Content Ninja's Weblog

An exploratory journey on the edge of newspaper evolution

Wish I hadn’t slept through stats class March 17, 2008

Oh, good lord, is my head spinning. I’ve spent a lot of time today investigating how Americans spend their leisure time. And there are plenty of government and private studies, plus charts, numbers and equations galore, not to mention various news articles on said studies, to help answer the question. My college Quantitative Math prof would be so proud. SNORT. 

So, when we can do whatever we like, what do we do?

According to the American Time Use Survey of 2006 (, we spend a lot of time in front of the tube — 2.6 hours a day. No surprise there. Where it gets interesting, though, is the next largest category: socializing and communicating (46 minutes).

When you consider that social media is built around human interaction in digital space, we can see some possibilities. What if we could get folks socializing and communicating with us, through us and beside us. Then they become a viable component in the reporting process. We get more information, maybe better information, and a larger source pool, and they get to do something they actually like doing in their free time.

It’s the “neighbors chatting over the fence” model.