It seemed, at least to me, that the Stack Overflow podcast is being published less often than it used to be. With minor exceptions, the podcast used to come out every Wednesday like clockwork. Though I couldn't put my finger on precisely when it stopped, I knew that, at least for the past few months, the podcast was being delayed more than usual.

I decided to look at the hard data and compiled a spreadsheet of the dates on which every podcast was published. The following is a graph that indicates how many days elapsed between one podcast and the next:

alt text

The graph clearly shows a recent lack of regularity in the podcast's publishing frequency. There have not been two consecutive weeks where the podcast was published 7 days after the previous since August 12. The average number of days between podcasts before August 12 is around 7.5 days. Discarding the 21-day outlier, there is still a measurable increase in the average after August 12 to about 9.3 days between podcasts.

What does this mean? Well, I, for one, would like to see a return to a more regular schedule. I miss being able to count on the podcast arriving on a specific day. If necessary, I wouldn't mind seeing a few changes to accomplish this goal, like continuing to have the show with a member of the Stack Overflow community if either Jeff or Joel is unable to participate. Thoughts?

Other points of data:

  • shortest interval: 5 days between podcasts 27-28 (oct 31 08 - nov 5 08)
  • longest interval: 21 days between podcasts 65-66 (aug 12 09 - sep 2 09)
  • longest 7-day streak: 6 consecutive weeks, tie between podcasts 2-8 (apr 22 08 - jun 3 08) and podcasts 20-26 (sep 3 08 - oct 15 08)

data available on Google Docs

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    This is some great work! I have to agree I would also like to see the podcast return to a more predictable schedule. It is one of the best podcast I listen to! – Lukasz Jan 3 '10 at 5:32
  • What did you use to make the graph? – GManNickG Jan 3 '10 at 8:25
  • it has been december, the holiday season in traditionally judeo-christian cultures (such as the united states). it'll probably pick back up in the new year. – Kip Jan 3 '10 at 13:39
  • @GMan: I originally used iWork Numbers to make the graph, but I decided to switch to Google Docs to share the data – Kyle Cronin Jan 3 '10 at 22:52
  • @Kyle, this absolutely needs to be updated once the podcast returns (as was promised in the blog). – Pops Apr 19 '11 at 19:47
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    @Popular spreadsheets.google.com/… – Kyle Cronin Apr 24 '11 at 9:21
  • @Kyle, awesome. Thanks! – Pops Apr 25 '11 at 2:36

Obviously, Stack Overflow DevDays and the holiday season (Thanksgiving onward) have a pretty big impact on the schedule.

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    That's understandable. So now that the holiday season is over, we can expect a return to a regular schedule? – Kyle Cronin Jan 3 '10 at 22:55

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