Young Economics.

Incentives

with one comment

The problem with blogs is that they are generally self-absorbed, irrelevant and horribly boring. Even worse than that, however, is that their owners don’t post on them enough. Allow me to reproduce the progression of post titles common to 90% of blogs, from inception to unnoticed demise:

12/04/2003 – New blog!
13/04/2003 – School is so boring
14/04/2003 – Can you believe Tim?
18/04/2003 – Pictures of my trip to North Dakota
24/04/2003 – What’s up with you guys? (0 comments)
17/05/2003 – Sorry I haven’t posted for so long
05/07/2003 – I’ve been really busy with bowling…
02/09/2005 – Sorry I haven’t posted for so long

You see the pattern. Posting is powerfully fueled by enthusiasm, then weakly by guilt, then finally by nothing. I am certainly not accusing this blog of approaching the stage of life when it waits and waits for family to visit and/or death. But I think that we, as economists, can establish an incentive structure that prevents this from ever happening.

Here is my proposal. We declare open season on the person whose latest post is the least recent. Everyone who has posted more recently, i.e. everyone, is allowed to gently rib the least prolific of our friends. Now, every post should have a chance to breath at the top for a while, so a few days or a week are an acceptable gap. But as time passes, this gentle ribbing can become a little rougher, moving up to drawing penises on the offender’s face when they fall asleep. If one of us has been ignoring the blog for some ridiculous amount of time, say a year, we might have to bring out the big guns and leave him hanging when he goes for a high five. Let’s hope it never comes to that.

But it shouldn’t have to. Much like central bank guarantees, the best part about credibility is that once established, it never has to be used. Hopefully fear alone will suffice to keep everyone hopping. Because fear is a far more powerful motivator than enthusiasm or guilt.

As of now the clock is ticking on… Alex. That jerk.

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Written by manopoly

March 31, 2009 at 11:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Brian! The clock is ticking on Brian!

    And I think we can all take to gentle ribbing on you, Patrick, because our last 3 blog titles have been:

    Incentives (By Alex)
    Stupid Media (By James)
    Incentives (By Patrick)

    Brimming with creativity I see… 😉

    jk

    April 1, 2009 at 1:29 pm


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