Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Blogging Self-Nudge Update

Way back on August 1, I was inspired by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler's book Nudge to engage in a little experiment. I called this experiment a blogging "self-nudge." The idea was to set up a scheme to motivate myself to try to blog more regularly. Well, it has been four complete months and I have so far succeeded in the challenge. I have to say that I am a bit surprised by this, albeit pleasantly so, given that I have been full throttle into a very busy semester. If I can meet my blogging goals during the busiest times of the year, I'm confident that I can continue with it at any point during the year. And I would expect that during moments when the demands of my job ease up a bit, it should be even easier to meet or exceed the blogging goals that I have set up in my "self-nudge." So, I'm pretty happy and content with my arrangement.

What I am probably not the best judge of, though, is whether or not the quality of my blog has suffered any. I will rely on my few readers, dedicated though some of them are, to give me feedback on this aspect of my self-nudge. I know that I have put up some blog postings that I might call "throw-away" postings: short comments or simply links or video clips without much, if any, detailed or thoughtful analysis. But I do think that I have put up probably many more thoughtful postings in a month than I might have done anyway; and I also think that there is something to be said simply for the discipline of taking the time to put up at least a little something on a pretty regular basis on my blog.

In any case, I am proud of this accomplishment and will look forward to future blogging. The one thing I can say for sure is that there is very much something true about Sunstein's and Thaler's idea of the "nudge." I would encourage anyone who struggles to exercise the necessary discipline to stick to a resolution to give the idea of a "self-nudge" a try. If it's structured well, I think you'll be surprised by the results.

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