Why would I want to join a group goal with someone I don't know IRL?

@dreev wrote in a beemail:

STRAW POLL: Would you potentially join a group goal with someone you don’t already know IRL?

My question: why would anyone want this? What is the use-case?


Off the top of my head, one thing could be goals for big picture things out there in the real world.
I’m making this up on the fly, but as a starter: “we all commit to getting person X elected, and we’re gonna do it by improving their ratings in the polls - +1 goes on the goal for every +1% in the polls, target is 60 points”.

So it’s a statement of intent to join the group, and shared commitment to the goal, with some (modest) shared pain at the end if we don’t make it!


I could imagine a scenario where a few open source devs have a shared goal linked to their github accounts where they together whittle down bugs/issues on the project to which they all contribute or another where they commit every so often (implement new features) to it.


All kinds of stuff. There are lots of people I don’t know IRL who I’ve done projects with – writing projects, website projects, gaming stuff, other students… I haven’t met a single other student from my course, and until we graduate I probably never will, but I could envision a Beeminder goal to keep us working on a shared project.

If the question was “would you join a Beeminder goal with a total stranger”, that’d be different, but you don’t have to know someone IRL to know someone online well enough to have a shared endeavour.


I just thought of a use case: book clubs. Specifically, a Book Brigade, where… UPDATE: Actually, lemme make that a top-level thread: Book Brigades!

So in terms of group goals, I’m thinking a handful of people share the goal to read a book and when it’s your turn to read a chapter or section, it’s also your responsibility to tell Beeminder the page number you’re on if it’s a beemergency. You’re also expected to take notes up to that page. When your section is done, you clean up and send those notes to the other groupies. (PS: Or a more live-blogging approach would be fine too.)


I’ve found using the Challenges app, where by closing my Apple Watch rings I help strangers earn points, to be pretty motivating, so I could see myself joining a group of Beeminding strangers