Google giveth and Google taketh away. One area that surprisingly manages to cover both ends of those deitific duties is the recent Google Les Paul doodle – which allowed users to play a guitar and even compose their own melodies right from the Google home page. According to the gurus over at Extreme Tech, the time-wasting fun of the doodle cost the world about $268 million in lost productivity.
More On the Doodle
The doodle is one of the fancier Google has presented, although the last two years have seen increasing escalation in the complexity and interactivity of Google’s home page commemorations. Unlike many doodles, which only last a day, Google’s Les Paul homage lasted two: June 9th, to commemorate Les Paul’s birthday, and June 10th as an “encore.”
The doodle allowed users to, via mouse- or keystroke, strum on guitar strings that constructed the revamped (or amped?) Google logo. Users in the United States could even record 30-second songs and get a URL to share the doodle-created product with their friends.
The Time-Wasting Stats
Unsurprisingly, the doodle got plenty of attention. According to Extreme Tech, the average user on Google’s home page spent an extra 26 seconds strumming around – on average. With 740 million total pageviews between June 9th and 10th, that equates to 10.7 million hours of doodle music. It’s also possible that the total number of pageviews, not just the average time, was getting a boost thanks to the interactive element.
Extreme Tech then uses the estimate of $25 / hour to come up with the $268 million figure for lost productivity. It’s by no means a completely accurate statistic, with variability due to untracked figures in increased pageviews, an inability to track how much time was spent sharing recorded audio, and the definite possibility that some of the play time replaced other unproductive activities. Nevertheless, the giant figure is noteworthy, and a testament to Google’s successful understanding of the world’s desire for an interactive tribute.