43 things

I saw the buzz
(and the ludicrous conspiracy theory)
about Amazon’s
into 43 Things. Amazon’s interest makes sense given many of the principals were previously involved with Amazon’s rocking p13n team. They make features like this that sucker you into spending more time and money on Amazon’s site and enjoying it.

I don’t mean any disrespect to
Erik — he and Ben were inspirations for NaNoWriMo and are far cooler than I ever could be — but I need to fess up: I don’t understand 43 Things. Would someone mind explaining, in a way that admitted luddite would appreciate, why it’s so, um, cool and how this differs from the other online communities?

I’ve been playing with it a few minutes and see some entertainment value. One annoyance is the need to learn Yet Another Set of Formatting Commands (textile) to add fancy formatting to entries.

2 thoughts on “43 things”

  1. Erik Benson

    Hey Jim, thanks for the nice interpretation of the last few days. It’s been fun over here, that’s for sure.

    As for your question, there’s nothing magical about 43 Things that would really warrant explanation… it’s just a simple site that tries to help people articulate what they want to do with life, and find stories and people who might be able to encourage and or help them with those things. We don’t quite have the secret sauce figured out yet… but we plan on iterating on it and trying different things until we find something close.

    I think we’re a little different than some (but not all) of these social network communities just because it’s not about finding your friends… it’s more about doing things with your friends, and finding new friends to do things with. In other words, we’re trying to find a way out of that frequent “now what?” dilemma that most of these sites lead you to. When you say “now what?” it means that you should start doing some of the things on your list. Flickr is a good example of a site that does this well… it makes you want to take more pictures, and share more, and generally experience the world a bit more. I’ve rambled on long enough… sorry about that.

  2. Erik, that’s a way better quote than what the Salon article tagged you with.

    I haven’t checked out 43 Things in a while, and all I can say is _wow_. It’s a million times better than the last time I saw it. You guys are doing great work, and I’m glad to see you’ll be able to continue it a bit longer.

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