Before I Die: What Do You Want to Do?
October 14, 2007
Before I Die provides the opportunity for you to share with your friends what goals you consider to be most important in your life. By simply typing in a goal, you can share a goal that want to accomplish, have accomplished, and whether or not you recommend it.
When first installing Before I Die, users of the website 43 Things will have no trouble catching onto the basis of how this application works. The application’s homepage contains a tag cloud littered with a random assortment of goals that other users have set for themselves. The size of the font for any particular goal represents the number of users who are striving to attain that goal.
Adding goals is relatively simple, albeit a bit confusing at first. Along the top of the page is a simple box labeled “I want to…” where you can type in any one of your goals. Upon clicking the “Go” button, a page representing the goal is loaded. This page displays other users who share the goal along with comments made by others who have already attained the goal.
After clicking the “Go” button, I assumed that the goal was added to my list of things I want to do before I die. However, it turned out that the item was not added to my list. Instead, I had to click a second “I want to do this!” button on the goal’s page, meaning that building a list took twice a long as I expected it would. My recommendation to the developer would be to have the goal added to a user’s list when they fill in the “I want to…” text box — unless of course it’s a goal that has already been added to the user’s list.
An interesting, well thought-out aspect of Before I Die is the recommended search results offered when a goal is not found. If typing in a goal that no one else has entered, Before I Die offers the option to create a page for the goal (at which point it is added to your list of goals) in addition to a list of similarly worded goals that might represent what you’re trying to say. This list certainly helps to keep goals organized in order to find others with similar mindsets. Furthermore, it helps build the tag cloud on the application’s homepage. Unfortunately, some spelling mistakes do get through due to the setup of the application — in the above screen shot, you may notice both “Get a tatoo” and “Get a tattoo” (though the former being much smaller text than the latter is a bit of a relief).
Once you accomplish a goal, you can update the goal to share whether or not you would recommend it to others based upon your experience. There is also a discussion board where you can share the specific details of your experience to inspire or deter others considering the goal.
The profile box for Before I Die shares a brief listing of goals to your friends along with a link to view the rest of your goals. Also included is a means for friends and contacts to share any additional goals they think you might have missed in creating your list. Anything entered here is delivered to you via a Facebook notification that can be found when logging into the website or through the Notification link (within the Inbox menu) atop the website.
In order to view your friends’ goals, it is not necessary to go through the tedium of visiting all your friends’ profile pages to see who has the application installed. Before I Die offers a Friends’ List page. This can be useful for finding friends who you know to have common interests in life in case there are any goals you forgot to include in your own list.
In all, Before I Die is a fun little application that allows you to share the things that you consider important in life. It will give your friends and family a chance to get to know you better in ways that they might not have realized about you previously.