It's 10 PM. Someone writes a post about how insidershould be legal, how people say stupid things about the CFAs, or how Harvard is going to take over the world. It really irritates you, and you want to respond.
What do you do?
1.) Respond with a snarky comment.
2.) Close your web browser and bang your head against the wall.
3.) Resist the temptation and find a smart thread to post in, instead.
All too often, my response has been (1)- to post some snarky response that starts a huge debate. However, when you think about it, that sends the wrong signal, especially for front-page content.
You may not know this, but front page bloggers are paid partly by how many responses they get. That's a pretty reasonable policy, but the net effect is to encourage WSO bloggers to write more obnoxious posts to attract the most responses, rather than ask tough questions or post stuff that makes us think.
We need to raise the level of discourse on WSO. From now until Christmas, I pledge to, instead of taking option (1), to take option (3). Every time I see something on the front page that leaves me feeling irritated, that I feel is ridiculous, that I feel lowers the level of discourse on WSO, instead of responding to THAT thread, I'll find an interesting thread to respond to.
Last week, Deepak Malhotra, HBS Professor (and Big Ten Northwestern alumn), posted a brilliant video about negotiating offers. I spent over an hour watching that video- it was worth every moment. Yet instead of responding to that thread, and encouraging more of them, I responded to "Sh** people say to CFA candidates".
If you think about it, what really helps us grow as individuals is more videos from guys like Deepak Malhotra, more nuanced questions and discussions- rather than people who ask visceral questions. Unfortunately, the only way to do that is to respond to higher quality posts.
So, will you join me?
This Christmas, let's give ourselves the gift of better discourse on WSO. Take the pledge- every time you see a thread asking a ridiculous question on WSO, resist posting in it, and respond to a smart thread instead.