I visit SO at random times (weekdays, weekend, day, night) and often find that I'm sat waiting for new questions to come in. Is there a way I can run some stats to figure out when (day of week, time of day) the more popular questions are typically asked for a given set of tags?

It seems that at all times of all days, there a lots of localized JS questions asked. Most of these are arguably bad questions and don't really catch my interest. I want to know when it's best for me to visit to be involved in the gems that receive a lot of views and interest.

  • 3
    To my feeling, 13:00-17:00 UTC in working days are the busiest. Further I don't think that gems have a specific distribution.
    – user138231
    Dec 28, 2012 at 13:05
  • @Chichiray. That seems about right. Weekends here (UK - more or less UTC) are quite and littered with boring "why isn't my JS working?" style questions. Of course, 13:00-17:00, being in work hours, is not great for me :(. I was hoping to be able to get some figures to be able to compile a chart to demonstrate the best times. Then I'd be able to make more efficient use of SO. The wife would be happier too! Dec 28, 2012 at 13:08
  • 1
    You should be able to generate charts based on data.stackexchange.com. Greg Hegwill has done some before: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/65/stack-overflow-stats-graphs and hewgill.com/~greg/stackoverflow/stack_overflow/stats.html but they are some months old now (it at least confirms my feeling of 13-17 UTC being busiest).
    – user138231
    Dec 28, 2012 at 13:13
  • 1
    Related: When is the best time to ask questions?
    – user50049
    Dec 28, 2012 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


So I've knocked up this query on data explorer (which seems to be up to date now :)). The query returns average answer score for answers with score of greater than 10 for each hour of the week for questions asked in the last 12 months.

Here's a graph I generated from the results: enter image description here

I appreciate that's quite difficult to see but what is quite obvious is that there are five high zones (circled). The first three zones are Monday-Wednesday early hours (UTC) 02:00-12:00. The last two are Thursday-Friday in the middle hours 08:00-18:00. There's an apparent anomaly in the middle. This value is 67.55 for Wednesday 13:00 - 13:59. Just as a guess, there's probably a particular answer with a score of several thousands. I've haven't looked into this.

I can conclude from this that the best time to be SOing is during work hours. My boss will be so pleased!

  • Just looking again at the spike in the middle and it occurred to me, that must be Jon Skeet! :) Dec 28, 2012 at 16:06

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