If it Ain’t Got a Date, Read it at your Fate



checking for the date image

Dating blog posts is important, on the whole. Undated articles aren't fully qualified, are frequently out-of-date, and for those of us needing up-to-date information they can be misleading.

You're surfing, maybe researching. You need info. And you happen upon some-site.com with, pretty much, the words you need to read. Looks good.

But. Something sparks your headset and, casting your eye away from the headline or top line or so, you recall it's a good idea to check the date.

…Hold on. You do do that, don't you? I mean, you do look at…the date?

You DON'T? Hey, freako! Sorry, caught my reflection. You mean, you don't look for a date? Let's discuss this.

You do? Read something else. (Leave a comment first!)


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Undated? Under-qualified.

Right, so we've established, precisely, nothing! And seeing as I'm having a waffle, do yourself a favour and skip this spiel till the last paragraph where, you never know, maybe I'll have something useful to say. In the meantime, I'm just gonna feign incredulity that anyone could possibly, remotely, read anything remotely approaching an entire article or blog post, without establishing its date.

1066 and [insert timely cliche here]

Dates are important, or useful anyway. We can all spew out, well, probably a few. They not only reference occurrences in a given point in time, for good and bad, but they also add relevance. Or is that the same thing? Anyway, in this post – which ironically is timeless – we're interested mainly in relevance.

An analogy. You're on a train and someone opposite just got off, throwing down a paper. You pick it up and, probably, news items give you an idea as to the timeliness of the rag. If not, you'd glance at the date. Tell me you would!

OK. More pertinent, bear with me… You google a stock price, or whether your bank is still in biz. When you scan the search results, and those resulting web pages you click through, you look at the date. Aha! Now, for sure, you look at the date. Why? Because you want the latest information, hot to trot.

And that's my point. Relevance.

Sometimes I find myself reading some post or other, online, and for the love of Mike, I can't find a date. The info looks good, and maybe even rings true, but I can't find the date. There's no damn date. They left out the date! You know what? Bin it. It's unreliable, they don't deserve the traffic.

…This is a generalisation. I mean, if you're after a recipe for Chicken Tikka Marsala, probably the date falls down the agenda. I can understand that. But if you want information about something remotely technical, like how to compress a video file, shed a virus, size up a new gizmo, or whether by you pressing the ^ key anything useful could ever happen, then you probably want to know the relevance; the relevance, to our cumulative frame of reference. (And that even sounds intelligent.) Ergo, you need a date.

By the way, if you are one of those people that write time-dependant articles that I'm wondering, “Where-the-bloody-hell-is-the-date?”, then I'm sorry, but you're annoying. Feel free to answer that, by the way.

What do you think? What would Julian or Gregory say? Your comments are automatically dated, carbon-dated, time-capsuled, then binned.

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About the Author:

Olly Connelly (yeah, that's me) blogs at guvnr.com, polices WordPress security at wpCop.com and helps noobs build web servers at vpsBible.com, so if you've got sleeping problems you know where to come.

Discussion

  1. the_guv  May 2, 2011

    @Jaylynn .. jolly good 🙂

  2. Jaylynn  April 11, 2011

    Thanks alot – your answer solved all my problems after several days srtgugling

  3. the_guv  February 10, 2009

    @ LinkedUp – LOL, cheers m8.

  4. the_guv  February 5, 2009

    @roo2 – tx. @vicRam well, there’s a date at the bottom of each post, with the year. Ha, maybe this could be clearer. Then again, there’s the full date given for each post summary on the main blog page, and all archives. Hey, it’s date-heavy. Still, maybe could be clearer at the top of posts, will consider that. Damn! Tx to you.

  5. vicRam  February 5, 2009

    hey, guv, where’s your date then…..could be any year. But nioce point

  6. roo2  February 1, 2009

    too true. Well said. Amazing how many articles arent dated. Makes no sense

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