US Blog readers waste more than half a million work years goofing off reading blogs in 2005 according to research by Advertising Age.

About 25 per cent of the US workforce, or about 35 million workers spend an average of 3.5 hours, or 9 per cent of the work week engaged with them, according to Advertising Age’s analysis.

It totals up to the equivalent of 2.3 million jobs spent reading non-work blogs. While some would argue that reading industry-based blogs the relevance of these blogs is questionable. The 551,000 years is based on a 24-hour day, while the 2.3 million work year estimate is based on a typical nearly 40-hour work week.

The amount of time spent reading blogs also seems to be in addition rather than at the expense of regular news sites and other Web surfing habits according to research.

Jonathan Gibs, senior research manager at Nielsen/NetRatings, said “Since for the most part blog readers tend to be the most engaged readers of online content,” he said, “they do not appear, at least for now, to be sacrificing time from their favourite news sites. Instead, it looks like blog usage is in addition to existing online behaviour.”

With estimates that 25 per cent of blog visits are directly connect to the job. The remaining 4.8 billion US work hours will be spent reading blogs not related to work.

Though the Adveretising Age admits that with no hard empirical evidence of blog use, these numbers are a little rubbery but they also came to the following conclusions.

Work time spent reading and posting to blogs this year will consume 2.2 percent of US labour force hours. While work time spent at blogs unrelated to work will eat up 1.65 per cent of total US labour force hours.

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