I decided to give YNAB a try at the start of this year after hearing about it on Beeminder. I find myself wanting to check forums daily or more often because their Journals section really stands out. That’s an area of the forums where people make separate threads and talk about their situation and update as months go by. Other people comment, give advice and commiserate. You start to recognize names and want to check in to see how they are doing and get some daily inspiration. This is all in spite of the fact that there has been a kerfuffle over in YNAB land as they have released a new version which requires a subscription. The community is divided over it with all the usual forum drama you might expect.
I have used My Fitness Pal in the past and they had something similar. Fitocracy accomplished the same thing in a different way - you would see people accomplishing new things in their workout logs and encouraging each other.
This is almost completely missing from the Beeminder Forums. I guess I check in once a week maybe. It’s useful to read about the dashboard view, but that doesn’t inspire me. I recognize the frequent posters and there have been some great blog entries, but the blog is separate from the forums. There are many inspirational ideas, like the goal of doing something to show affection for your spouse that I remember reading about somewhere, and there are all these great ways in which people are making their lives better, but you hardly see any of that from checking in.
The forums don’t have a separate section for this, and while I like to read about the goals that other people have and I think others would as well, but most of the posts are technical questions or feature requests. When someone does post their tips on how they are Beeminding something I really like reading it, but then it drops off of the forum page. I wonder how hard it would be to encourage more of this and build a community. It feels like if there was a content like this people would add more, but since there is none there is more of a barrier to adding it. It should be a good fit with Beeminding in general. Publicy committing to things and looking to others for encouragement and support is a well known way to help make lifestyle changes fit.
Or maybe the type of person who is drawn to Beeminder is different from the more general population who frequents the other sites? It’s definitely more of a technical crowd here. I wouldn’t even be writing this if not for the other “Mildy panicked” post and that I get use out of Beeminder and would like to see it grow rather than die off.
Maybe there’s still some sort of internal stigma that is harder to get past when dealing with Beeminder goals? People will open up and get support around having tens of thousands of dollars of debt and then celebrate their tax refund or bemoan an unexpected vet bill. However setting a Beeminder goal to make progress on a PhD dissertation and then derailing is probably harder to talk about.