Should you date blog posts? It’s a question as old as the Internet. Those who don’t date like to see their writing as evergreen. Without a date, you’ll hear, a post is as new as the day it was written. When someone stumbles on it they have no idea it was penned 4 years ago.
I date my blog posts. In the most traditional way of seeing a blog, my dated entries mark my thinking at that point in time. For me this is important because my ideas change and evolve. What I thought in 2011 is not what I think now. My personal obsessions are different as well. You can scroll back and see what I think about when. It’s like an archeological dig of my thinking and growth.
The decision about whether to date blog posts should center around how you use a website. If you maintain a page for the most current information on a disease state or operation and you update is regularly, that probably doesn’t belong in the stream of a time sequenced blog but rather should stand as a fixed page. It makes sense that it should carry a time stamp at the end so patients or consumers know when it was last updated.
The beauty of WordPress is that it allows you to create pages on a site (or blog) that are not time stamped or part of a traditional blog timeline. That seems like the best solution – static web pages that aren’t in a timeline. And they can be updated as often as you like.
Some of this fits into the thinking around stock and flow. Flow is your feed of ideas and stock is your enduring stuff. Our publishable ideas live on a continuum. Knowing where to park them can be a challenge.
Personally, when I look at a blog post I like to know when it was published, or at least updated. It helps me put the information into some kind of context. In the end, however, the decision to date blog posts is a personal one that depends on the kind of website you maintain.
Modified photo by Curtis MacNewton on Unsplash