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Monday, June 28, 2004

PageBoost and Positive Reinforcement

I’m a strong believer in positive reinforcement. I remember as a small kid there was a time I brushed my teeth in haste, maybe only once a day, or twice, briefly.

One day I went to the dentist, and he told me I had great teeth. The best in my family. Superb condition. He also told me a few things about toothbrushes, and how to rotate them, using a giant model of human teeth.

Now you might think, in perfect logic – I probably would, if not for that incident – that I then completely stopped brushing my teeth. After all, my teeth were in such good condition I probably needn’t care for them.

In fact, the opposite happened: I brushed my teeth longer than before, and more often. I was proud of brushing my teeth, and I was happy to think of their good condition.

I for one am very compassionate about programming, and maintaining a blog, and this compassion is fueled by positive feedback. You step out into the world trying to make sense of it and you always look for others to get something out of your conclusions, driving our culture forward together, and to remind us just why we are here. Your hobby, profession, or latest project is likely fueled by the same passion.

Or maybe it doesn’t matter that much really? You never know, but you tried your best. And in the end, that’s what counts. Still it’s very likely your projects are tapping into realms of the extraordinary, because that’s where we are always heading... looking for a new mind-set, improvement, positive feedback. Hands up, who likes to do boring things that have been done a gazillion times before? People flee from monotonous jobs, and if they do them, they do so slowly. But when people get involved in something challenging, they work twice as hard.

Dale Carnegie in his classic book How To Win Friends And Influence People stated similar things. Say nice things to people, praise them, and they will work even harder than before. And with more pride, producing better quality. (Say something bad, on the other hand, and not only might it destroy their ego, but slow down their future attempts at quality as well.)
Or, as Tim Sanders put it decades later in his book: Love Is the Killer App. I guess we can trace this attitude back to Jesus, and who knows if he invented it or if it was already in the world before him.

Of course, there is no cheating. This is not about insincere flattery or social hacking – it’s about listening to people, understanding them, and truly caring. It’s an attitude your brain may trigger, but it will have to live in your heart.

All that being said, I would like to introduce to you PageBoost. With just a little bit of cheating. You can enter your own web site address, and get a highly positive review; to power your next update, to give you new ideas... or to just make you feel good.

Web page address to review:


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