MeFi/AskMe Website Engagement Metrics November 23, 2018 5:52 PM   Subscribe

Is there available data that shows when Metafilter and Ask Metafilter experience the highest volume of website engagement? Such as on what days and times of day are most users "on" MeFi and AskMe?

I understand this isn't Twitter and the purpose of the site isn't data analytics for improving users' business and marketing objectives. We're a community.

However, I wonder if folks may find it more beneficial to ask a question on AskMe - especially if it's a bit of a niche question - when there's a higher volume of users on the site. It increases the likelihood of a user getting more accurate and diverse answers to their questions. Is it better to post a question, about that weird made-for-tv movie you saw in the late 80s but can't remember what it's called, on a Thursday morning or a Saturday night?

Trying to anticipate concerns: So it seems possible that this could bias the site in favor of North American users (since they seem to make up the majority of the site population). At the same time, if someone wants to ask a question that needs the experience and knowledge of users in a specific timezone, it might help to understand when people in said timezone most often engage with the site (i.e. their timezone's morning? afternoon? night?)

Site engagement metrics vary; I'm thinking not only IP address and timezone but also times when there are the most "clicks" on a question or FPP; or the highest volume of comments. Some of these things are going to see spikes based on subject matter and newsworthiness, as opposed to just what day/time of day it is, but might help to know the patterns.

Anyone else curious? Anyone out there with the technical knowledge to scrape this data?
posted by nightrecordings to Feature Requests at 5:52 PM (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

We’ve had this question come up from time to time, and as far as we can tell, it does not really matter when a question is posted. Which isn’t the obvious answer but does seem to be the case!
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:54 PM on November 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Questions that are posted at slower times spend a bit longer sitting at the top of the page before they get pushed down by other questions. And then they typically take a couple days to fall off the front page entirely. So it's kind of a wash overall, or at least that's my understanding.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:57 PM on November 23, 2018

I recall reading that Mondays are the busiest time for posting new AskMe's. My gut has always told me that to get the highest quantity of answers, ask a question that requires an opinion or experience, but not any particular expertise. Relationship questions get lots of answers, but a technical question about say a car engine will get fewer answers, but it is my experience very specific accurate answers (thanks Brockles).

I have always been curious about what would happen if the same question was posted at say the same time but 1 week apart but phrased differently would they get the same or very similar answers. What would happen if the same set of facts was presented but the last sentence one week was, should I keep the guy and the next week it was should I dump the guy.

Also, I wonder what would happen if the two parties to a relationship question asked about the same issue or event but from their point of view what the answers to each would look like in relation to the answers to the other.
posted by AugustWest at 10:17 PM on November 23, 2018 [5 favorites]

Facebook was down the other morning, and I was wondering if it affected MeFi. Almost posted, got distracted, realized it didn't matter. Of course, now I'm piggybacking.
posted by theora55 at 9:39 AM on November 24, 2018

It's not exactly what you're looking for but from an analysis of the infodump that I did in July 2015 (slides 21-23) on the Blue, the number of posts was the lowest during the week-end, rose sharply on Monday and was then roughly similar from Tuesday to Friday. The average number of comments per post also rose on Monday, was the highest on Tuesday and then decreased. The most busiest posting hours were 7am-1pm, and peak engagement (average number of comments per post) was 7-9 am.
posted by elgilito at 1:12 PM on November 25, 2018 [4 favorites]

posted by softlord at 8:46 PM on November 29, 2018

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