This post is inspired by reading Dan Ariely’s The Upside of Irrationality (which I just finished, a review will be coming soon). I actually wrote this post (as opposed to just thinking about it, but never getting around to it) because it ties in (albeit loosely) with today’s Armchair BEA theme, which is Nurturing Book Blogger relationships.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only blogger that really, really loves comments. A post that actually gets them makes me smile all day and feel blogging with worthwhile for a little longer.
Reading Dan Ariely’s The Upside of Irationality, I realized we bloggers are not alone in wanting acknowledgement.
He describes an experiment that he (and some colleagues) performed. In essence, the participants were all given pages of meaningless busywork to do. They were paid a small amount per page. This amount decreased with each successive page. The subjects could continue with the task until it was no longer worthwhile to them.
The subjects were divided into 3 groups. For the first, each page was acknowledged with a smile, and the experimenter glanced at the page before putting it into a stack. For the second group, the pages were simply stacked, no acknowledgement at all. For the third group, the experimenter simply took the page and fed it directly to a shredder.
For me, the first condition models getting comments on a blog post. The second models getting hits but no comments, and the third is the post that simply goes unread.
It should come as no surprise that in the experiment, the first group continued with the task the longest, and the third the shortest length of time. The surprise is that the middle group, where the work was simply stacked, had almost the same results as the group where the work was shredded.
I’ll freely admit that the cases in the study don’t map cleanly to my blogging example, but it’s close enough to cause me to think that my desire for some simple acknowledgement isn’t unusual. I’m going to try to be better about commenting on other blogs from this point on. Will you join me?