Workers Waste Over 500,000 Years Reading Blogs According to AdAge Story

Posted on October 24, 2005

An absurd article states that in 2005 U.S. workers will "waste 551,000 years reading blogs."

  • Work time spent reading and posting to blogs this year will consume 2.2% of U.S. labor force hours.
  • Work time spent at blogs unrelated to work will eat up 1.65% of labor force hours.
  • U.S. workers this year will waste the equivalent of 551,000 years (based on a 24-hour day) or 2.3 million work years (based on a typical nearly 40-hour work week) reading blogs unrelated to the job.
  • There is strong evidence of workday blogging. Server traffic for Blogads, a network of sites that take ads, spikes during business hours, reflecting page views on about 900 blogs. FeedBurner, a blog technology company, also sees a jump in work-time hits.
  • AdAge probably didn't need Blogads or Feedburner. Most bloggers probably see heavy traffic on their blogs during the business hours. It is not a secret that office workers read blogs. Before blogs they read news websites and web forums. Many probably still use all three sources. And before the Internet workers read magazines, newspapers and comics.

    What misses in their ridiculous assertion that workers will "waste 551,000 years" in 2005 is that some of these hours are spent by employees actually learning something by reading a blog that is related to the kind of work they do. Others workers may be taking a break before they go back to the next mindless task on their list. The article even says employers accept a certain level of goofing off.

    Bosses accept some screwing off as a cost of doing business; it keeps employees happy and promotes camaraderie. Andy Sernovitz, CEO of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, said blogs have become the favored diversion for "office goof-off time," though he notes it's hard to segregate blog time since blogs often bounce readers to professional media sites.

    But at the end of the day, more blogging means less working. Jonathan Gibs, senior research manager at Nielsen/NetRatings, said at-work blog time probably comes in addition to regular surfing -- meaning more time on the Web but less time on the job.

    Yes, there are some workers that are probably breaking the acceptable amount of goof-off time and spending too much time blogging or reading blogs and not enough time doing their required work. But not all blogging hours fit into this criteria and's claim of 551,000 years wasted in 2005 alone is absolutely ridiculous.

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