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Jul 5, 2017

Today I share my first impression with a new app Beeminder which I'm using to replace the PACT app. The pact app was slick, polished, and I loved it (you pledged to give money if you didn't hit a goal and it was distributed to those who made their goal). Beeminder works similarly in that it takes money out of your bank account if you don't hit your goal every time you miss your goal (so it could get expensive) and it's not giving any money back.

Their intro video look at first like someone is going to share ghost stories (there is no official beeminder channel only the channel of one of their creators). I get they did the best they could with whatever budget they had, but why does someone with a lapel mic sound like it was recorded in a bathroom (and putting music in the background doesn't make this point go away). Then they give you a ton of information on a graph that looks like you ate a mouthful of Skittles and then sneezed them on to a piece of paper. Here is a sample

To understand that graph, I need to look at the legend. They have a legend that helps you understand all the dots, dashes, etc, but holy cow what is up with the big 50 cent words like "Akrasia horizon" Sheesh. You need a legend for your legend. So my first impression was not a great one. However, after using it for a few days I think I'm getting the hang of it. You can have it remind you to update your goal. I'm using a withings scale which updates my fitbit which updates the app. By syncing it with m fitbit it brought in a lot of data points that I'm not sure were helpful. So in the end, I started off a little confused. 

They do let you try it for free, and if you "Drive off the road" there is no fee, but if you want to continue, you need some skin in the game.  Every time you miss your goal it raises the penalty. You can set a limit on how high it can go. 

I do like that it someone "gamifies" your goals, and it keeps you posted and can alert you when you're about to go off course. I just think its a little busy at this point, but what do you expect for free? It has potential, and my guess is going to be that they didn't see the boost of PACT users coming their way, and they get caught with their pants down a bit. 

Overall, this could be useful, but their graphs introduce a learning curve. 

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