A while ago I wrote a blog post about why you should consider not dating your blog posts which has brought on a firestorm of discussion, and in some cases vitriolic (definition: bitterly scathing, caustic) criticism.
(I suggest that you read that post here before reading this: Why NOT to date your blog posts.)
This reminds me of the apocryphal story. A woman was teaching her daughter how to cook a ham. “The first thing you do,” she said, “is to cut the end off the ham.”
“Why,” asked the daughter, “that seems like perfectly good meat.”
“I don’t know,” mom replied, “that’s what my mother taught me.” They decided to ask later that day when the extended family came over for dinner.
When they asked the girl’s grandmother, she told them she didn’t know either, but that’s what she’d always seen her mother do, so she’d always done it that way too.
Finally, they asked the feisty old great grandmother. “You mean you still cut off part of the ham?” she roared. “That’s ridiculous. The only reason I did that was because the only pan I had that could cook a ham was too small to fit the whole ham.”
Lesson learned – if something doesn’t seem right, question. There may not be a good reason, or the reason may no longer be valid.
That’s what I’m doing here. Questioning.
Yes, there’s a very valid reason to date your posts if you are writing time-sensitive material. If you are, you absolutely should be putting dates on your blog posts. (And, if your content becomes dated, you should fix it or remove it, whether or not you are putting dates on your posts.)
But for most of us, this tradition, this norm, this “rule” is holding us back. Your content probably is not time sensitive, even if you think it is. And I’m inviting you to consider whether tradition is a useful norm for you to follow.
The purists in the world (and there are lots of them on this subject,) accuse me of heresy for even thinking the thought, but that doesn’t mean that it actually isn’t worth thinking. Galileo probably felt the same way…
Think of it this way, there are those who look at a date on a blog post, and use that to determine whether or not they should even read the content. If that piece of content is valuable and timeless, why would you want to give people a reason not to read your content?
Think about it, and let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. And don’t forget to like, tweet and pin this article! Negative opinions are absolutely appreciated! Let’s get to the bottom of this!