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Over in DIY, we have a regular chat event that happens weekly, where ostensibly we talk about projects that participants are working on. (Lots and lots of pictures!) The conversation usually meanders into salivating over tools, talking about our favorite "helpers" (children or dogs, depending), debating materials, or clueing me, a DIY n00b, into what they're talking about. They've also discussed the blog a few times, meaning we've had non-DIY-ers in our chat occasionally.

It's been a real net benefit for the community, in my opinion. We've seen a non-dead DIY chat gradually come together over the course of the month. Top users -- and new users! -- swing by to say hi all throughout the week. Mind, I'm usually camped out in there all day playing greeter. But it's something and we're counting it a win over in that community.

My question is this: should we have something similar? Mondays seem to be our most trafficked day, with our traffic falling off until the next Monday. I don't have hourly data on our traffic, sadly, but @Torben suggested that we have the time move throughout the day over the course of several weeks to accommodate our varied userbase. According to the analytics, 75% of our users are, in order, located in the US, UK, or Canada.

So, the full gamut of questions:

  • Should we have a regular, weekly chat event? On what topic?
  • If so, when should we have it? (That is, which day, at what time, etc.)
  • Should the time rotate?
  • What would we title the chat event? (Suggested: Weekly Playdate, Scrapbook Xday, something about Photo Albums...)
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Specific suggestion: a weekly session on current topics

We could have a recurring one-hour sessions on every first and third Thursday at 14 GMT = 9 EST, and every second and fourth Friday at 19 GMT = 14 EST. (No event on a fifth day in a month).

The topic would not be the same every time, but rotates according to current events (e.g. school).


  • I think we should give this a try.
  • Let's do it on the most active day of the week. If you say it's Monday, fine! See update below.
  • Let's have the session take turns to start in the morning/at noon/in the evening/late night. The idea would be that people from different time zones and other time-bound obligations all get a chance to visit.
  • Title = Parental Sanity Check :-)

Based on the chat room's public info, it would seem that the end of the week is more active? At least there's a steady rise from Monday to Friday, then pretty quiet in the weekend. Also, it seems that the hours of 12:00 GMT to 20:00 GMT are most active -- but you'll probably get very different results if you disregard the three most active chatters, which would be prudent in this case.
http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/info/388/parenting
Notes:
- Hours in screenshot represent UTC.
- Vertical axis shows message count, not user count.
- Perhaps we should ask SE staff if they can provide more precise info on user count.

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