Connecticut software developer Jake Luciani has run 10k items on Del.icio.us, Digg, Reddit and Mixx through the API of popularity ranking engine AideRSS to analyze the connection between popularity and timing. He determined the best days and times for a blog post to be submitted to those sites if its author wants it to receive the maximum number of votes, comments and inbound links.

Luciani's conclusion: between 1pm and 3pm PST (after lunch) or between 5pm and 7pm PST (after work) are the best times and Thursday is the best day. The worst time to post? Between 3 and 5 PM PST on the weekends - nobody cares. See the graphs below.

How the Measurement Works

In the graphs below the factor measured is what AideRSS calls a PostRank of 6 or higher. AideRSS looks at all the items in an RSS feed and scores them (relative only to other items in the same feed) in terms of number of comments, number of Diggs, number of times saved to Del.icio.us and number of inbound links from blogs. The highest percentile of posts in a feed have PostRanks closest to 10.

These graphs then measure which times and days see the largest numbers of posts submitted that end up being more popular than other posts in the same feed. So the most wildly popular and discussed items among all popular items at Digg, etc. It's tracking the time that the post is submitted to the news site - not when it was necessarily posted on the blog. It's a touch obtuse and it would be nice to read a little more about the methodology employed - but the PostRank algorithm is relatively transparent and the conclusions are intuitive.

This is just one of many things we've written about using AideRSS for here at RWW. It's a simple and very powerful tool that I at least use every single day.

Note that of course people blog for more reasons than just popularity and popularity cannot be equated with popularity! If you're in a hurry it is one way to look for quality, though. :)

With no further ado, knock yourself out wrapping your mind around these graphs. I almost did; remember that times here are GMT and if you're on the West Coast of the US, I hope you just had a nice lunch and remember to subtract 7 hours from this 24 hour clock to figure out these times for yourself.

Thanks for the creative and valuable work, Jake!

For more RSS fun times, check out the other entries on the AideRSS blog.