May 20, 2010
Excerpts: Dan Ariely on Blogging
In a sidebar from his new book, The Upside of Irrationality, Dan Ariely has a piece called "Blogging for Treats."
"Now think about blogging. The number of blogs out there is astounding, and it seems that almost everyone has a blog or is thinking about starting one. Why are blogs so popular? Not only is it because so many people have the desire to write; after all, people wrote before blogs were invented. It is also because blogs have two features that distinguish them from other forms of writing. First, they provide the hope or illusion that someone else will read one's writing. After all, the moment a blogger presses the 'publish' button, the blog can be consumed by anybody in the world, and with so many people connected, somebody, or at least a few people, should stumble upon the blog. Indeed, the 'number of views' statistic is a highly motivating feature in the blogoshere because it lets the blogger know exactly how many people have at least seen the posting. Blogs also provide readers with the ability to leave their reactions and comments--gratifying for both the blogger, who now has a verifiable audience, and the reader-cum-writer. Most blogs have a very low readership--perhaps only the blogger's mother or best friend reads them--but even writing for one person, compared to writing for nobody, seems to be enough to compel millions of people to blog."What do you think? Who are you blogging for? This new book is Ariely's follow-up to his best-selling Predictably Irrational, and will be released on the first of June.