Saturday, December 31, 2005

43 Things and 43 Places

New Years is a time to look forward, a time to set some goals and objectives. Of course, the there is now social software on the Web to help. 43 Things is a free website that lets you list things that you want to do before your demise and compare your desires with those of others who have made their lists.

Starting a list is easy. Go to the main page and put your first idea into the box under "what do you want to do with your life?" There are lots of examples down the page. Some are mundane, like "walk the dog," while others are more ambitious, such as "become a movie director." You will then be prompted to log in or start an account. It takes only moments. As you set each goal, you are asked if you would like to add a photo to go along with the goal on the list or write an explanation of your goal. You are also given the opportunity to schedule an email to remind yourself of your goal or invite someone to help you with your goal.

Once you have set a goal, look at your list. 43 Things tells you how many other people have the same goal. Click on the number and find a list of these people. You can then read their lists, see their photos, and read their thoughts. You can also give them "cheers" of encouragement.

As you would expect, the level of seriousness varies. Some people have some very straight forward general goals. Others list specific things to do. I have taken an in-between approach with my list. I have not yet posted many photos or written many explanations. Some of the goals do not need any clarification. I can always log in and add, delete, or otherwise edit the goals. I can change their order. I can also claim "I've done this" when I accomplish one of the goals. I am the only person wanting to do many of the things on my list. Some of these things are very specific. Perhaps if I edited the wording on others I would find more people. I can also add tags, which again would connect to other people's lists. "Meet Michael Palin" has eight people!

Linked to 43 Things is 43 Places, which lets you list all the sites, cities, states, countries, or continents that you want to see before you die. Again, you get to see who else wants to visit these places. I have added only 18 so far, but I am still thinking.

Enjoy the lists. Make some of your own. Happy New Year.

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