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I have just been thinking about the time it takes me to write a post on here. I found, that I always take a long time writing, and keep searching for sources even after I started writing.
So I just became curious whether there are any statistics (that could be made publicly available) on the average time that is taken to write posts here on worldbuilding. By this I mean the time spend with an open "Ask question" page (for answers this might be more difficult - maybe the time the textbox has content? Or the time the post was open - but only if a question gets postet).

Does anyone do the same thing as me, or do people pre-write their posts externally and simply copy paste them afterwards? Or do they take even longer? Or maybe take much less time because they already have everything in mind - or do not care?

If there are no such statistics, or if they are top secret, thats fine - I'd just love to statisfy the curious child in me.

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    $\begingroup$ I can tell you, I've taken as short as a minute to answer a question up to several hours. $\endgroup$
    – Durakken
    Nov 2 '16 at 0:12
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I do not believe the statistics you're asking about are available. All the server knows is when you clicked "post answer" and when you submitted it; everything that happens in that textbox between those two times is client-side. The server can't tell the difference between spending an hour composing an answer and opening the post, going to lunch, and coming back to dash off something. (If you uploaded images then those timestamps might be available, but you'd have to get them from imgur, not SE. And most posts don't contain images.)

For what a single data point is worth, when answering I tend to do almost what you do. I might do some initial research first (to make sure I have a suitable answer), but I do some of the research/citation-seeking in parallel with composing the answer.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I am aware that such a statistic - if available - does not provide insight into what the person writing a post really does, I am curious anyway. However, at least when it comes to posting a question it should be easy for analytical software like Google Analytics to calculate the time spent on that site - and AFAIK it does it by default. For answers it is more difficult, of course, but still not impossible, as client-side events still can be tracked by sending some AJAX in the background,but I guess that isn't something thats been done (haven't checked). $\endgroup$
    – T3 H40
    Nov 1 '16 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ Gotcha. SE presumably has that raw data in its server logs, analytics data, etc. It's not available in the data that moderators have access to. Whether they've packaged any of this up for their own use and, if so, would be willing to share is something an SE employee will need to answer. (So yes, "support" is the right tag.) $\endgroup$ Nov 1 '16 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ Thats a shame, but I was already expecting this outcome. Looks like my inner child needs to stay unstatisfied - I am going to need some gummy bears :) I will leave this open a few hours longer, for the miraculous case that some employee stumbles upon this, but will accept your answer otherwise, thanks again! $\endgroup$
    – T3 H40
    Nov 1 '16 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ Feel free to leave it pending for a while. SE employees do monitor support requests, but not every day -- it might be some time before somebody comes by, but you might get your answer eventually. (Or not; I really don't know how they'll respond.) $\endgroup$ Nov 1 '16 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ It's not possible as it stands now, but it can be done, though noone would volunteer for an in depth look. For example, you can measure the average typing speed, words typed, and even measure how long it takes to type a word. which isn't to invasive, but then you can also compare the topic, what's be written, and then see if programs and sites are being ran/visited and say that they're being looked at and so while you're not typing and that's open, that's more time spent... And then put it all together to get an estimate, but I wouldn't want that type of software on my PC to do it. $\endgroup$
    – Durakken
    Nov 2 '16 at 21:57

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