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please date your shit
Michael considered fate at 11:29   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
In the last few years I've experimented with a number of different ways to present articles and information on this blog that are from other sources, but I always do a few things:
  • italicize quoted material
  • link to the article
And, like most blogs,
  • date my material
Dated posts in blogs are so standard they're almost part of the idea of the blog itself. So why, pray tell, do so many mainstream publishers refuse to clearly mark their articles and/or material with any sort of publication date?

Case in point, I found a brief blurb on the 2009 Audi A2, a subcompact European car that we will unfortunately never see here in the states, on Motor Trend today. The only dates I could find on the webpage were the copyrights ("© 1996-2007 Source Interlink Media, Inc.") and the URL itself gave no clues other than the fact that it was probably published in 2007:

.. /features/auto_news/2007/112_0707_audi_a2/

If I cared enough, I could perhaps concoct a theory on what "112_0707" means and that, perhaps, the date of the article is encoded in that somehow, but is that my duty as a reader?

I will also say that this phenomenon seems to be more prevalent on the websites of old traditional print-media companies. Like Motor Trend. I can only presume that, in their infinite wisdom, they believe they are pouring the elixir of life down the throats of these dated articles, giving them eternal life. A little Ponce De Leon thinking gets them to a place they feel better about being at: more reusable content to slap web-ads on, drawing us poor internet-using shmucks into a cyclic cycle of repeated redundant information - but, luckily I am sure, with fresh ad content.

And they won't even tell us when it was published.

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