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Bloggers are rats with bleeding paws

? This Week's Podcast with WorldChanging's Alex Steffen |


| GM blogs: Truth and spin ?

June 14, 2006

Bloggers are rats with bleeding paws

Stephen Baker

If you have a couple of minutes, check out BusinessPundit's post on how bloggers behave like rats in a Skinner box. It's a question of how often we'll go back to the same tired old blog that long ago charmed us in hopes of finding something good. (For rats, this would be a food pellet or an electronic caress of the limbic core.) His point is that if blogs are wildly unpredictable, but occasionally produce something of value, readers will keep checking in, even if their eyes glaze over and fingers stiffen in their quest.

OK, maybe he's right. Maybe we mammals are hardwired to suffer for the rare and random reward. But shouldn't bloggers do something to relieve the pain? In the rat example, those creatures have been known to keep hitting the lever til their paws bleed! Perhaps we should instead follow Eric Kintz's advice and post less frequently. Nothing happening today, we can write. Turn off your computer and bandage your paws. It's beautiful outside.

08:06 AM

research, society

"Turn off your computer and bandage your paws. It's beautiful outside." No, bring your laptop outside and check out my blog. It's easy on the paws.

Posted by: Andrew at June 14, 2006 09:32 AM

Best. Headline. Ever.

Posted by: Cathy at June 14, 2006 12:50 PM


I just noticed the reference to my post. Happy you enjoyed it. I have written a series of follow up posts on my own blog - the Marketing Excellence blog - that you may find interesting


Posted by: Eric Kintz at July 27, 2006 09:49 AM

Thanks for flagging Eric's post. It has amazing longevity -- so I guess it's a message that connects with readers. Don't worry -- post when you want to!

Posted by: Ann Handley at August 7, 2006 03:13 PM


The blog frequency post has really spread throughout the blogosphere. I thought you would enjoy the post I wrote about how it spread virally.


Posted by: Eric Kintz at October 2, 2006 01:19 AM

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