel tribute night featuring me shitting myself and a kick-ass set from the Acoustically Yours Battle of the Bands undisputed outright winner 2005 (otherwise known as Folk Idol), Miss Lucyann! And some other performers that Roy hasn’t told me about! Tell your friends! Tell them to tell their friends! Come and point and laugh! 9 years ago

AbsnasmCurse my drunken promises.

A few years ago I used to run an open-mic night in Newcastle called A Bit of a Do. I loved it, rushing around organising acts, putting leaflets around town, getting a proper buzz off seeing the audience having a class time. Once we had a sword-dancing troupe come in off the street and do some impromptu morris – any time is a good time for folk.

For the first couple of nights, we had a compere called Jez, a character well known locally for his outgoing character and unusual beard. He was also compere at another Newcastle night, and had the presence and humour to make the time in between the acts seem like entertainment as well. Then one night, just before we were about to start, he rang me. “I’m really sorry, absnasm, I can’t come down tonight. I’ve double-booked myself.” Panic on the streets of Byker. Aaaaaargh! In a fit of God-knows-what, I turned to Dan, my partner in organising the whole shebang, and said, “Sod it. I’ll do it. I don’t want to, but I’ll do it.” I was already used to being on stage, as an occasional singer at nights like this, so I got up and did the whole “Gooood evening Newcastle!” bit. And I loved it. And I seemed to be good at it. I’ve no idea where it came from, but I whipped some stage presence from somewhere and worked the audience like… an amusing simile that I can’t think of right now.

And there’s the rub. I think I’ve lost my mojo, and I want it back, and fast, cos I’m gonna need it very soon. A couple of weeks ago I was at one of Lucy’s gigs – a show made up of several sets by local female singer-songwriters – and we were bemoaning the fact that the interim periods between acts were empty save for background music. Now, having had a few glasses of wine, I went straight up to the gig promoter and asked him about it. He said a compere would be a great idea. Before I knew it, I was volunteering, and last night I got a text off him asking me to do it tonight! I can’t do it tonight, I’ve got plans. So he texted back “What about the 14th?” And like a foooooool I agreed. I am cacking it. What if I can’t do it any more? What if I can’t find any material to work with? The audiences at his shows are notoriously po-faced and straight-laced until later in the evening (when they’re drunk). Does anyone know how hard it is to stand on a stage and try and amuse a sober brick wall? What if I can only be funny and engaging in html, when I have time to stop and think and rephrase?

Oh God oh God oh God oh God oh God oh God oh God. I want to do it but I don’t want to do it. I am excited, I am terrified. I wish, I wish, I wish I’d bought wine by the glass that night, rather than buying the bottle to save a few quid. Heeeeelp meeeeee! 9 years ago

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