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Please, what year?

Web discussion forums is often a place to find useful information. Search engine make this valuable archives only one query away from us. However, I am surprised at how many forum software still present their information badly. For example, I found this from some slashdot derived forum:

Posted by xyz on Saturday February 07, @02:02PM

It gives fairly detail posting information down to the minute. The big question is, what year is it? Why is it omitted. This is especially important for discussions on tech issues, which evolves quickly. A recommendation made 3 years ago is often irrelevant to the problem on hand today. Indeed one important Internet literacy skill is to be able to discern the relevancy of information and disregard obsoleted information.

This is not an isolated instance. I write this because I have seen this same problem crop up in multiple and varied places. The only explanation I can give is that the forum owner only focus on the present, such that the year is understood and preferably omitted. But the archive will continue to be a valuable resources 3 years, 5 years or 10 years on. In such case it is ridiculous to omit the year from the entry.

Think into the future, not just the present.

2006.11.25 [] - comments



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