750 Words is a truly awesome idea, although I don’t know if I can explain exactly why it is so awesome. The concept is simple: every day you write 750 words or more of pure, unfiltered thought. It’s a brain dump-you don’t have to think through what you’re writing if you don’t want to- and it’s completely private by default, so it’s nothing like blogging- even the most amateurish of blogs (for me, at least) require some form of formatting, coherence etc, whereas this is more like a diary, but far more convenient. Firstly, it’s online, so you don’t have to keep track of a book. It counts your words for you, so you have some idea of where you are. Most important for me is that it’s typing rather than writing. I type far faster than I can write- writing 750 words every day would be a lot more of a chore than typing it out.
It has a ridiculously simple interface: just a plain screen on which to write with a fixed font and font size, and nothing else. You can insert formatting by using markups within the text using a system called Markdown. And no, this isn’t just full screen mode on wordpress, it’s much cleaner than that. But the really awesome thing about it is that it can analyze your daily torrents for emotion etc. It uses the Regressive Imagery Dictionary (for the emotions), and the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count system, according to the author. You can also include any sort of metadata that you want to track just by adding it in all caps with a number on a separate line and the site will collect it and track it for you. For example, you can type HAPPY: 9 on a line and track your happiness over any period of time. You can compare world averages to your numbers for the data generated using the inbuilt text analysis systems, which is also fun. There is a truly huge amount of info that you can get, and although I haven’t been uing it for very long I suppose 750 words over a decent length of time should provide for numbers that actually mean something.
The design of the website itself is really good, minimalistic but attractive. That along with the analysis and metadata tracking is actually one of the major attractions of this site for me. You might ask what’s the difference between something like this and just keeping text files on your comp, which is what I used to do, but not only is this so much more convenient to access, it’s also far more attractive to see. (I might feel differently when I get back to insti and have to deal with LAN cut, however. I hope that my hostel still has 24 hour net.) Also, to make sure that you stay on track, you can also get “badges” for an unbroken 3-day writing streak, 5-day streak and much longer, points every day for completing certain amounts of writing, badges for how quickly you write and how focused you are etc.
Check out the about page here for more details.