For those that read this blog regularly (aside from my dog), you know I’m pretty quick to slap Apple about. They are arguably the finest technology company around, but not as imperfect as the media would have us believe (or, as their products actually are – I’m a big user…).
One of the things I do love about Apple is their willingness to celebrate the heroes. They did this on the sad passing of Rossa Parks, turning their home page into a memorial of sorts. The cynic might say that this is all about traffic, clicks, SEO… yeah, yeah, yeah…. But this is the most prescious and valuable "real-estate" Apple owns. And it isn’t blind – click on it and you get to a memorial. And, they link out to the National Civil Rights Museum.
Mike points to this not being the first time Apple has done this.
Steve has a great post on measuring the chatter using Ice Rocket and other tools. I’m a big fan of Ice Rocket and like Steve tend to use this more than Blogpulse. With tools like these there is no excuse for PR not to start speaking to the conversation in its dashboard.
Our challenge as communicators is to now move to understand the impact of these conversations on purchasing and other customer behaviors. Then we go from speaking about the conversation in the context of communications to demonstrating the value of conversations to the business.
AdAge reports that reading blogs is costing US businesses. Here are some of the highlights:
- U.S. workers in 2005 will waste the equivalent of 551,000 years reading blogs.
- Currently, the time employees spend reading non-work blogs is the equivalent of 2.3 million jobs.
- 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. Forget lunch breaks — blog readers essentially take a daily 40-minute blog break.
- 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.
Blog breaks? What a great idea! The assumption of course is that reading non-work related blogs makes you unproductive. Sometimes unproductive acts – like taking a break – are the very acts that make us most productive and give us new insight.
I do think a huge amount of time gets wasted on the web every day – whether blogs or just mooching about. There are a great number of blogs that can help workers use their time better and become more mindful of what will make them more productive or not – even if that means taking a blog break.
What AdAge doesn’t touch on is for more training of workers on how to get the most out of the web and blogs. There are all kinds of techniques for catching yourself zoning on digital content and surfing about. Simple tools like a good RSS reader make the blogsphere a very productive place to be.
Ok, stop wasting time and get back to work.