I’ve just completed a statistical analysis on when people comment on my blog. To be more exact, what times of day and which days of the week. Obviously there are many factors that can skew these types of studies, so take this as information only.
Rationale: Since the beginning of July there are over 2000 comments on my blog, each has a GMT timestamp. My idea is that commenters will have times of the day when they are actively reading posts on my blog, and “participating”
How: Wordpress has the facility to extract all of the text out of a blog (Tools->Extract). This produces an XML file. The XML file I put into Notepad++, and removed everything except the GMT date/time and the email address for all comments. I then exported this into Excel 2010 and produced two charts. One a scatter chart to show times of the day, on different days of the week. The other a bar chart to show total number of comments on each day of the week. I’ve done this for GMT and also for New York City time (GMT -4Hrs), because the largest percentage of visitors are from USA, second UK, third Canada.
Skew: In order to try to remove my own personal patterns as a skew, I’ve removed all of my own comments from the analysis.
Notes: For the scatter charts I put the times next to the diamonds, not so you can see them, but this give a good idea of density at different times of the day, it’s very clear that way.
On to the charts –
Count of comments VS Days of Week – GMT / GMT -4Hrs for NYC
#1 Thursday – Highest number of comments
#3 Friday (only just)
#4 & #5 Monday and Sunday are very close
Time of Comments left on blog – GMT / GMT -4Hrs for NYC
Saturday and Sunday are steady days with comments being left all day, quite evenly.
Tuesday is the quietest with a peak morning 08:00-09:00 (NYC) and evening 18:30-21:00(NYC), steady during working hours.
Monday has a hotspot in early hours 02:00-04:00(NYC) and then gets really busy between 07:30-18:00(NYC) morning and working hours, then another block 21:00-23:00(NYC) nightime.
Wednesday just seem to get busier and busier from around 02:00(NYC) and a real heavy peak between 12:00-22:30(NYC)
Thursday as we know is the heaviest and Wednesday carries right into Thurday, with the whole of Thursday being busy, quietening down at 18:00(NYC) then quietening down more from around 21:00(NYC) into Friday.
Friday is steady from early hours, starts to peak into heavy commenting from around 07:00(NYC) till a short break at 16:00(NYC), then lighter but steady into Saturday.
There’s a days’s work gone into these charts, so those of you taking your blogs seriously I’d urge you to spend some time studying them and use them to help you time your posting more effectively.
Having said this stats are just a guide, so don’t take them too seriously, and some factors can skew stats. I don’t have any hidden agenda, other than trying to present the most accurate and truthful information for you (and I) to improve our blogging.
From my own observations, I’d experienced Monday and Tuesday to be slow days, so probably not the best days for prime content release.
It seems Wednesday and Thursday are the prime days for commenters, so I’d suggest looking to post in the gaps before the heavy spots on those days for prime content.
Weekends have generally been quieter, I reckon because there is a fair amount of professional bloggers that are commenting, and they tend to work during the week and weekend will be relaxing and bottles of wine etc. However they still do look at blogs, just less, Sunday being a steady day all day.
As I have a global audience, my blogs are set to GMT. So I will use the GMT scatter chart to allocate timeslots for posting, in order that my readers are most likely to be able to read and be actively engaged in what I’m posting.
For those of you that are smart asses or live in a different time zone or don’t like my time zones, I’ve attached the raw times for the comments so you can do your own charts:)
(1127 rows, times for my own comments have been removed, all personal details removed – just dates and times)