Bloggers should be happy to know that they may be taken seriously at last. The Washington Post now links to bloggers who comment on their articles. Blogcritics posts wind up at Google News and Yahoo News.
The downside that is now getting some press is something bloggers have known for a long time - people spend a lot of time at work reading blogs. Advertising Age reports that "U.S. workers in 2005 will waste the equivalent of 551,000 years reading blogs."
It looks like putting up your emergency splash screen when the boss walks by so that the boss doesn't see you reading about boobies at FARK hasn't gotten past the boss after all.
Advertising Age continues: "About 35 million workers — one-in-four people in the labor force — visit blogs and on average spend 3.5 hours, or 9%, of the work week engaged in them. Time spent in the office on non-work blogs this year will take up the equivalent of 2.3 million jobs. Forget lunch breaks — blog readers essentially take a daily 40-minute blog break."
While some argue that FARK isn't a blog, it's still telling that my son's high school has banned students from accessing FARK on school computers. My son wondered what took them so long. He, my husband, and I read blogs daily. I won't say whether or not we read them at work.
Blogs have become useful in the business sphere, despite the wrist-slap being given employees who blog during working hours. Advertising Age reported that American Express "paid a handful of bloggers to discuss small business, following other marketers like General Motors Corp. and Microsoft Corp. into the blogosphere."
I have used blogs to promote family law and custody issues, with great success. Blogcritics readers who know who I am are aware of the recent Blogcritics posts I've made about the documentary "Breaking The Silence: Children's Stories". I've also gotten the word out about presumptive joint custody being proposed as legisation in several states. The blog posts as well as activism helped to defeat those bills. Blogs have their uses outside the usual business sphere.
Advertising Age looked into what types of blogs employees visit, and those blogs apparently are not connected to their jobs.
Some blogs do relate to work, but deciding just how relevant they are to the employer is open to debate. For this analysis, Ad Age chose a simple score: Count all business blog traffic, half of tech and media blogs and one-fourth of political/news blogs as directly related to work.