Thursday, September 11, 2008

Poor Dating on Websites

I knew this was bound to happen. United Airlines stock dived the other day, because people don't know how to read web pages properly.

It's not entirely a reader's fault -- I have long noticed that when I search for and find various archived articles all over the web, the web page I'm reading rarely spells out exactly when the article was originally written or published. Even worse, a lot of sites have a stupid bit of Javascript on them somewhere that always says today's date. I don't need a newspaper's website to tell me what today's date is -- it's not a calendar. It needs to tell me what date the article I'm reading, the page I'm looking at, was originally authored.

When I right click on a page and look up the page's info, sometimes it gives me more information, including the original date of publication. Often, it does not. So many websites are database driven, and things like template or sidebar changes make a page count as "updated" today, even though the article is from 2002.

Shame on any newspaper, other periodical, or article-driven website that does not make it clear and easy to determine on what day (and in what year) an article was originally published.

2 comments:

Kate Harding said...

I'm confused. The article says both that there was no date on it, and that the date was clearly marked.

Having said that, I completely agree with you that online pubs need to make dates a lot more blatant -- if only so people will quit sending me 6-month-old articles and asking me to blog about them like they're news.

Also, damn, the font on this site is small.

assforahat said...

Poor Dating on Websites???

I thought they just went to bars.