Blog-bashing reaches a new level of absurdity

Ad Age has done some extraordinary twisting and turning to come to the conclusion that blogs are bad for American business. If this weren’t so sad, I’d be amused. The article, What blogs cost American business, is so slanted that it’s vertical.

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 with them, according to Advertising Age’s analysis. Time spent in the office on non-work blogs this year will take up the equivalent of 2.3 million jobs.

…While blogs are becoming an accepted part of the media sphere…they are proving to be competition for traditional media messages and are sapping employees’ time.

The magazine admits that it had to get creative in order to come up with any “analysis,” but the extent to which this effort goes out of the way to bash blogging is beyond chance.

We’ve known for years that seven of every ten people who visit news websites do so at work. The 8am-5pm spike has nothing to do with blogs, so the pointing of a crooked finger here is, at best, misleading. To grab statistics from various databases and extrapolate those to actually — and one presumes with a straight face — suggest blogging is somehow negatively impacting the labor force is an insult to even novice statistical analysts.

Look, folks, the extent to which people are seeking out information to help their lives and the ease with which technology is making that happen is the only story here. That people are using the Internet at work is nothing new. Maybe workers are doing it more than they used to, but that’s not the point of this report. RSS is likely a factor in online news reading, but bloggers’ use of RSS is coincidental, not a sign of some effort to undermine the office.

But let’s give Ad Age the benefit of the doubt and agree with their conclusion that people are reading blogs at work at the expense of doing their jobs. Why is that the fault of the blogs and blogging? Is it the blog that’s “sapping employee’s time” or is that the responsibility of the employee?


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