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.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.