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March 23rd, 2009:

Posts By Day Of Week

After I posted this morning about the number of posts by hour on UMWBlogs, Jim reposted it, and from there D’Arcy Norman at UCalgary did similar digging in his WPMU tables. Since he’s working directly from the database, he could even dig out stats for comments, something that I’m unable to do.

One thing that really struck me was how similar the posts-by-hour data was between and UMWBlogs.

Again, posts by hour at UMWBlogs:

And at UCalgary:

That got me wondering if the data that D’Arcy grabbed about posts by day would be similar. Close, but a little different:



Looks like at UMW we can’t get ourselves back into the blogging mode after the weekend until Tuesday, while the Canadians come out swinging on Monday!

Hopefully, as more and more campus-wide blogging platforms come up, we’ll be able to compare this kind of data across a lot of institutions. I don’t know what might pop out of it, but it should be interesting. (BTW: Cole Camplese wrote just today about the question of why to run a service in-house instead of outsourcing to an external service. What we have here is just another example of his argument–because when its in-house we can get at the really interesting underlying data.)

If nothing else, I think this can start to give some real insights into how students are living their lives, at least in a very broad sense. Along those lines, here’s the parallel data that I fantasize about having:

  • Library patronage
  • Library book checkouts
  • Wikipedia readership
  • Beer consumption
  • TV watched
  • Homework time
  • Pleasure reading

Anything more that you all would like to do the comparisons on? Not that there’s any chance that I can actually dig all this up. I’m just sayin’ the comparisons would be interesting.

“Tis now the very blogging time of night…”: When We’re Posting to UMWBlogs

Tis now the very blogging time of night
When posts do churn and the bava breathes out
Edupunk to this world . . .

(Apologies to Shakespeare)

Over the weekend there was an odd glitch with the scrapers. They’re still down until we figure out exactly what’s going on, so unfortunately I might miss some of the blog data from over the weekend.

But it brought up the interesting question of, if I need to test something, when is it lease likely that people will be posting to UMWBlogs. Of course the intuitive guess is “late at night”. But I’ve got data, so let’s use it.

Here’s a table and simple bar chart of how many posts were written when. NB — many posts get aggregated and republished, which means that they show up in this data twice. Alas, I don’t have a good mechanism for tidying up the data there.

Looking at 16877 posts, for you folks who like that kind of stuff.

12am – 1am 631
1am – 2am 383
2am – 3am 164
3am – 4am 77
4am – 5am 62
5am – 6am 59
6am – 7am 118
7am – 8am 268
8am – 9am 548
9am – 10am 812
10am – 11am 1066
11am – 12pm 1020
12pm – 1pm 1026
1pm – 2pm 980
2pm – 3pm 1267
3pm – 4pm 1257
4pm – 5pm 1112
5pm – 6pm 766
6pm – 7pm 677
7pm – 8pm 856
8pm – 9pm 1014
9pm – 10pm 934
10pm – 11pm 910
11pm – 12am 870
Blogging Times chart

Blogging Times chart

I was actually a bit surprised by how late into night people are blogging — I expected it to taper off a little earlier. I’m also curious about the dip right at 5 and 6 pm. Is that just dinner time? If so, it might be interesting that our blogging practices are so closely tied to that social norm.

And it looks like if I’m going to be testing things, I’ll need lots of coffee.