Let us delete goals
[UPDATE: This is all now totally different from what's described here; you should probably ignore this whole suggestion. In particular there's nothing that happens if you delete all your datapoints, and archived goals are viewable, just not in your main gallery.]
Currently you only get the option to delete a goal if you first delete [no, not true! we told you to ignore all this!] every data point, which is obviously too tedious.
We need to address that better but here's what's holding us back, in case people have thoughts on it:
It's sort of against the spirit of a commitment contract if you can delete a goal (or need to add rules about it, like you have to give a week's notice).
We're nervous about it since it's so un-undoable (one option is to make it undoable, but privacy concerns there).
Our whole business model now is you have to pledge money to reset. So it's not good if you can just delete and recreate instead of reseting.
This could use work but I think it’s best to mark this completed so people can have their votes back. If you still want, say, true deletion, or improvements to archiving (like being able to actually see your archived goals!) we’ll let you add those as separate suggestions.
@Will, I see now. Deleting data doesn't accomplish anything now (it's actually been this way for well over a year -- I'm going to edit the first sentence of this so people hopefully won't be misled by it).
For now the answer is simply that unless you archive a goal in the first week, there's no way to get the name/URL back. It's possible we should rethink that and we're really grateful for the feedback on this. It probably makes sense to make this a new suggestion though, since not many people are going to see the dialog here on an old closed suggestion.
Will Everett commented
@dreeves I meant why should I spend time deleting data points, as someone else suggested.
It won't let me use the same name as the old goal. That's really what I wanted to do. I actually did start a new beeminder with a similar name, I just think it'd be nice to get rid of old data that has no use anymore.
@Will, what we now recommend, if you want to start fresh with a new metric, is to just archive the old goal and start a new one. When you say "why should this cost anything?" do you mean that you don't want to add a pledge on a new goal? Was it clear that that doesn't actually cost anything unless you derail?
Will Everett commented
What is the "much better way" to delete data? I have a use case not covered by Michael's post where I want start fresh on a goal I successfully completed some time ago, but want to use a different metric. Why should this cost anything?
@Anonymous: the "temporary test goal" checkbox (when you create a new goal) serves that purpose in a very convoluted way. You'll actually get an email prompting you to make the goal permanent if you'd like, so if you just always check that box then you can selectively commit commit by making it permanent later.
Obviously that's not the ideal solution to this problem though! We're definitely working on this, and really appreciate this kind of feedback.
Sometimes I need to delete a goal because I did not set it up the way I thought I had. It would be nice if we could "preview" the graph before committing, to make sure we have set up the initial parameters correctly. My most common error is that I forget to uncheck the "safety buffer" week, and currently my only option is to email help or dial the erroneous goal down to zero and start over with the correct settings.
Justin Kwok commented
Would some organization capabilities cover this?
Just being able to create an "Archive 2012" or "Testing" folder and tossing old goals into that would make me happy.
Patrick Jordan commented
Although I agree with some of the points @Michael made, I do not think all of the use cases are covered.
Minor refinement(s) of (B):
It is reasonable for a goal to have a specific deadline and, once that passes, I no longer care about the goal. There are a few ways to treat this case:
a) Let me delete the goal
b) Let me mark the goal as something I don't care about anymore and have the UI present a view of only the goals that I currently care about, in addition to other views.
I would advocate (b), but I can also see why (a) would be desirable.
I really do not want the goal to exist anymore, for reasons not covered by Michael's (1) and (B). I do not think this is a provably empty set. I would suggest that you either
a) don't let users delete goals with contracts that are active
b) charge a fee for breaking contracts (such as triggering the current fail condition).
I would advocate (b).
Rafał Rzepecki commented
Actually, Michael's comment is very thoughtful and made me reconsider. Thanks.
Maybe you can add the option to delete only for relatively new goals. If I accidentally make a mistake in the creation of the goal (I made 3 goals with the wrong type), I want to be able to delete them so it doesn't clutter my gallery. And I think most of the arguments here don't count yet for those new goals, so it wouldn't be that much of a problem.
(I know now it's relatively easy to just delete the couple of data points for new goals, but it is not clear in Beeminder itself that you need to do that)
I am deleting a goal on the first day because it isn't exactly something that
I think lends itself well to Beeminder.
@Michael, your thoughtful comment carries more weight than many negative votes! Our latest idea for this is to just limit the number of pledgeless goals you can create. Once we do that we're thinking it will be ok to let people delete.
There are no ways to vote against this idea? I guess I'll just not take one of the "10 votes left!".
There are only two scenarios where you would want to delete a goal:
1) You just started out / you are experimenting. If this is you, deleting the data points and backing out is not a big deal (I'm starting out and I've done it twice so far, I'll probably do it a few more times to figure out how this all works...)
B) You have a large amount of data and it would be a serious pain to delete it. Hmm, how did we get here? You've made an investment. Be proud / be ashamed. If you really, really want to delete such a feat, it should cost you. Either in time (delete _all_ those points?) or money (as a way of saying thanks to Dan and the swarm.
Here as a tangential and possibly complementary solution (tutoring geometry - forgive me...).
There is a completion date on each goal. I haven't gotten to the point where I've reach one. I'm new and my few goals are all set for 12/31/12. But maybe you could make something change once that goal date / number of occurrences is reached? Create a hall of fame / hall of shame to showcase the effort at least.
All I'm saying is that bug fix / enhancement time and effort are limited resources. There are alternative (manual deletion, making a tech call, paying a little cash) solutions that don't require you to expend resources on this solution.
I vote you avoid doing that. (Hey, I just saw the link to "Flag idea as inappropriate..." umm, I think that's for another purpose, no?)
ok,i deleted it via deleting previous data posts like you mentioned. thank you
@Irwan, definitely, if the goal is messed up in some way just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll fix it (or if you prefer, delete it so you can start over).
can i delete goals within the same day or same week when it's created?there's some wrong thing inputted (eg. inputting higher weight on goal when your real goal is weight loss)..
Steven Gerson commented
As we do not have this functionality I have deleted all records (thank you for the tip dreeves) and will not use beeminder again.
Daniel K commented
I think I agree with Dan Goldstein's comments. I'm new to Beeminder (1 mth) and have one big goal w/ a pledge - I see the value of the commitment contract and have no desire to cheat...but I also like being able to have other goals to play with & potentially throw away or recreate rather than pledge money if I want.
If that just wouldn't work, have you at all considered any sort of pricing scheme for non-commitment contract goals? Perhaps some sort of "premium" membership that would give users more flexibility with their goals, including deleting them.
Kevin West commented
Why not allow delete if there is no money pledged, or allow a delayed delete after a week if something is pledged?
@Alice, I like the way you think! :) I'm being serious, it sounds reasonable at first glance. Of course a lot of really crazy stuff sounds reasonable to me at first glance, as anyone who knows me will attest. But it does seem more direct than the current elaborate compromise where you can "archive" goals or pre-specify goals as ephemeral or delete them after painstakingly deleting all the datapoints. If goal deletion should be costly just make it literally costly!