This is the header and details from a blog post I was reading today (October 4th, 2013). I created a screen capture of the title and details of the post, below you can see a partial image which was included with the post.
So… can you find something important missing from this post?
Read and look carefully.
Did you notice the information in the headline about an asteroid hitting the Earth in 24 hours? Well, the first thing I wanted to know is when that 24 hours will be up. I read the post. Well, I skimmed it. I didn’t find a mention of a date for the asteroid to hit the Earth. My first thought is to check the date on the post itself. After all, the post would have been written when we still had 24 hours to pack or hide, or something. Right?
Well, there’s the problem… this post has no date. It is an undated entry in the blog. This site does not date it’s blog posts.
I think this is a big mistake. Not just for the obvious reason above. But, I like to know if I’m reading an active blog. I like to see how often they post or how fresh the posts are. I also like to know how dated the information is. For instance, if you post a collection of links for WordPress plugins, I want to know that the list is fresh and the links still relevant. I also want to know if this post has been updated with new information. (Have you ever added an update to a post? You could leave a note for your readers, tell them it’s an addendum. There’s a fancy word for you).
Anyway, I’ve written about the importance of using dates with blog post before so I won’t rehash the whole idea. However, next time you type in something about 24 hours, make sure you give your reader the full timeline, and the due date.