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December 01, 2008

Blogosphere on Holiday: Thanksgiving Drops Posting by Half

Web site traffic and activity follows a fairly regular flow. Any administrator or stat junkie can tell you that the vast majority of sites see much more activity on the weekday than the weekend, and businesses tend to see Sunday traffic higher than that of Saturday, as people start to gear up for the coming workweek. Times of holiday, whether worldwide or just in the United States, also impact the activity, reducing traffic, and seeing a slowdown across the board when it comes to publishing. This year, Google Reader hints the slowdown is as much as fifty percent.

As I've mentioned a number of times previously on the site, Google Reader is my go-to RSS reader. It tracks the 400 feeds I view, when they publish, and how quickly I get to the new items. You can even look at the last 30 days and see just how many items were read versus the number posted.


My last 30 days, according to Google Reader

According to those stats, in a typical seven-day week, I take in about 4,800 new items, ranging from about 700 to more than 900 individual items from Monday through Friday, and between 200 and 300 on the weekend.

In the preceding three Thursday and Friday combinations, Google Reader offered approximately 1,600 items in each two-day set. But in this most recent week, with Thanksgiving coming on Thursday, that number plummeted to under 700 total items, a drop of greater than fifty percent. In fact, you could start to see a slowdown as the week progressed, with Tuesday showing fewer items than Monday, Wednesday fewer than Tuesday, and so on.

In fact, the decrease in posting on the two-day Thanksgiving holiday was so low, it barely eclipsed a standard weekend, eking above that number by about 10 percent, despite the fact the holiday is so US-centric, and we assume that the Web is worldwide. So if you were feeling a bit sluggish after the Thursday feast, and couldn't get out of the tryptophan haze to put a post up, you weren't alone.

And this trend is not new. You can also see a similar note I posted back in May of 2007: Blogosphere On Holiday Drops RSS Feeds by 40%