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bird poops on plum branch


Buster Benson

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Help me with Big Checkin?
bird poops on plum branch
I started thinking about how to best reflect on the year, and the decade, as I do every year. And every year I am dissatisfied with what's available. Reflection works best when it can build on reflections from the past, year over year, etc. We are changing, slowly, over time, in ways that none of us can really tell from up close.

I mentioned the idea a while ago, and have since started on this "Best of 2009" meme which has been making me feel pretty unsatisfied in the reflection department. I met with Carinna and Michael a couple weeks ago to start coming up with ideas on how to make yearly reflections more fun and more satisfying.

This is the first draft:


I'm leaving for Delaware tomorrow morning for a week, so this is as far as I got. It has 15 questions, varying from checkbox selection to adjective listing to inner-circle creating to goal contemplation. The answers are stored in ways that I think will make it easy to create aggregates amongst people, and also in ways that will make it possible to chart your own changes over time.

It's not yet possible to publish your results, but it will save your answers and I promise that results will be made available as soon as possible when I get back.

This is another long-term project. I want to launch something in January that will include charts and graphs and statistics and ways to post your Big Checkin to places people can see it, ways to make some parts private, etc. But while I'm gone (and won't be near a computer) it would help if some people felt interested enough in the idea to post their own thoughts and reflections, it will help me better able to figure out what's interesting and what's not.

So, yeah, there's no report at the end yet. But I'm bringing my sketchbook with me to start thinking about it. Any ideas you have as well on better ways to ask the questions, ways to visualize the answers, etc, would be awesome.


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I tried it out, and I think overall it's really good. I feel like most memes (year-end or not) have at least a few completely stupid questions, and yours definitely avoids this.

a few comments:
1) in the first attribute list, you have "Lazy" twice
2) it would be nice to have a completion meter or some indication of where you are in the survey and how much is left.
3) because of people's paranoia about facebook these days, it might be good to put some disclaimers around how the data will be stored, etc.
4) for the questions that have multiple answers, it might be helpful to have a the choices be "Save & Continue" or "Save & Add Another" so it's more explicit what's happening.

Overall, it's really great -- thanks for sharing it with us.

I agree with all of these things!

1) Okay, fixed, thanks!
2) Yes, I'll add that for sure.
3) Good point.
4) Another good point!

Thanks for the help!

Hi! I was trying to upload pictures, but they kept showing up sideways. Is that my problem, or something you can fix?

More l8r.

Hm... are they sideways on your computer before you upload them? I'm not auto-rotating them or anything so that's really weird... let me know if you think I should look into it more.

Adding people to Inner Circle...

...was time-consuming. It would be easier to have 10 blanks, and then the ability to add details in a subsequent step.

So far so good, though. I might add more comments as I progress.

Re: Adding people to Inner Circle...

Finished the survey. It was really sluggish, that's my only complaint. (Other than the stuff above from Judi Underscores)

If that fancy font js is slowing the page down, I'd take it out, it's not worth it.

This was way better than the Best 09 stuff we're doing.

Re: Adding people to Inner Circle...

Time-consuming because of the page loads? I'll be making them ajax soon enough (maybe not before the end of the year, but before next year for sure). I'll consider adding a more text boxes but I also don't want to pressure people into adding more answers than they want to.

Re: Adding people to Inner Circle...

Yes, it's because of the page loads. Maybe you can have a + icon that adds more boxes (w/o an asynch round trip)

Re: Adding people to Inner Circle...

I will. After I get a few other things done... most notably the page that lets you view/share/edit your final year report.

Re: Adding people to Inner Circle...

Cool, thanks!

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