Monday, September 24, 2007

Am I a page addict? Let's find out.

This morning, I installed the Page Addict web tracking plugin for my Firefox at work. It shows you every website you visited in the course of a day's surfing, and lets you tag the pages by category. It doesn't save a website history from day to day, but it does save the site info by tag. You can't see what sites you visited last week, but it will remember how much time you spent total, sorted by tag. It only marks time with the browser tab on top, and only when the browser is your top window; you can leave your browser open while you're working in another app, and that time won't count.

I'm doing this because I'm curious how much of my day is spent online, and how much of my web time is spent working. I do a fair amount of web-based stuff that counts as "work", from keeping up with what's happening in my field to shopping and spec'ing equipment, to research. But I also check my personal e-mail and read a few webcomics every morning (and blog, occasionally -- like now!). I just heard the apocryphal statistic that the average office worker spends 2.3 hours per day loafing on the web; I don't think I'm close to that, but I'm curious about my web habits. And I'm pretty aware that I can't go with my gut feeling as a guide for how much time I spend online. My workday's over, and I've had a browser open for 84 minutes, so far. 22.3% of that time is tagged "mail", and 10.4% is tagged "goofing off" (this is my tag for webcomics, blogs, and a pile of non-work-related stuff). 51.5% is tagged "work". But today's a strange day; I'll see what the aggregate looks like over several days.

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