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Beto Dealmeida's avatar

Showing estimated reading times

I added a snippet displaying approximate reading times to my blog

I just created a new assistant[archived] for my blog engine, displaying the estimated reading times on longer articles. You can see an example in my latest post about building a Linux router.

To get the actual time, I used the formula used by Medium, which I found on Quora[archived]:

seconds = num_words / 265 * 60 + image_weight * num_images

It's based on an average reading speed of 265 words per minute (for English), and also takes into consideration images. If the post has only 1 image it adds 12 seconds, and for posts with many images it adds 3 seconds per image. From the Quora article:

With image_weight starting at 12 seconds and decreasing one second with each image until 3 seconds.

For my Linux router post it estimated 6 minutes, which sounds about right to me.

The feature was inspired by James Gallagher's blog[archived] which I discovered recently, but of couse I've seen it before on Medium and other blogs. His article Rethinking the Blog[archived] says it's approximately 7 minutes long, while the Medium algorithm would clock it at 5 minutes (1284 words).

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James Gallagher's avatar
James Gallagher[archived] replied on https://jamesg.blog on 2020-09-10

I think Medium was the inspiration behind my adding that feature, too.