Simple statistics about usage of Right to Know (.org.au)

Right to Know is an Australian website designed to help people make requests under Freedom of Information, or Right to Information, legislation. Until I created a few scripts to look at some simple statistical data about the usage of Right to Know, I had thought of myself as being an infrequent user. I might be, but not when compared with the majority of Right to Know users. The top users (those with 20 or more requests) are shown below, together with the actual number of requests that have been made through Right to Know:

It’s worth mentioning that some of those very heavy users have made use of the facility offered by Right to Know to make the same request to many different government departments. It’s a great feature that saves on typing.

In addition to my interest in the number of requests being lodged though Right to Know, I was also curious about the people who made comments. Right to Know is not exactly what I think of when someone mentions social media, but people often add comments to their requests to explain why they might have been prompted to make the request in the first place. Most users comment exclusively on their own pages. The top commentators, however, are frequently giving assistance to others. Top commentators (more than 20 comments) are:

In addition to the scripts to download the request-pages from Right to Know and process them to get the statistics I’ve mentioned here, there is also a small R script to provide the backbone for more interesting analyses. As an example, the graph below shows what hour of the day you’re most likely to find me using Right to Know!

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