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Yev from Backblaze here -> it's an internal debate as to whether we should put dates on everything. It used to be that they were part of the URL (because of the way our blog was designed) but that is no longer the case. We decided to leave them off for a while to see if that made posts more "evergreen", but we definitely see where it can lead to some confusion. We'll keep chatting about it internally, there's likely a good middle-ground.

As a general rule, I get really annoyed when I come across a web page and I can't tell how old it is, especially if it is information that is likely to age rapidly. I don't care if putting a date on the page makes it less "evergreen", hurts someones SEO stats or makes the flowers wilt, I just want to know if I can trust what I'm reading.

>> "makes it less "evergreen""

The evergreen no date thing is fine with me - provided the content itself is actually evergreen. That's the bit people seem to forget. Not dating content doesn't magically make it last forever. If the information is unlikely to expire then I don't need a date. If there is a chance that the information will go out of date, especially if the dated information will not be useful to the reader, then it should be dated.

In five years will the failure rate of 3-4tb drives that are harvested from external enclosures matter?

I have no idea why this is downvoted at all, let alone downvoted so heavily. It's correct. The content will be out of date in five years, so it's not evergreen and should be dated.

A thousand up-votes for you. Date of information is one of the most important contexts in IT. I can't count the times somebody has said "This says this and that about such and such", and I have to say "Yeah bro, when was that written? Oh, three years ago? What's the story now?".

Agreed. FWIW I basically don't read articles where I can't find the date, unless it's clearly something that doesn't need one (which is rare). Especially anything technology related, truth turns to myth in no time at all.

Yes, dates are really important.

If anybody thinks, readers will skip their article, if the date is too easy to find, why don't you sign the article with the authors name and then let the author decide, if a date has to be added. Like "joe - Nov. 1, 2014" or just "joe".

This article certainly needs a date.

When I'm reading articles about tech, I almost always skip the ones without a date, unless they're the last or only source of knowledge on the topic I'm looking for.

An article without a date is about as trustworthy as a scribble on a bathroom stall.

I agree. I actually submitted a bug report to DuckDuckGo based on this. Perhaps a slight abuse of the reporting system, but I feel one of the primary reasons I end up typing !google at the end of my searches is that I don't see dates on searches by default in ddg.

This. No debate necessary, just add the dates.

My goodness! This comment upped my karma points by about 50%! I guess I hit a nerve... Thanks for all the up votes.

Well you inspired change as well ;-)

BREAKING NEWS -> There are now dates on all of the individual blog posts. The landing page is "date-free" but is in chronological order, if you open a post, the date will be below the title...AS NATURE INTENDED!

That's amazing - I'm reading the post right now (as in, 11:28 AM pacific)- and I switched back to the tab, and it doesn't show the date. But I opened it less than 10 minutes ago. They couldn't have changed it that real time could they.

Hit Refresh. Lo and behold - there is the date.

Now that's an agile organization. Thanks very much - I really appreciate the date on these posts as well.

Our pleasure :)

That's WordPress for you ;)

It certainly helped :)

Backblaze is an excellent service and your blog posts are a favour to the world. Thanks for being awesome. Also, thanks for adding dates to your blog posts :)

Evergreen, now there's a euphemism. :-)

I appreciate, in the end you have to do what gets you the most views, however, from my perspective missing out the date means you prefer to waste my time as I have to scan the article until I get a feel for how old it is.

I would read anything written within 6 months and would consider up to 12 months if the information was high quality. It's not like we're overburdened with quality, independent, information.

If your going to be business minded, why not have the date on for the first few months and remove it when the first flush of green has gone. ;-)

>Evergreen, now there's a euphemism. :-)

It's not a euphemism. It's a standard term in web content for articles that are not time-sensitive. An article on how Quicksort works is an evergreen article. One on predictions for tomorrow's stock market moves is not.

Note to the point, it shows that Backblaze cares more about content marketing SEO than HDD reliability.

Yev from Backblaze here -> We've actually done a lot of experimenting and content/SEO marketing has helped us grow and expand quite a bit over the last year. As for the HDD reliability...our software works around HDD failures, so they don't affect is too much, but we do like reporting what we've seen in our environment. Hopefully other companies will do it too.

It'd be better if they put the date on, but I don't see Amazon or Facebook or Google sharing their reliability data. As long as backblaze is more open than the industry standard, I think that's as a good thing regardless of their motives.

They aren't "evergreen" by nature though, right? Many of the models you list will probably be gone in a handful of years, and the reliability numbers on different companies and different disk sizes could have done a complete 180. Why, just contrast the great numbers out of Hitachi with the Hitachi DeathStar of old...

I'm not sure if it's been edited, but the current post seems fine to me. It doesn't have a date on the post per se, but it's very clear up front when the data is from: the table is labeled "Failure Rates Through December 31, 2014" in bold in the table header, which leaves little room for confusion.

We haven't edited the current post! It does state that a year ago we published the first set, but that assumes you read last-year's post :)

Update -> We have NOW edited the posts, so they all have times :)

You definitely should put a date on everything. Without a date, your post loses much of its context: http://www.observationalhazard.com/2014/09/put-date-on-your-...

hey Yev, how about something secure like TLS 1.2 on the blog? RC4 and 3DES are great if you are playing hackme's at defcon to let people break your 'secure' connections on the fly using laptop GPUs, but not on supposedly Secure Cloud Storage company blog.

One minor point since I see a lot of people get this wrong: 3DES is, to the best of anyone's (public) knowledge over the last like 35 years, secure to its intended security level (112 bits, which is basically fine). The only real problem with it is that it's ridiculously slow; there are plenty of faster stream ciphers with higher security levels. 1DES, meanwhile, is weak, but only because a 56-bit security level is useless today.

That said, yes, TLS 1.0, RC4, and SHA1 are all starting to smell, and it's probably time to toss them down the drain.

Why does it matter here? Are you so worried that someone will eavesdrop on your blog reading?

Please put dates on things that are published. It can be important information for readers. Leaving off dates is frustrating and doesn't make the content any fresher in any way.

"... Yev from Backblaze here -> it's an internal debate as to whether we should put dates on everything. ..."

@Yev, writing about specific technology is time-bound and doesn't exactly have the half life of DNA.

Having said that, I appreciate all that Backblaze writes about hardware. It's interesting and easy to read. This takes time and thought, you (at Backblaze) must be doing something right.

Yea, for posts like this it certainly made sense to put dates on them, since the data has a shelf-life, but for other "entrepreneurship-centered" posts we figured it would be best if they seemed "fresh" forever, even if they'd get chronologically moved down on our own site, the search traffic would still have the posts appear "newish". We've since added all the dates on all the posts...as nature intended ;-)

Websites don't go yellow as they get older, and it's really common for data from 10 years ago to seamlessly update so it looks like it was posted yesterday.

If you don't date your articles, they're of casual interest only, because I can't be sure they're current enough to use them as the basis for decisions.

One of my preferred middle-grounds (what I use for my own writing) is to add a "Last updated: <date>" at the bottom or in faded font at the top of my posts. This way the information is there, and useful, but that doesn't mean the post cannot still be relevant today.

This (and I'd argue most tech posts) is not at all evergreen content though.

You could do:

- Show last update date on all posts; - The evergreen posts you just update every 3-6 months to keep them updated and still green; - The not evergreen posts can be considered not useful therefore let them be old.

Perhaps a good middle ground is to add a date to these types of posts - but put the date in a image - so its user readable but most likely skipped by search engines

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