Month: July 2010

Conversation Initiation

A friend of mine said that she felt that she started AIM conversations more than other people started them with her. This made me curious about my AIM use at work, and whether I start more than half of my conversations. Fortunately, I keep logs and have useful tools for log analysis. I googled up some sed oneliners and spent a couple of minutes slapping shell scripts together to get this:

ams@temperance:~/.purple/logs$ find ./ -iname *.html | wc -l
ams@temperance:~/.purple/logs$ for file in `find ./ -iname *.html`; do sed -n 2p $file | grep ">AIM_handle|>GChat_handle" ; done | wc -l

The first command line finds all the files in my log file directory that are .html logs and counts the number of them with wc -l. This is how many conversations I have had. Before I ran that command, I deleted all the automated messages from AOL about being logged in in two places, which reduced the count by about 200.

The second command line finds all the files where the second line of the file (after the header) includes either my AOL handle or my GChat handle. That would indicate that the first message of the chat was a message from me, rather than anyone else.

These scripts are not great, as the files may have a second line that isn’t the first sentence of the conversation, but a quick look over the output of ams@temperance:~/.purple/logs$ for file in `find ./ -iname *.html`; do sed -n 2p $file ; done shows no weird second lines.

According to the scripts, then, I start about one fifth of the conversations I have at work. On my home computer, I have 401 log files, and 101 of them are conversations I started, making the ratio closer to one forth. This makes sense, as I am more likely to start talking to people at home than at work.

It would also be interesting to graph which people I start conversations with more, and which ones start conversations with me.

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