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It would be cool to know how many users are currently using stackoverflow, just to get an idea of real-time action.

Another suggestions that comes to mind is to have a searchable list of currently active users. Ok, but before you start ranting about the privacy issues -- I want to recommend to allow a user to control whether he wants his name displayed in the list.

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@Jonathan good find, his feature is close to enough to what I am proposing. I wonder why no one pushed it further! –  Andrei Aug 14 '09 at 20:09
    
I asked that question a month ago - I wish it would have gotten more attention too :) –  Jonathan Sampson Aug 14 '09 at 20:10
    
@Jonathan Sampson not to worry, I am sure, this time around, your idea will be reward and this feature will certainly be considered, and hopefully implemented. –  Andrei Aug 14 '09 at 20:21

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You could actually have different graphs for different activities. For example:

  • # users who have visited any page in the last 30 minutes
  • # users who have posted a comment in the last 30 minutes
  • # users who have posted a question or answer in the last 30 minutes
  • # users who have edited a post in the last 30 minutes

Other rates could be interesting too:

  • # questions posted in the last 30 minutes
  • # answers posted in the last 30 minutes
  • # comments added in the last 30 minutes
  • # upvotes cast in the last 30 minutes
  • # downvotes cast in the last 30 minutes
  • # questions closed in the last 30 minutes

You could really go to town. Once the basic infrastructure is in place, adding a stat like this should be pretty much trivial. Performance hit would probably be tiny too, if you structure it well. (Assume granularity of a minute, or something like that. Even 5 minutes probably wouldn't bee too bad.)

Whether 30 minutes is the right time or not is a different question. We could have graphs for "1 day actives", "1 hour actives", "10 minute actives" etc... for all the above ;)

(You can tell I'm a Googler. We love having oodles of graphs of just about everything you could possibly want to know, and more...)

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+5 Jon, those are GREAT IDEAS...would you edit my post with them? :) –  Andrei Aug 14 '09 at 20:07
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@enigma: I think it's best to leave it in an answer for the moment. Let's see what other people come up with. –  Jon Skeet Aug 14 '09 at 20:23

I like this idea. It would be some fun information, especially for seeing a trend on site usage. I personaly would like to see the key times of the day when people are most active and less active.

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Let's get some more support and I am sure Jeff will have it in his next weekly minutes :)))) –  Andrei Aug 14 '09 at 19:30

I had a uservoice post about this when SF was in beta. My thought (other than just out of morbid interest) was that it would give you a rough idea whether or not people are seeing your question and just passing it by, or if there's just not that many people watching.

Yeah, I know there are view counts for questions....

My idea was to base it off of Last Seen.

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I don't like this "logged in" part because for some of us, we log in and leave the window open all day, whether or not we are active.

If anything you should probably want to say "somebody who did some sort of activity within the past half hour" or something.

Edit: Now that the question is revised, this answer is sort of moot. To make up for that I will just say "Okie dokie"

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To further this point, I've never even logged out. –  Ian Elliott Aug 14 '09 at 19:37
    
I actually meant active users, with say 30 min idle time. I will update the request –  Andrei Aug 14 '09 at 19:40

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