The Writers' Group 8,846 members · 52,128 stories
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After a year of analysis and over 50,000 data points collected, it's finally time to let people in on my little secret project!

I've been analyzing the Fimfic feature box since about this time in 2014. I'd had enough of hearing rumors and hearsay about when the best time to post a story was. I decided to find out once and for all, with science!

Better still, it ended up producing pretty graphs, like this one:

Because trying to post the whole thing in several different groups would be cumbersome, I've put the detailed analysis in a blog post:
When is the best time to post a story? -- Answered with SCIENCE!

I hope you'll go there and perhaps learn something that will help you find success!

4438323 I'm just tired of this same old question being asked over and over again.

4438338
Hopefully having a definitive answer will help prevent it from being asked again. ^.^

4438347 Give it some time and it will undoubtedly get asked again though. But, I do hope this does fix that.

4438323 The answer has always been between noon and 5 EST. Because the majority of us are Americans, and the major population centers are on the east coast, you get more exposure that way. That's lunch time/time frames for school to end.

4438403
But do you know which days of the week are best? :raritywink:
I do!

Ugh, how many times must I say this...

Regardless of your data, it's best to post your story when it's ready.
Not after dinner.
Not after a nap.
You post it ONLY when it's ready. You can also throw in a prayer to the Nine if you're into that faith.

4438411
Well, of course don't post a story before it's ready!

But sometimes, it can benefit you to wait to post it, even after it's ready, so you can post it at the most opportune time.

4438323 There's a certain point where people tend to take their horsewords... a little too seriously.:rainbowlaugh:

4438323 I was considering doing this... Well, looks like it's been done for us all! Thanks!

4438477
Pfft. There is no amount of seriousness that is too much for horsewords!

4438492
I'm sure I'm not the first one who did something similar... but I might just be the first one who has published the results of it.
(If somebody else did, don't tell me! I'll feel bad about wasting the effort.)

4438407 Any day of the week, ya scrub.

4438323 My Little Pony: Overanalysis is Magic

I already knew about the time to post, but I don't buy the days being Monday and Tuesday. That's when everyone is in work or school. Saturday, Sunday, and maybe Friday are simply more logical. Sure you have statistics, but I have a feeling there's more to it than numbers.

4438959

There is NOTHING in this world more accurate and reliable than numbers. Not a damn thing. Play off of intuition if you want, but a properly done statistical analysis will win over the long haul.

-Lumino

4438992

True. Our intuition is based in part off our number sense, anyway.

4438959

That's when everyone is in work or school.

The numbers don't lie... but the best way I can think to explain it is that readers have social lives and do things other than reading on the weekends, while writers don't. So you have a lot of stories on the weekend, but few readers.

4438323 The best time to publish is like a mixed quantum state. When you can see it, it stops behaving that way.

Do you have a prediction on what changes to publishing times your findings will induce? And if you do, do you have a prediction for the effects of that prediction being made public?

What if this recursion of effects breaks the Universe! :pinkiegasp:

4439065

What if this recursion of effects breaks the Universe!

Then the universe will be reborn in a better form, and we'll all be happy.

As for predictions, well... at least a few people will begin posting their stories in the optimum times, which may make those times less optimum.
Overall the effect, if any, would probably be to even out the discrepancies there are now and make for a smoother graph in the updated version, with less weaknesses to exploit.

If we took this trend to infinity, and if all the fimfic authors paid attention to what I was saying here, you'd eventually get to a state where the number of new stories posted is always perfectly correlated with the number of users online, and then no posting time would be better than any other; there would no longer be any advantage to be had by timing your submission of a story.

4439127

If we took this trend to infinity, and if all the fimfic authors paid attention to what I was saying here, you'd eventually get to a state where the number of new stories posted is always perfectly correlated with the number of users online, and then no posting time would be better than any other; there would no longer be any advantage to be had by timing your submission of a story.

Truly a horrifying thought. How can I game the system if there is no system to game?!

-Lumino

Luminary
Group Contributor

4438323
I'm just going to quietly sticky this for a while.

Your dedication to SCIENCE(!!!) is inspiring. :raritystarry:

4438323

I can't wait until a year from now when Friday nights become the best time to post because everyone glutted up the "peak periods", leaving all the other days and times free and starved for content. :trollestia:

4439376
It's the only true path to knowledge. ^.^

4439626
Aaand that's why I'm doing a followup study, to see how (and if) the numbers change now that this data is public.
(It's also why I haven't released it before now -- I didn't want people's reaction to it potentially skewing the data until I had a good, solid data set to work with.)

Luminary
Group Contributor

4439696

to see how (and if) the numbers change now that this data is public

Depends on if enough people see. If so, you might get a bit more even as people aim for the times to either side of the story-saturated bit.

4438323
The irony here would be if, after viewing these statistics, the site's authors change their 'strategies' so as to align with them to the point where all the best times to post a story quickly become the worst times.

Either way, that was quite an interesting analysis. Nicely done. :twilightsmile:

4438992
4439049 I'm just saying that I've had multiple successes by posting on weekends while weekdays have been failures. Until my own experiences are proved wrong, I'm going to go with what's actually worked for me.

4439996
Sure, go with what works for you.
I suspect it's just coincidence, or something to do with the stories themselves.

Then again, it's possible that different types of stories are better for different times. Perhaps not all demographics follow the same trends.

4439996
*Looks at your latest stories*
You've got two big hits that were posted on Saturdays... and two big hits that were posted on a Monday and a Sunday, respectively. The next biggest one was also Sunday.

At best, I'd say that means the particular day of the week doesn't make much difference for you; you seem to have an equal rate of success on both good days and bad days for posting.
*shrug*
All this timing business is -- after all -- only a slight advantage. I wouldn't expect to see it having much effect with such a small sample size. There are other factors that are far more important to determining if a story becomes popular or not. Timing won't make a bad story popular... at best, it might only help a marginal story squeak by when it might otherwise have failed.

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