James Hedberg

email as a personal history

April 17th, 2012 by

Here is a chart of all the emails I’ve sent in the last 7 years (~5000) plotted according to the time of day [inspired by the true nut of data analysis]. Dark blue means less emails sent at that time, red is more. I can see a period of major inactivity during the night – this must correspond to unconsciousness. There’s a nice dinner vacuum visible around 8-9 pm and a curious decline in outgoing communication in the tail months of 2009. I’m not sure what was going on then. There also might be a small trend towards earlier wake-ups since 2005. I’ll have to wait another few years before trying to interpret that curve though.

sent emails by time


  1. nick
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    very interesting. any explanation for the various periods of extreme high activity?

    • james
      Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      if it’s around 5:30 pm in the summer months, it might have been some desperate pleas to females trying to get the minimum 3 girls for our often male heavy physics softball team. I guess the next iteration might include some keyword searches.

  2. Wes
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    February 2010, tough month

  3. AJV
    Posted May 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    can you make the code public?