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What is the average comments length on Stack Overflow?

I'm working on my Thesis about Short Message Topic Detection (on Twitter, to be more specific) and I would like to know that for research purposes.

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5  
data.stackexchange.com –  Bart Feb 14 '13 at 8:49

4 Answers 4

up vote 13 down vote accepted

146 characters.

To get the precise value, one should use floating-point arithmetic. The query is:

SELECT AVG(CAST(LEN(Text) AS FLOAT)) FROM Comments

This gives 145.98293005330171, or very close to 146. Beware of integer division when your result is not an integer!

Interesting features in the graph of the distribution include:

  • Very few comments less than 15 chars (the UI now prevents such short comments)
  • An upturn for the longest comments, at or just below the 600-char maximum
  • A smaller upturn around 300 (I assume there used to be a 300-char limit, now removed)
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good touch making the 6 in 146 bold.. :) –  Krishnabhadra Feb 14 '13 at 9:15
    
That's exactly the very same query I ran when @Bart pointed me to data.stackexchange.com ;-) –  Oscar Mederos Feb 14 '13 at 9:22

As of now, 145.

The distribution is probably more useful, though.

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See also the graph of the distribution: data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/97683#graph –  Mechanical snail Feb 14 '13 at 9:18

Here it is

SELECT SUM(CAST(LEN(Text) as bigint))/COUNT(*) FROM Comments;
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