Optimizing AskMe December 1, 2006 8:32 PM   Subscribe

When is the best time of day to ask a question on AskMefi and get maximum response / eyeballs? Seems like there's a hundred questions per day lately. In my particular upcoming case it will be about gadgets, if that affects the answer. Has anyone done an analysis of posting rates over the 24 hour day, and which time periods get the most responses?
posted by intermod to Etiquette/Policy at 8:32 PM (26 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I have no f ing clue, but I have thought long and hard about this too. I have determined that relationship/emotional/opinion type questions will always get the most answers. The more technical the answer, the fewer responses you will get unless it is a computer question. If you ask a question that is easily googlable, you will get a quick response and sometimes a snarky one too about not having tried to google it.

I also find that the shorter the question the more likely a response unless it is a very technical question. I would add that I do not think Mondays are a good day to ask because most workers are trying to get off to a good start and will not be procrastinating just yet. If it is a cultural question specific to a country, you should strongly consider asking it at mid-day of that country's timezone.

Lastly, I think that the wording of the question is important. The tone will turn people on or off to answering the question. Also, those who have provided valuable answers to other questions often get well thought out responses.

Just my $0.02 after thinking about it since I joined.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:19 PM on December 1, 2006


I run a website that is very much procrastination based, and we find Mondays are amongst our busiest days - so I wouldn't be so sure about those conscientious workers. They might be offset by the 'don't need to get that done til Friday' types.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:35 PM on December 1, 2006


I haven't done any analysis, but from my years of experience, 10 AM EST, Monday through Friday, gets you the most eyeballs before your question gets pushed off the front page.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:37 PM on December 1, 2006


I think there was a thread in AskMe actually asking this question but I'm too lazy to find out.

Three of my questions I've posted at various times of the day and gotten almost the exact same amount of responses so...
posted by liquorice at 9:43 PM on December 1, 2006


It is not always the question that has the most answers that is answered best.
posted by edgeways at 9:48 PM on December 1, 2006


Want a lot of answers quick? Ask about sandwiches.
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:51 PM on December 1, 2006


No, ask about "sandwichs".
posted by interrobang at 11:38 PM on December 1, 2006


Shh, maybe it'll get fixed and we'll all forget about that misspelling.
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:14 AM on December 2, 2006


Since the time the question appears on the front page is negatively associated with the number of posters at that time, which I imagine is correlated with the number of commenters, it's hard to think that you get an advantage in eyeball terms at one time or another. If you get your page up for longer, it means that fewer commenters per hour will see it.

The only real consideration is if you want help specifically from people from a certain geographic area.
posted by grouse at 4:19 AM on December 2, 2006


Feel free to ask me about sammiches.

A sammich is a sandwich which you know you shouldn't make and shouldn't enjoy but do anyway. A good example would be a breakfast sandwich with unusual ingredients, or a burrito-themed sandwich, or perhaps a Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich that includes cranberry sauce, gravy and mashed potatos, or a maybe even a deep fried corndog sandwich with pizza, fries and a Mars bar.
posted by loquacious at 4:28 AM on December 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Whenever I hear 'sammiches' I think of Minnesota. I've never been to Minnesota.
posted by ardgedee at 4:40 AM on December 2, 2006


How about a wish sandwich?
posted by fixedgear at 5:53 AM on December 2, 2006


Does it make a difference whether you post your question when there's heavy or light question asking traffic? If I ask my question at 9:30 AM and by 10:45 twenty more questions have been posted, won't my question get bumped off the front page faster and, therefore, be seen by fewer people? Of course, heavy question asking traffic probably correlates with heavy question reading traffic; the increased number of readers may offset the effect.
posted by Clay201 at 5:54 AM on December 2, 2006


imho the AskMe front page should be bigger.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:16 AM on December 2, 2006


It might be different for different types of questions. The people who can answer questions about taxes might tend to be online at a different time than people who can answer questions about videogames.
posted by winston at 7:04 AM on December 2, 2006


Thanks for the responses so far. And I love the fact that, 11 hours after I posted it, my MeTa question is still at the top of the page ...
posted by intermod at 7:30 AM on December 2, 2006


Questions requiring technical/specialized knowledge will naturally get fewer responses, because fewer people have the background (or think they have the background) to answer the question. General interest/relationship type stuff will always get more answers, because just about anyone can chime in.

I think the 10amEST is a good time, since the question will be near the top of the page when most of the country is beginning its workday, and so people are logging on and checking their favorite websites etc. Still though, some questions posted at off times get tons of responses, so I don't think that posting at other times necessarily dooms your question.
posted by Brian James at 7:43 AM on December 2, 2006


but from my years of experience, 10 AM EST, Monday through Friday

Yeah, aim for about lunch time in the states on work days. Since "lunch time" varies a bit by company and time zone, I would say between 10 AM EST to about 4 PM EST. From anecdotal experience, this seems to be when the site is the slowest, which I assume is from all the bored office workers smacking the site.
posted by chrisroberts at 7:44 AM on December 2, 2006


I have tired of sammich. "Sammidge" is the new hotness.
posted by Eideteker at 8:43 AM on December 2, 2006


FWIW: the sites I run spike (weekly) at Mondays and (daily) at and after lunchtime.
posted by signal at 9:05 AM on December 2, 2006


I would add that I do not think Mondays are a good day to ask because most workers are trying to get off to a good start and will not be procrastinating just yet.

Hahahaha

Wait, that was a joke, right?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:36 AM on December 2, 2006


in my house, we just call 'em sammies.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 1:00 PM on December 2, 2006


When is the best time of day to ask a question on AskMefi and get maximum response / eyeballs?

I've not read a single word of the thread, but I can say this: if a time was decided, you can probably now be certain that it'll be the worst time to post over the next few weeks. Everyone and their dog would take advantage of it.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:25 PM on December 2, 2006


Gimme a sanger anna fish milkshake.
posted by flabdablet at 5:57 AM on December 3, 2006


That'd involve giving you some milt, wouldn't it? Gimme a few minutes of privacy, and I'll pump some out...
posted by five fresh fish at 11:23 AM on December 3, 2006


If a time was decided, you can probably now be certain that it'll be the worst time to post over the next few weeks.

Yep, good thing that I decided that I didn't need to ask my current question after all. So in a couple weeks when I have another one, the fad will have passed and everyone will be back to doing the late afternoon / evening pile-on ...

For the terminally curious, I was looking for a mapping program for my Palm PDA, to use in flight to track what we're flying over. Over the last few years, every time I came home from a flight I would search for something like this, search hard, and all the solutions seemed to suck, even the ones that cost good money. It finally occured to me to go look at GPS receivers, and now the sole item on my Christmas wish list is a used Garmin GPSMAP 295. They go for ~$400 lately so it's a LOT more than I originally wanted to spend (for just a Palm program) but aw hell I'm worth it.
posted by intermod at 9:38 PM on December 3, 2006


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