• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • Keeping websites up to date

    June 30th, 2013
    blog, tech
    The web is full of stale websites and outdated information. No one intended this, it just happened. When you write up a page on your organization, product, self, or idea you're making a snapshot. But you're also implicitly making a commitment: to keep the information current. People will come across your page, read the present tense words, and take them seriously.

    The simple answer is to never let anything go out of date. This is hard. Someone needs to look over the whole site every so often to make sure nothing's gone wrong, or every piece needs to be in someone's head so they know what needs updating when. Who's going to be that person?

    But do we really need someone to do this? The web is the first medium where publication dates are entirely optional. Books, magazines, journals, newspapers, television, radio: they all had dates, or were simply ephemeral. Now you can update anything at any time, and the next visitor will see the new version with no hint of the old. That same freedom, however, imposes a cost: it makes people think your words are current.

    In cases where you can, I think you actually do better to give up that freedom: put dates on things. Write blog posts when suitable and include "last modified" notes at the bottom of other pages. Let yourself write a snapshot and let the reader know that's what they're getting. This doesn't work for everything, but see if it applies before you set yourself up for maintaining something.

    (Blogging also solves the problem of letting people keep on top of your changes. With a standard site you make small changes everywhere as things need adjusting, but there's no way for someone to follow along. With a blog they can check back for recent posts or use RSS. [1])


    [1] Today is the end of Google Reader. It is a sad day, but we must carry on. I'm now on the gReader android app, backed by Feedly Cloud.

    Comment via: google plus, facebook

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    Moral aesthetics

    “Doing good” differs by subculture The post Moral aesthetics appeared first on Otherwise.

    via Otherwise September 29, 2022

    Futurist prediction methods and accuracy

    I've been reading a lot of predictions from people who are looking to understand what problems humanity will face 10-50 years out (and sometimes longer) in order to work in areas that will be instrumental for the future and wondering how accurate thes…

    via Posts on September 12, 2022

    On the Beach

    I really like going in the water and this beach is a great place for building sand castles and boogie boarding. I also like trying to float on top of big waves. I'm not very good at it. I only float on the flat waves.

    via Anna Wise's Blog Posts July 12, 2022

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact