Happy Now, Beeminder?

Friday, September 18, 2020
By dreeves

A bee in a dunce cap writing 'i will not write dummy posts just to make beeminder happy' on a chalkboard

Programming note (not that kind of programming; we could call it a doubly meta note?): The blog is now mobile-friendly! You’re welcome.

This week we (by which I mean our robotic minions, by which I mean Google Alerts) noticed a Beeminder-relevant blog post out on the internet. It’s very short so I can quote the whole thing:

I’ve committed to blogging every week and I even have a Beeminder goal to enforce it. But really, there’s no blog post in me this week, so I’m just posting this to appease Beeminder. Sorry.

A discussion about it ensued on Twitter. It was a good discussion, with more than one person averring that posting dummy posts isn’t as slippery a slope as it seems. You’re operationalizing what counts as a blog post as “anything I’m not embarrassed to publish!” Without Beeminder you might well let your blog go totally moribund, so it’s still a win. I guess the point is that it’s a little bit like a fake datapoint but ultimately it isn’t. A blog post is a blog post. And the social accountability of it being public limits how far it can degenerate.

We don’t love it but we get it.

So this is embarrassing but we kind of want to do that ourselves today! Because in the last weekly beemail we ran a poll and promised that the next blog post would be whichever topic won. Well, the winner was “Upside-Down Support” but… we’re not ready with that post.

To assuage our guilt, we’re going to open up the voting to you all and make this a whole meta blog post about what the next blog post should be! (As well as a meta post about dummy blog posts, obviously.)

Are you ready? Here are the choices:

  • (a) Ice Cream Truck Loopholes (how some ways to weasel are so blatant you’re not actually tempted by them — teaser in the above-linked Twitter thread)
  • (b) The Midweek Megafast (my little paean to intermittent fasting)
  • (c) The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment: A Retrospective (why it might be all wrong, whether there’s anything Beeminder-y to salvage)
  • (d) Lupine Lachrymosis; Or, The Anti-Wolf-Crying Principle (more programmer nerdery about dealing with system alerts)
  • (e) Contra Positive Reinforcement: Why Beeminder Is A Glutton For Punishment
  • (f) Paying Is Not Punishment (followup to Derailing Is Not Failing, about mentally reframing pledge payments)
  • (g) Upside-Down Support (a customer support principle we’re very into)
  • (h) How To Name Your Beeminder Goals (about picking very short one-word goalnames)

Cast your votes in our forum poll! I will add the votes of all the daily and weekly beemail subscribers who already voted but those folks are encouraged to vote again. Having your votes counted twice is your reward for getting in on the ground floor on this poll. (And not to be too elitist, but we care about their opinions at least twice as much!)

Go vote!


Image credit: Faire Soule-Reeves

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