PC World Article is at http://bit.ly/cFrx2A
Do up vote on Reddit if you find it interesting http://www.reddit.com/tb/btyw6
The report itself is currently behind an "email address" wall since it was sponsored by a commercial organisation. The interesting aspect is of course the technique used to mine the data and how we arrived at the conclusions most of which are not discussed in the PC World report. One of the outcomes of this venture should be a browser plug-in (in time) that will measure the distraction and profile monthly usage allowing people to adjust their behaviour if they choose to.
What is the difference when compared to the many other tools out there? Rather than just attempting to dump a table of top sites with charts and timers, I am attempting to first observe the users behaviour (over some time) -- then build a pattern template and watch if this behaviour pattern changes. The approach I am taking is to see if the behaviour is changing slowly over time -- and if there are sudden changes.
Obviously, most web users may not directly care about this information, but employers are keen to find effective methods to integrate web use at the workplace. This is the area that I am hoping to make some impact. The web will be around -- it will be used at work -- lets hope that sensible policies are developed to use the web, rather than put in strict regulations based on a few exceptional events. To provide some balance we need good data to inform policy.
Strange as it may be, my experience has been that policies are often developed to compensate for some exception (that is they develop policy for that "one" person out of 1000 that spends a bit too much time on Facebook). If policies are not properly regulated by using good empirical data, over time the policies will eventually be outdated -- inflexible and get to a point where they are going to be silly and even dangerous.
The web will be around for a while -- it is going to be used at work wisely by the majority, and poorly by some. This is to be expected. I am hoping that we can improve the quality of the feedback loop so that people can make adjustments to their web usage themselves.