Include reading time in the site stats

I believe we should add another metric into the admin dashboard. What I’m specifically thinking is:

The time spent reading forum posts

I know Discourse already tracks reading time so it should be possible to show an aggregate number in the admin panel. It’s easy to understand and communicate. Medium makes a pretty convincing case about why they decided to make this their primary metric.

This would also be great to see per topic. When viewed along view or post count it gives you insights about how engaging the content is. See this blog post from Upworthy.


One tricky issue here is that we do not track reading time for anon and the majority of all traffic sites get is anon.

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I do agree with this; I’ve said for a long time that Reading is Fundamental and that’s why read time (and read flags) are weighted so heavily in user metrics.

We don’t know anon reading time, as Sam mentioned, but we could start showing read time, post read flags, topic enter flags both in aggregate and per user.


What is the reason for not tracking anon read time?

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You generally don’t track anything for anon users because it is very technically challenging (by IP? Not specific enough, need browser fingerprints), it massively increases load, and massively increases your data storage requirements.