Dateless Idiocy from Squidoo

by on June 6, 2009

This has been a pet peeve of mine for a long, long time: if you’re going to put information about something on the web, PUT A DATE ON IT. It’s not hard – it can be automated, fun even. As it is, I have to ignore stuff like this because I don’t know if it was posted yesterday, last year, or 10 years ago. What was the author thinking? For all I know, the article is completely irrelevant.


Somebody is now going to point out that there is in fact a date on the page and I just didn’t notice it. Or they’ll say you can query the HTTP server for the last modified date or something. Not that I would be remotely bothered. Dates on information are of crucial importance. Not giving them the prominence they deserve is crass stupidity.


Footnote: Shortly after I wrote this, I emailed an academic at a university in New Zealand to ask him to put a date on the links to his papers that he publishes on his web page. He replied suggesting that I could query the HTTP server headers for last modified dates! I assume he hadn’t read my post – but boy did that make me chuckle.

Footnote on the footnote: I also mailed Aza Raskin a while ago asking why he thinks it’s acceptable to leave date stamps off his blog posts (and comments). He replied saying that he thought it gave them a certain “timeless quality”. My respect for his judgement took a serious knock at that point. He better do good with his Massive Heath project is all I can say.

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