Ok Pet Peeve time. Lately it seems that I have been running across a lot of blogs that don’t date their posts. WordPress, Google Blogger, and apparently any number of blog platforms allow you to switch off date stamping your blog posts.
I am not certain of the value in doing this. I can only guess that the author may intend to post items of lasting value and don’t want the perceived value of the content to be diminished by an older date. The problem with this approach is that the reader may not be aware that he or she is reading outdated material. Ironically, the example I am giving here is from a site call Daily Blog Tips and the blog post is Blogging Mistakes: Final List.
It is a post consisting mostly of links to articles and blog posts where people talk about their blogging mistakes. Unfortunately, the first 4 links were dead and the 5th one triggered my malware alert – so proceed with those at your own risk!
What I am trying to illustrate here is how lacking in value this blog post is now. Closer inspection (looking at the first comments) reveals that it was written in 2007. I’m sure it had plenty of value at the time it was written, but now it is full of broken links and hence greatly diminished in value. This blog would benefit from posting the date stamp on the actual posts. There are dates on the main index page, but often visitors (like me) arrive at blog posts directly.
It is my feeling that unless you always write timeless material, it’s best to date stamp everything you write. Timeless material by the way, would almost never include links to other places. Providing a date stamp on your blog posts shows your readers right away when it was written. That way the reader can decide whether he/she wants to proceed. And then if there is outdated information in the content, the reader might be a bit forgiving.
What are your thoughts on blog date stamps? What are some of the other reasons people like to omit them? Comments are welcome.