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Patterns, Numbers and Comments

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, June 03, 2008, at 12:29AM
Comments by Weekday for 2008 blogdowntown

Comments by day of the week for January - May, 2008.

This may fall clearly into the category of lies and statistics, but tonight I decided to run some numbers to see if a hunch I had would hold true. My question: Are comments really a lot lighter of Fridays than on other weekdays?

The answer, in short, is: sort of.

So far in 2008, the average number of comments posted on any given weekday is 12.8. The average number posted on a Friday is 12.3, less than Wednesday and Thursday, but more than Monday or Tuesday.

But Fridays do seem to vary a lot more than other days. I had to reach way back to apply some stat for this one, but the standard deviation for Friday comment totals is 8.18, indicating a wide range of activity. That's the highest standard deviation for any weekday.

The graphs above and below attempt to show the data for 2008 (above) and 2007 (below). The graph is my attempt at making an error bar in Apple's Numbers. The dividing line is your average for the day, and the top and bottom of the bar show a standard deviation in each direction.

Interestingly, 2008's patterns are quite different from 2007. The most commented day of the week has shifted from Thursday to Wednesday, and comment activity on Wednesday and Thursday is up while Monday and Tuesday have stayed pretty flat.

I'm sure all of this ends up meaning nothing, but hopefully the graphs are at least interesting looking.

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