Putting word counts into beeminder

As I promised in my post about subsuming myself into the hive mind, I’m now using beeminder to try and keep myself blogging. I’ve set up a goal here.

I’ve ended up using word count as the metric rather than number of blog posts because:

  1. It will prevent me from weaselling out with ridiculous tiny blog posts like this one.
  2. It was easy to do

I’ve currently set it up at what right now seems like a rather measly 400 words per week (a typical blog post for me seems to be anywhere between 400 and 1500 words), but given that the whole point of this is to provide a lower bound while I’m under pressure not to blog this seems reasonable. I have however retroratcheted it right before writing this to get rid of the 70 days of buffer the last couple weeks of blogging gave me.

If you’re interested, I’ve open sourced the code I’m using to automate this. It’s pretty trivial, but it may save you the hour or so it took me to figure out how to write this (still well within the xkcd time allotment, but only if I really believe I’m going to keep this up for 5 years).

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4 thoughts on “Putting word counts into beeminder

  1. Daniel Reeves

    Yay! Thanks so much for using Beeminder for this. We certainly wouldn’t have a blog if not for beeminding it ourselves. Also thanks for “feedthebee” — that’s awesome. Your last commit message, “apparently sometimes the beeminder API actually does do what it’s documented to do” seems to imply some previous frustration/confusion… could we hear more on that?

    Finally, did you know about beeminder.com/widgets in case you want to put a thumbnail of your graph on your blog somewhere (I guess you don’t have a sidebar). I think it makes a nice “ETA till next post”.

    Thanks again for using Beeminder for this!
    Danny (of Beeminder, if it wasn’t obvious)

    1. david Post author

      You should have a support message from me about that. The bulk update API seems to have inconsistent behaviour. I think it’s when there are no new requestid values

      1. B. Soule

        Oh, awesome! Thanks so much for helping us debug this, David.

        It is silly that way we return two different structures depending on what we’re returning! Now just to figure out to fix it without breaking it for everyone else (like, maybe first I should figure out how much usage that endpoint is getting). Oy for backwards compatibility! At the very least a good first step would be to update the docs to reflect what’s *actually* returned!

        Bethany (also of Beeminder)

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