What do you want to see for next year?

March 5, 2013 in Journal

iStock_000002404872XSmallThe official Month of Letters is over, which makes me a little sad. What relieves that is knowing there are still letters in the mail. All of those packages, postcards,and things you send on February 28th are still in motion, still creating ripples in the world. Today, someone will get a letter from one of you and their day will be a tiny bit nicer because of it.

Just because it’s March, you don’t have to stop writing letters even if there aren’t shiny badges to earn.

No badges? I’m afraid it’s true. It’s fairly time consuming to manage the badges and achievements and, as you noticed, we had some bobbles this year. It’s hard to test something like this in real conditions, which involve thousands of you. So we’ve closed the report page and achievements until 2014. Here are things I’m thinking about for next year.

  • A counter to show your overall achievement score, the number of letters, and the number of days.
  • Badges for art cards, zines, thank yous, and sending mail to children.
  • Self-directed goals — In addition to the main challenge, you can add your own goal to try to achieve.

What else would you like to see for 2014?

35 responses to What do you want to see for next year?

  1. Your ideas sound good. I was surprised at how much I liked the badges though! If possible, tally sheets for each person would be good, but I have no idea how to set up that format. Thanks for doing this! You got me back to writing notes anyway!

  2. What about one for writing to someone who influenced you? You had mentioned that in a blogpost, and it inspired me to write to the teacher who encouraged my love for history. But I’m sure there are hundreds of other stories like that for people, to encourage them to write to someone like that. Or even family?

    Other than that I think its a great system and forum, and I love the achievements! Though a tally of letters sent would be nice on our profile or something. 🙂

  3. Love the counter! If it were possible I’d love to see some kind of self-updating widget, like, I come here and update my letters for the day, and then the widget/image/whatever I have on my sidebar on my blog updates to say “I’ve written 12 letters for Letter Month!” I’m thinking of the Nanowrimo word count widget that updates every time you add to your wordcount, but this wouldn’t have to be a progress bar because some people write multiple letters a day :p Just might be fun to add a visual element to visitors of blogs, since I know a lot of people already do updates on how many they’ve sent 🙂

  4. I second the suggestions already made. Also, all of the things available under downloads: if you put them in your Zazzle store, I’d buy them. In fact, I’d rather buy them than buy the new ink for my printer I need.

  5. I really like all the ideas you have listed. I still have quite a few replies to write to Lettermo participants plus a few people I want to make initial contact with. I have also given myself a challenge for March, to write to each of the younger members of my extended family (15 in total) and enclose an age appropriate gift to enable them to write their own letters.

    Next year I would like to be able to search for participants in different countries. Maybe this could be something you opt into on the settings page.

  6. I really think this is fantastic! I have loved the community aspect via the forums and how easy it is to find amazing new people to write to. Thank you for this!

  7. I love all of the suggestions made so far. What about a badge for sending mail to (or from) all 50 states?

  8. fly said on March 5, 2013

    I like Nicolle’s idea. We could extend that to Australian states, Canadian Provinces, or whatever the heck they’re called in the UK (England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales).

    Also, continents, which would be an easier one to achieve.

    I would really like to see a way to update for more than one day at a time at once. I had a couple days that I sent mail that I just didn’t come to the site to report it, so there went that day. Sometimes you just can’t get to a computer. If we had the ability to go back a couple days, that would be awesome, too.

    What about more challenges based on *types* of mail? We have package, but I’d like to see a difference for letter/postcard/card, too.

  9. Mia said on March 5, 2013

    How about a daily thread (like some of us started last year) with the date (umpteenth February or February Umpteenth), to report incoming and outgoing post and activity in general (“writing a letter but it isn’t going to be finished for today’s collection but I did send something first thing this morning on my way to work….”)…

    Perhaps not quite a postal achievement but a badge for forum participation (perhaps this also helps us to form an opinion of the sort of person people are….on a forum site not directly related to this, some people post just to complain…)

    Perhaps I like to use perhaps too much !

    If resources allow, how about an anytime start for a personal Lettermo (20 days for the month, allowing for weekends, and bank holidays), with the Winner achievement (and if the resources allow, the other achievements)

  10. I’ll be around… I’d already decided to send out a “piece of mail”, not always letters, every day during 2013. Currently I’m running around ten days ahead! And I still have some letters from this group, which arrived in late Feb or early March that will be answered.

    eepy

  11. This was my first year doing the challenge and I only came across it at the end of January. Next year I want to be much more prepared and would like to be able to buy Lettermo products well in advance. Would it be possible to message all active participants as soon as postcards etc. are available?

  12. I love your ideas! I would love to see more achievement badges! =)

  13. I like the ideas for next year. I have enjoyed this alot. I have made some great pen pals. It not only got me writing again, but also thinking creatively. Thanks for the fun. 🙂

  14. fly said on March 6, 2013

    Oh, another suggestion. How about a badge for people writing to an author? Authors love to get mail, especially if there’s actual feedback about a book or story involved.

    • I can vouch for the fact that authors love to get mail, but feedback is an iffier thing, depending on what you mean.

    • I like this achievement idea. I tried to do that for this year and found it was harder than I thought it would be. 🙂 http://www.amberstults.com/?p=4334

      • fly said on March 7, 2013

        Indie authors are easier to reach. Of course, if they have an email address, you can always email them and say “Hey, is there an address to send snail fan mail?” and you may be surprised to find out what you get. If you can email them, most will reply back or give you something.

        Part of why I like this challenge is that it’s not easy.

  15. I’d like to see a badge for getting one’s mail hand-cancelled. =smile=

    • All my mail gets hand cancelled! By me… The only time it doesn’t get cancelled is if I’m trying to sneak it in a day after deadline… ( who me????)

  16. I loved the leaderboards! But maybe next year the “Total Items Mailed” section of the ‘Post’ page could have a little more relevance? It didn’t contribute to our “Letters” tally, or our “Total Items Mailed” score, I would have had to make several posts a day to get these to reflect correctly!

    It’s also a shame that a lot of the things we enter into the ‘Post’ page aren’t reflected when we look at our “Letters” page – unless I’m missing something, all we have is the text we entered! It would be nice to look over the letters page and say, “Oh, I mailed X items that day…” or, “Oh, that was the day I tried mailing an Austen style letter internationally!”

    I also had a few tiny issues with the ‘Post’ page after hitting Publish. I often got an error message telling me I didn’t have sufficient permissions to access the page. Everything posted, though. I also have had an alert since I unlocked my final achievements which I simply can’t banish!

    HOWEVER. The project is fabulous, and everything that I needed to complete it works fine. And I’ll definitely be on board next year, too!

  17. Loved this project! Thank you @Mary & all who I’ve “met” here!
    A birthday section might be nice. I’m still going to be writing all year & I’d love to send out cards! Also, is there a way to organize time sensitive requests (birthdays or otherwise)?

  18. I would suggest using a more readable color for items in the sidebar and the names and dates on the above posts, and in the profiles. I never did understand why most of the text was black but a few items would be in the pale turquoise like color. At least on my computer screen the color was very hard to read against the white of the computer screen.

    Really, I think this is a fantastic site, a fantastic idea, and a great place to make new friends.

  19. Some method for flagging and blocking spammers, please. Does WordPress have a tool for that?

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