|Type of site||Social network service|
|Registration||None to browse, Required to post|
|Owner||The Robot Co-op|
|Created by||The Robot Co-op|
43 Things or 43things.com is a social networking web site that is built on the principles of tagging, rather than creating explicit interpersonal links (as seen in Friendster and Orkut). Users create accounts and then list a number of goals or hopes; these goals are parsed by a lexer and connected to other people's goals that are constructed with similar words or ideas. This concept is also known as folksonomy.
In 2005, 43 Things won the Webby Award for the best Social Networking site.
On April 27, 2007, 43Things reached the 1,000,000 registered users mark. It is a good place to save your goals and hopes and other users on there may tell you how to achieve your goal or dream. You can comment other people's goals and share goals too.
43 Things was launched on January 1, 2005, by the Robot Co-op, a small company based in Seattle founded by blogger Erik Benson, Maktub keyboardist Daniel Spils, and former Amazon.com and Microsoft executive Josh Petersen. The site was developed using the Ruby programming language and the Ruby on Rails framework. The development of the site (and company) was chronicled on the company's blog. The first version of the site was released 43 days before January 1, with a stripped down text interface asking "43 days till the new year. What do you want to do with your life?"
43 Things and statements from developer Erik Benson were given a prime spot in an article on tags written by Katharine Mieszkowski, a senior writer for Salon.com. After publication Mieszkowski received an anonymous email tipping her off to investigate how the Robot Co-op was funded. Mieszkowski called 43 Things founder Erik Benson at his home at 7:45 am demanding to know if 43 Things was funded by Amazon.com. She published her version of this conversation in a follow up piece in Salon.com entitled "Amazon's 43 Secrets".
That article included confirmation from Amazon.com and The Robot Co-op's CEO that internet bookseller and web giant Amazon.com was the sole investor in The Robot Co-op. Amazon.com declined to comment on their investment, but Mieszkowski speculated that they plan to use this site to further customize their individual marketing and site preferences for their users. Mieszkowski did not restate the glowing material from her prior tagging article that had described what the Robot Co-op was building. Mieszkowski implied that Amazon is being somewhat underhanded in disguising their use of a pseudo-independent site, as many users are entering data about their planned purchases, without realizing that they are giving this information to a potential marketing machine, rather than a social website. Mieszkowski never announced who the anonymous tipster was or speculated about their motivations (or intentions) in leaking this announcement to the press ahead of The Robot Co-op or Amazon.com's publicity schedule.
Prominent blogger Jason Kottke weighed in on the "43 Things Amazon Conspiracy" by asserting that the history of the site from inception to release was chronicled on a public blog, that the employees of the Robot Co-op all keep blogs, and that all significant information on 43 Things is available via the internet, if not on the site itself or in the interview with Benson. The three day period of attention from Salon and other media was asserted to have led to a 35% increase in users of 43 Things.