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43 Things and Getting Your Stuff Done

43things copy.jpgA while back I heard about a new idea for a social networking site from Josh Petersen, who happens to live in my neighborhood. He described a site called “43 Things�? where a person can find other people based on common goals or “things�?.

Soon after, he quit his job at Microsoft, assembled a great team called The Robot Co-op and today, 43 Things went live with an invitation-only beta.

I see 43 Things as a big step forward for social networking sites because it builds a productive foundation for networking. At the core it's about finding and working with people who share your specific goals. Plus, people who have accomplished goals become resources for those who haven't. I’ve described it previously as a marketplace for accomplishing goals.

When you see a goal listed on the site, you have 2 ways to join that goal: “I want to do this�? or “I’ve done this�?. This information then becomes part of your identity on the site- you are a collection of the things you’ve done and things you want to do (including your progress). Of course, you can create a new goal at any time.

I could probably list 43 things I think are cool about the site, but I’ll stick with these features for now:

  • User-assigned “tagsâ€?? like Flickr
  • Zeitgeist view of goals, like Flickr's tags
  • Post to my blog from 43 things
  • Use of Trackback to associate a blog post with a 43things goal
  • Use of blog entries for providing updates for each goal, and cool threaded format for commenting
  • Ability for “teamsâ€?? to form around goals
  • RSS feeds for everything
  • Useful email notifications, with real content
  • “People doing this are also doing these things:â€??

More than that, it's using elements of weblogs and message boards without being either. That's fascinating to me.

If you want to give it a try, leave a comment here with a valid email address and I’ll invite you… Right now 139 people are doing 411 things. I’ll be interested to see how it scales.