September 23, 2009

Google Reader Trends

Soon after I got to China, I consolidated the many websites I read into a single one: Google Reader. It aggregates RSS feeds from my favorite web sites all in one spot. I check GR pretty much daily and use it to catch up on the things I find interesting. Having one central location to check the most important news to me is very, very convenient. It means I don't have to type in lots of URLs or click tons of bookmarks in order to keep up to date on my favorite web sites. And because GR exists on's servers and not on my desktop, I don't have to worry about having a laptop with me when I travel.

Google Reader keeps track of what I read and when, so I thought I'd post some of that information here for shits and giggles.

This is what greets me on the main screen. I get RSS feeds from ("subscribe to") 27 web sites/blogs/whatever. Now, this changes all the time as I add and remove feeds based on what I find myself reading the most of. In fact I removed 5 feeds and added 2 feeds just this morning. But you can see that I read an average of 36 posts/articles a day. Keep in mind that I rarely check any other news sites -- or web sites in general -- so this is the equivalent of my daily paper-reading. The only other news source I listen to frequently is NPR in the morning. And whatever I happen to overhear from friends :-)

Also keep in mind that the length of these posts varies from blog to blog. Daring Fireball's posts are very short; usually a paragraph at most. However Joe Posnanski often writes long-winded, rambling posts about baseball -- several pages on average.

It also seems that for each subscription, I read on average about 40 posts in any given 30 days. Within those 30 days, on which day did I read the most items?

In the past 30 days, I read the most items on August 30th. The total for that date (which you can actually see in Google Reader) is 100 items. 8/30 was a Sunday; looking back through my calendar I didn't have anything planned for the day. So, no surprises there :-)

The next-highest total was on 8/25, which was a Tuesday. I read 75 items that day. And the third-highest total in the past 30 days was when I read 66 items on 9/19, or this past Saturday. That's a little confusing to me because I had a lot of stuff going on this past Saturday! I guess most of it might have come from early in the morning, when I got home late from a party on Friday night but wasn't that tired. Interesting.

Now in any given day, when am I most likely to be reading stuff on Google Reader?

The answer is between 8 PM and 9 PM -- that's when I read the most. In the past 30 days I read 154 items around 8 PM, 198 items around 9 PM, and 140 items around 10 PM. I'm not positive how they quantize their times; I'd bet that anything between 8 and 8:30 gets counted at 8 PM, while anything between 8:30 and 9 gets counted as 9. Just a guess though. And you can see I hardly ever read during the day at work unless it's between 12:30 and 1 PM ;-)

What about that last tab -- Day of the week?

Seems I read the most on the weekends -- no surprise there. On the weekends I often wake up and have a few cups of coffee while catching up on RSS feeds I've missed during the week. What's interesting is that I read the least on Fridays -- perhaps proof that I actually have a social life, since we can see above I don't read in the morning and only occasionally during the day :-) Wednesday nights I understand too -- many Wednesday nights I'm at BD Riley's playing trivia with some friends. That runs from 8 - 10 PM, which as we've seen above is prime Google Reader-reading hours for me :-)

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this peek into my reading habits :-)

No comments: