Friday, January 25, 2008

GSS and the examiner blame Facebook for skiving workers

The article on the cover of yesterday's Examiner which purported to be about Facebook (but which was really about social networking sites generally) gave me and a mate some pause for thought after lunch especially with the level of detail in the various numbers quoted. Some others have noted the peculiar "fact" rich nature of the article.

"Facebook is Ireland’s most popular social networking site with close to 100,000 members. It targets people in the 25-35 age category.

Bebo is aimed at the 13-24 age group and it has in the region of 60,000 members in Ireland. MySpace is aimed at the over 35s. "

I'm pretty sure that Myspace's target market is almost as youthful as Bebo's while Facebook has become the site for the educated and officer class in the US in contrast to MySpace which is for the grunts apparently.

The figure cited as lost productivity was for €700 million for 3 weeks work per year, and the numbers involved were apparently 100,000 people on Facebook and 60,000 on Bebo. Myspace was mentioned in the piece but no numbers cited for how many in Ireland use it, but I guess it most be considerable less than the other two or they would have said what it was.

€700 million for 3 weeks equates to €12.133 Billion in productivity for a full year.

Then when we take the 160,000 or so people alleged involved equates to annual average salaries of nearly 76K per year! Which is nice work if you can get it especially when one considers that most of the individuals on such sites are in the first flush of their working lives. Strangely enough Bebo itself says it has a million users in Ireland. And many of those on such sites do not have office jobs if indeed they have jobs at all (ED - what do you mean students aren't productive?). I'd be surprised if mechanics in a garage or the lassies on the till at your local shop are logging on while working at the day job.

If one takes the time to think about it this way if this half hour per day of wastage at their desk is coming out of the usual time that people will spend in the jacks with a copy of the Sun then perhaps it is a plus for their employer.

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