On Dating Posts

I’ve got a pair of confessions to make.

First, I have a model that I built and finished last December, right after finishing the Real Grade Nu Gundam. But I haven’t taken photos of it, so it’s been sitting there, waiting for me to write about it for almost a year.

Second, I have another build that I started in May, and have been working on on-and-off since then. It’s almost finished (just have to wrap up the weapons).

So here’s my dilemma - how do I date the posts for these builds? I have three clear options:

  • Post them all “now”, with current dates
  • Backdate them all to when I began the build
  • Date them based on when I actually did the work, ie backdate all the build posts for the first model to December, and then date the photoshoot posts in the present.

The first two approaches are different kinds of revisionism. In this particular circumstance, revisionism has one main advantage. I like when build posts all line up consecutively. If someone were to read the blog - a big ‘if’, I know - I don’t want them frantically searching to find the next part of the “story”, so to speak. Having them all line up avoids the issue entirely.

That being said, if I had to choose between the two, I’d choose Option #1. If you post a bunch of backdated content with no warning, no one’s going to find it. Better to post it as fresh new material that a hypothetical reader will discover.

So that leads us to a choice between Option #1 and #3. We’ve already established that #1 is convenient, but we also pointed out that it is a case of revisionism - and of course, revisionism itself has inherent downsides.

You see, I already use the blog as a partial timeline of my adult life. I can and do look back to see exactly when I built certain models. Scrolling through these (and neighboring) posts provides all sorts of clues to what was going on at the time. Did I build multiple models in a month? I was probably in a bad place mentally. Did a build stretch out over multiple months, or did a month go by where I didn’t do much at all? I was probably busy with things.

But that’s usually not enough. I want to recall specifics, so I put on my thinking cap and try to remember exactly what was going on then. Usually it works, and suddenly all sorts of memories that would normally slip my mind are back once again.

It’s a great way of tracking the passage of time. It doesn’t exactly stop life from feeling like it moves too fast (I still can’t believe, for example, that I built the Real Grade Wing Gundam a year ago!), but it does help remind me that those months and years were, in fact, filled with stuff. I did things with that time, even if all I did was just “survive”.

But the site can’t serve that purpose for me if it doesn’t reflect when I actually did things, versus when I simply posted about it. For this reason, I’m not sure that revisionism on this scale is a good idea.

In general, this is not, nor will be, much of a problem. Most of my builds (and build posts) are created in order, within a window of 1-3 weeks, which means they’re naturally consecutive. It’s only the rare circumstance where they should get spread out. But when it does happen, I think I’ll take the following approach:

  • Publish the posts as close as possible to their relevant date. If I built a handful (or a lot!) of sections of a model in a given week, those will all be lumped into one or more posts backdated to that week. If this causes the posts to be spread out across months - with other posts in between them - so be it.
  • Publish them all at once
  • Write up a new post that contains a notice and links to all the backdated stuff, so you readers can more easily find it all
    • Possibly go to the backdated posts and add some sort of notice about how the build is scattered, with links to the other content so you can immediately jump to it

This will involve more work on my part, but since it shouldn’t happen often, it ultimately shouldn’t be a lot of effort in the aggregate. But when it does happen, it’ll be worth it, as it will give me the best of both worlds.