Monday, November 21, 2005

New threat to industry productivity!!!

I’ve been meaning for some time to blog about the study that came out last month reporting that this year, U.S. workers will waste the equivalent of 551,000 years reading blogs.

A study by U.S.-based Advertising Age found that 35 million workers -- one in four people in the labor force -- visit blogs. On average they spend 3.5 hours, or 9%, of the work week, engaged with them. Time spent in the office on non-work blogs this year will take up the equivalent of 2.3 million jobs.

Ad Age even quoted the sales director at Gawker Media, blog home of Gawker (media), Wonkette (politics) and Fleshbot (porn), saying that its audience “is very at-work; it’s an at-work, leisure audience -- a.k.a., people screwing off on the job.“

And a research manager at Nielsen/NetRatings said at-work blog time probably comes in addition to regular at-work surfing -- meaning more total time spent on the Web, and less time on the job.

I’m not sure how one determines what non-work blogging is; many executives make reading the morning newspaper a regular part of their work schedule (and I firmly believe that includes Sports). And I believe that reading even peripherally work-related blogs can offer information, insight, ideas and motivation that might not be available anywhere else - certainly not in today's rushed, erratic workplaces.

Let’s face it: many offices have become soulless, cheerless places where people with very little in common – and in many cases, no continuing business relationship - work side by side. Blogging reconnects with your most interesting, idea-filled industry colleagues or other like-minded people – and it may provide the peer support and social engagement that today’s workplaces lack.

And in case you're wondering, most of this blog’s traffic comes during the daylight hours too.

Says Blogads founder Henry Copeland. “Bottom line: At work, people can’t watch TV or prop up their feet and read a newspaper, but they sure do read blogs.”

OK, back to work. You and me both.

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