2005.11.10

I’m a big believer (complainer, pain in the ass) when it comes to using dates… I usually prefer to use the standard YYYY-MM-DD notation, but even when I don’t, I always try to include the year. It’s important stuff. I’ve suffered by looking back at things I’ve done or created and seeing things like “Recorded on May 9th and May 15th” without the year and believe me, 10 years later, you may be hard pressed to remember exactly what year those days in May refer to.

On the internet, you really need to put the year with things… I mean, look at this page:

In an e-mail to top executives, dated Oct. 30 and obtained late Tuesday by The Associated Press…

Oct. 30 what year? You will also notice that under the story title you see: Tue Nov 8,11:38 PM ET. Nov 8 what year?

They go on to use phrases like “last week” and “a decade ago” which doesn’t help the matter…

I like this example because for all we know Gates noticed this “sea of change” towards the internet 4 or 5 years ago, when most of us did… Ok, too much credit, chances are he didn’t realized it until 2005. In fact, I’d guess from the URL which contains /20051109/ and the part that says Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press that is it most likely 2005 they are referring to.

Maybe news organizations are used to the old way, where news was news until it wasn’t, but nowadays things stick around and get archived, and it’s too damn easy to search for something, pull up a page, start reading, and unless you can clearly determine the year by having it shown, it’s just too easy to get it wrong…

Old news folks… You could learn something from them bloggers…

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