Hey, if you like this post please go to the bottom and click like, share it on your favorite social media platform, and maybe leave a comment! Now let’s talk about blogging and the IKEA effect!
This is an idea that has been bouncing around in my head for a while, and I’m still not sure what to do with it. There’s a principal called the IKEA Effect, which proves that people value things they’ve had a hand in creating more than a thing that comes ready-made. People might complain about assembling IKEA furniture, but studies have shown that we’re willing to pay more for a flat pack than an object that’s already been put together.
While there’s sufficient data to prove that its true, we can only speculate as to why. Am I more invested, emotionally, in the table I’m sitting at because I put it together? For me, personally, that’s a no, but I can’t presume to speak for everyone. It makes more sense to me when you expand the IKEA Effect to other things, like cooking. It’s the difference between microwaving a frozen burrito, and opening a can of refried beans, a bag of shredded cheese, and a package of tortillas, assembling a burrito, and then microwaving it. You feel like you’ve participated. There’s some sense of accomplishment, beyond just purchasing a product.
(I’m not going to take a snobbish sidebar here to express my opinion that neither of those things is cooking, any more than putting together an IKEA bookshelf qualifies as an act of carpentry.)
Blogging and the Ikea Effect
Anyway, in considering the differences between social media and blogging, and looking for non-harmful, non-exploitive, non-scumbag things that social media does that blogging possibly could, I started thinking about the IKEA Effect. My initial thought was that a blog post is already complete, where a social post somehow… isn’t? That there’s a sense of completion, in terms of participation, in clicking like, or share, or leaving a comment. The reader feels invested because they can leave their mark on the post.
Except that the only difference between a concise 280 character Tweet and a 600 word blog post is length. There is a like button at the bottom of this post, the same as on social media platforms. There are icons to click and share the post in various ways. You can leave comments. Is it because those features are buried so far down the page, they get missed? Maybe it’s because the opportunity to do those things doesn’t present itself within 7 or 8 seconds, as they do when scrolling through social posts?
You may have noticed that I put an invitation to like, share, and comment at the top of this post. That’s my little experiment. I might do it randomly over the next couple of weeks, to see if there’s any difference in engagement. Yes, it does feel a little manipulative to me, it’s more about looking for results than getting you to do something. I’m curious.