When should I post? June 9, 2013 7:52 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone done research into the ideal day/time to post something to our beloved collection of multi-colored subsites? i.e. the most statistically probable time to get the maximum number of responses?
posted by softlord to MetaFilter-Related at 7:52 AM (19 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Every time this question has come up (which it does several times a year) the general consensus has always been that it doesn't really matter.
posted by flabdablet at 7:56 AM on June 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Check out this rabbit-hole page of the wiki, MetaAnalysis, and scroll down to "Analysis of Time of Day" for links to a bunch of previous discussions of this question.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:58 AM on June 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

And just to underline what flabdablet said, the reasoning for that is: at times when there are a lot of people around to answer, there will be a lot of posts; at times when there are few posts, there will be fewer people around to answer.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:02 AM on June 9, 2013

I can tell you for sure, it does not matter. If anything it would be prime time were ever you are and now I am not helping...BUT, but a grey post is usually up to the OP and concerns a different subject matter then the blue and the green is just once a week for posting. Ok, so I am not really helping other then a good FFP will get attention if it is good and fresh IMO.
posted by clavdivs at 8:13 AM on June 9, 2013

See also the besttime tag.
posted by pemberkins at 8:17 AM on June 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

That tag is fun! I added it to this post too.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:18 AM on June 9, 2013

Everyone's got handwavey answers but I think some of this really has to do with what sort of result you want. For example, in Meta, around 2-4 p EDT usually all the mods are at least awake even though only one of them will be technically working. If you want all the mods to chime in, that's often a good window to aim for. In AskMe, the questions seem to zip fastest in the window between when the east coast of the US wakes up and the west cost wakes up. That is good if you want the most eyeballs, bad if you want the most time on the front page. On the Blue, flags accumulate very slowly between about 3-6 am EDT so if you had a thing you wanted to post but were worried that flags would kill it, that might be good. Overnight US times there is usually one mod working who doesn't have the ability to bounce ideas off of other mods (though now with gnfti and taz being awake then, they have each other) which can be good if you want to have a mod say a thing that no other mod offers a contradictory opinion on (or you want to play needle-the-mod, though taz is pretty wise to that one by now). Friday afternoon seems to be becoming the best time to post a fighty MeTa thread. The best time to post something in IRL is at least a few days before it happens because we send out the reminders/announcements I think once per day (I could be wrong about this) so it's possible to miss that window. I mostly know the stuff that happens in my own besttime window so I'm not sure about other sorts of things.

I don't think there are any best times for Music, Projects or Jobs but would be interested to hear otherwise. I haven't spent enough time with chat to know what best times are there
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:24 AM on June 9, 2013 [10 favorites]

I think one thing to add to the above is to consider if the question you post can best be answered by folks in a specific timezone.

I think I recall someone in the US asking for some help unraveling some European train timetables online. But I think they posted it in the middle of the night for Europe and so there were few responses.
posted by vacapinta at 8:56 AM on June 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Focus solely on the wood you are carving, your post; do not be distracted by where the sun is in the sky, or who may admire or comment on your work.

Are the tags sufficient and meaningful? Have you removed editorialized content, personal opinion or emotion, from the post? Have you added links to additional primary sources, relevant examples, or additional news stories? Does the post feel whole, complete, rounded? Does it please you as a complete work?

Yes? Then that is the time to post.

And then, empty your mind of the post and who might be reading it; walk out of your workshop, and enjoy the abundance of pleasant distractions which nature provides.

This is the path to contented posting on MetaFilter.
posted by Wordshore at 9:45 AM on June 9, 2013 [9 favorites]

Can we put this in a FAQ? It comes up constantly.
posted by Justinian at 10:45 AM on June 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't know when the best time to post is but I suspect the worst is on the same day as a mega-thread.
posted by mazola at 10:56 AM on June 9, 2013

I don't know when the best time to post is but I suspect the worst is on the same day as a mega-thread.

I agree - I think what's going on elsewhere on the site is often a much bigger factor than time of day.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:43 AM on June 9, 2013

I would like to emphatically endorse those above who have said that for a front page post on Metafilter (the blue website), it really doesn't matter.

Since I tend to bounce around timezones and continents (hoping to stop that by the Fall) and have posted from everywhere and everywhen, it totally depends upon the content and quality of your post. This is with regard to member responses, not moderators, which Jessamyn has already mentioned.

What I have found with posts that end up being published after midnight US Pacific Time is that it'll have some traction with Australia, if its of interest, but really starts picking up speed as first Europe wakes up, then the East Coast. That is, give any post a 12 to 24 hour cycle if it isn't a newsy fast moving subject, a much loved obituary or some slyt with a kitteh.

Otoh, if you're looking for conversation to participate and action almost immediately then the first half of the US daytime covers all time zones afairc.
posted by infini at 3:39 PM on June 9, 2013

In AskMe, I'm not sure how much time of posting matters. I think the clarity of your (above the fold) question makes a huge difference in perception, and therefore, answers. I had a relatively recent question that I thought would get a bunch of answers, since it asked people to think creatively and allowed for a lot of freedom in answers, and a similar question had gotten a bunch of great answers. It got only about 9 or 10 answers. Your MeTa made me go look at it again, and I realized that I had not given enough detail above the fold to entice people to answer.

My most recent AskMe netted me several useful answers because I was more specific about what I was looking for. I believe that the more people that feel like they are qualified to answer the question, the more answers you'll get. That's why relationship AskMes get so many answers - everyone interacts with other people in some form.
posted by booksherpa at 4:37 PM on June 9, 2013

AskMe is very time-sensitive, I think. If you ask a question where you are looking for a lot of people to have the chance to answer, best to put it up around early morning in the US. If you are looking for something that is geographic-centric, best to put it up at a time suited to the geographic region in question.
posted by dg at 7:25 PM on June 9, 2013

As an aside, that's an interesting research overview right there - the different usage patterns, expectations, response styles and rates between the blue and the green. Does Ask require visibility to be answered as opposed to people scrolling down the blue as and when they arrive, to sample the filter, that kind of thing.

Has anyone done any of that? Is there a data dump I could dive into?
posted by infini at 10:24 PM on June 9, 2013

infini: "...if it isn't a newsy fast moving subject, a much loved obituary or some slyt with a kitteh."

What other kinds of posts are there?
posted by double block and bleed at 4:12 PM on June 11, 2013

Lost treasure! Sunken ships! Mysterious ruins in deepest, darkest continents! Ancient wonders! Really cool people who lived long ago that we'd never heard of! Science that blinds you!

And wait...there's more

Expand your imagination, son!
posted by infini at 10:31 PM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, i was actually thinking specifically AskMefi rather than the blue...
posted by softlord at 5:38 PM on June 12, 2013

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