Thursday, May 15, 2014

Random Email Thread Analysis

So i decided to do a quick analysis on a random email thread. Here are the results. The original email was received at 11:09AM by Jon. Jon was asking if our group wanted to meet the weekend of Memorial day. An semi-important question effecting about 15 families.

I decided to add an arbitrary Value Index Metric to each email in the thread. I included the notes used to determine the Value Index for each email. A total of 22 emails were analyzed.


  • Value was holding pretty steady until the 5th item in the thread. This is when I decided to keep the thread fire burning by saying something completely useless. 
  • The thread would have died at message 4 had it not been for the thread fire starter mentioned above.
  • Jon added the most value to the conversation. His first 2 messages were high scoring. His final message brought his Average Value/Message down 2 points.
  • Chris, Judy, Jennifer and Marianne had the biggest bang for the buck by scoring an Average Value of 7 on a single message.
  • Weather was a common topic as well as future family plans
  • Marianne provided a sudden surge of Thread value with a message containing several pertinent details of information about future family plans, current California Wildfire Situation, and a data breach of a stranger's license plate number
  • Stephen's late message to the thread suggested activities that were potentially illegal and dangerous to another family's well being. These suggested activities were fun ideas involving speeding around in a rented red Corvette.
  • The thread last 4 hours and 13 minutes
  • Average Thread Value for the entire thread was 4.81
  • Average time between messages was 14 minutes 06 seconds.
  • The shortest time between messages was < 1 minute 
  • Research shows that, on average, people spend 15-20 seconds reading an email. If you take the high side of 20 seconds and assume that all recipients of the email read all the emails in the thread,  you would have 3.422 hours of read time spent on the thread. That is about 9.33 minutes per message sent!!
  • This is a really rough ballpark. The 2011 median income for the United States was $50,054/year. Since the thread was in normal business hours we will assume a median working income of $25.03/hour income. There were 28 people in the thread which would equal $700.84 of median income per hour for the group. Multiply that by the calculated total hours of email read time of 3.4222 and you get a very rough $2,398.27. Now I understand that people make more and less than that and not everyone in the the thread works but my guess is that this value is actually a low end estimated cost compared to actual cost of the thread.
  • Divide that by 22 (total messages) and you get $109.01 / per message sent.

Total Value Added

  • Again Jon wins the total value added award.  He started strong with an on topic thread and an on topic response and took the lead for good with a final message requesting a picture of a Corvette. 
  • Chris, Judy, Jennifer and Marianne tied for best per message value with 7.00. 
  • Joe added very little value to the thread but was responsible for the continuation of the thread. If the thread would have died he would have scored a 0 on Value.

You can see how quickly the thread cratered in value with Joe's Message. The chart also shows the late surge in value provided by Marianne.


Post a Comment