Recently WeblogToolsCollection came out with a post asking whether you should hide dates on your blog posts or not. Not only a poll but it also had a complete guide on how to remove post dates from your blog completely. Not only they mentioned on how to remove dates from posts but from comments as well. Atleast don’t hide dates from comments. It makes tracking of conversations so difficult. The argument to remove dates in that post is that users discriminate against the old articles and don’t give them much value. I wanted to comment at that post but then I preferred making a separate post and giving my views and opinions here. Anyways if you check the comments section of that post, you will find almost all commentators are against the idea of hiding dates.
I am also against the idea of hiding dates on blog posts. Hiding dates means you are treating your readers as fools. Whether your articles are timeless or not, date should be posted. Trust your loyal readers because they are intelligent enough to figure out whether the article deserves a thorough read or not even if it was posted 2 years ago. Regarding the argument of discrimination, it also boils down to the blog author on how well his blog is laid out and how well readers can reach even to the older posts. Blog author should highlight his best posts and even if they are 2 or more than 2 years old readers will value them if they are of real value even today.
Yes there are some type of posts where dates can be done away with like on movie reviews blog or receipes blog but still I would prefer the dates on them. For example on movie reviews blog, I would prefer dates atleast to know when was the review posted, whether on the same day of movie release or few days after release.
Regarding the discrimination point mentioned in WeblogToolsCollection post, it reminds me of A List Apart Blog where articles as old as 2006 are still referred to and read by Web Designers because they still hold value even when the technologies available at that time and now differ a lot. I don’t think discrimination factor comes at all if your readers are intelligent enough. So don’t underestimate your readers and give them what they want. Stop Hiding dates on your blog posts unless and until you are making a complete static based or CMS based site using WordPress or any other Blog Software. And if you are hiding dates, be ready to have full justification for it. If you are doing just to save screen space, bah that’s the worst argument I have heard in favour of removing dates. They hardly take any space.
So, what’s your take? Do you hide dates or not? And if yes then why?