You know, I’ve been meaning to read Csikszentmihalyi’s book, “Flow : The Psychology of Optimal Experience.”
I just haven’t gotten around to it. The topic seems interesting enough, though I’m aware that some people think Csikszentmihalyi is an idiot. See: The Flow Experience: The Summa Cum Lousy of Bad Psychology.
Still, I’m curious…and today I found an interesting set of papers written by Thomas Novak and Donna Hoffman, of Vanderbilt University, concerned with providing a conceptual model of how flow works on the Web. You can get the lot of them at their Research on Flow page.
I recommend taking a look at all the papers available there (not just the final draft). The beginning of the first abstract, for example, is a great two minute introduction to the concept of flow.