43 Things (http://www.43things.com/) is a social networking site, but I like it anyway. It's not about having friends, so nerds like me don't automatically lose.

Here's what you do: You list 43 things you want to do. Okay, I only have 33 goals on my list, but the site is named 43 Things. Anyway, you have these goals--learn French, lose weight, go on a road trip with no predetermined destination, pull a prank involving 100 lawn gnomes, whatever--and you post entries on them. Like a blog. But often multiple people--sometimes thousands--have the same goals, so it's like a community blog.

You cheer people on. You get about five cheers per day, which you can give out. They don't actually do anything (though if someone cheers you, you now have one more cheer to spend on other people), but they're a nice way of saying 'I approve of your goal. Get to it, you slacker!'

When you've completed a goal, you mark it as completed. Duh. But you don't have to have an item on your list to say you've done it. It's fun to browse people's goals and mark 'I've done this!' on them. Build a snowman? DONE! Finish NaNoWriMo? DONE! Visit Mexico? DONE! Makes me feel like I've lived a full life. I've DONE stuff, man! I've done over 2 000 things, ranging from breathing to wearing red nail polish for a month to being in a ballet production. You also get to mark them as Worth It! or Not Worth It! Most of the things I've done were Worth It! and that makes me happy. It's a very positive site. Yay!

Sister Sites

By the way, is one of your goals to visit Kazakhstan? Try 43 Places. If your goal is to meet Jessicapierce, why not try 43 People? Is your goal to watch Serenity? Why not try AllConsuming.net? They're all good. Oh, and try ListsOfBests.com, if you want to make a list of your favourite books, least favourite films, or things you'd do if you were the opposite sex. If you have an account on 43 Things, you have an account on all these sites.

Controversy!

The site is owned by The Robot Co-op, but apparently Amazon.com provides a lot of funding. 'So what?' you ask? The big-wigs at Amazon.com are major contributors to the Republican Party. 'So what?' you ask? Yeah, that's what I said too. But apparently is was a semi-secret. The Robot Co-op chief janitorial officer (don't ask me) told one reporter: 'Nobody's supposed to know that'.1

But you ask 'so what?' again? So do I. Okay, I'm not a huge Amazon.com fan and I'm certainly not a Republican Party fan, but, well, so what?

Technology!

Oh, right. Ruby on Rails. Lots of AJAX. Lots of stupid 404 errors when trying to do something when the server is busy or just doesn't like you. But apparently it made for rapid development or something. Has the whole Web 2.0 RoR website appearance to it. Just wished the damn thing worked more consistently.

1 http://dir.salon.com/story/tech/feature/2005/02/08/43/

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