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TitsMcGhee's avatar

Why is there no time stamp on responses to questions on fluther?

Asked by TitsMcGhee (8255points) December 2nd, 2008

I see that you can see when a question was asked, but you can’t see the time or day that the response was posted. Any ideas as to why?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

45 Answers

augustlan's avatar

Touchy subject…read this.

shadling21's avatar

Ohoho! The drama of the time stamp.

shockvalue's avatar

I asked this a while back…

JackAdams really seemed to fly with it, but long story short: Timezones prove to be a problem…

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Oh man, I didn’t realize the can of worms I just opened (hey iain)....

True story on time zones I guess. Still could be useful though; maybe instead of just having “asked two hours ago” also have “answered one hour ago.”

shockvalue's avatar

Ha, that reminds me… I have a, but I made it in California, and now I live in New York. So sometimes when I check my music stats, it tells me that whatever song I’ve just heard will be playing in three hours.
Time is just a human invention anyway. It doesn’t actually exist.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Maybe you’ve just slipped into some strange time-space continuum and you’re actually predicting the future.

That’d be ballin’ as shit.

shockvalue's avatar

In which case, that is ballin’ as shit, and has been ballin’ as shit!

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Well put, my good friend shockvalue, well put.

richardhenry's avatar

I don’t think time zones are a problem at all. Use relative times:

posted 1 hour ago

Ten hours ago:

posted 10 hours ago

Posted yesterday:

posted yesterday

Posted last Monday:

posted 27th of November 2008

Posted in February:

posted 22nd of February 2008

By using relational stamps until it becomes practical to simply post a date, is a reasonable solution. It doesn’t matter if the 22nd of Feb was actually the 23rd for me in my time zone; nobody cares.

If these were right-hand aligned next to the user information, great answer, flag as bars underneath responses, they would blend in nicely and be there if we want to know.

omph's avatar

You can change your settings on

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@richardhenry: I like the way you think :)

shockvalue's avatar

@McGhee: The collective agrees.

andrew's avatar

There are no timestamps on responses because even though RH provides a nice solution (though don’t forget that your dates are backwards to us US people), we don’t like the way it looks.

We’re toying around with a better solution for the problem of “when was this discussion last active?”, but quip timestamps won’t be it.

shockvalue's avatar

Sounds good to me Fluther Gods!

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Agreed. Admittedly, I asked more out of general questioning rather than annoyance… I’m happy enough the way things are, I sk’pose.

richardhenry's avatar

I like the idea of a last active thing. S-M-A-R-T. :)

TitsMcGhee's avatar

True story.

I’m so afraid I’m answering questions that people stopped talking about months ago…

richardhenry's avatar

@Tits: Well, that’s one of the positives of not having time stamps. I quite enjoy people chipping into old discussions, rather than them just dying.

jlm11f's avatar

just kidding

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@RH: oh yeah, no kidding. didn’t think of like that… I just felt a little awkward at first, coming in late like that.

@PnL: sorrrrrrrry…. : / friends, mmhmm?

jlm11f's avatar

@Tits – Sure! As long as you promise to never call me a moderaTURD :)

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@PnL: I’m pretty sure I can agree to that :)

Snoopy's avatar

peace, lurve and happiness.


asmonet's avatar

I absolutely hate the idea of timestamps. I think it discourages activity on older discussions.

If someone has something to say, I’d like to hear it instead of them shying away because no one else has been there and they think the matter is ‘closed’.

windex's avatar

There isn’t?
10:26 AM Tuesday December 2nd, 2008

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Obviously, this is an old subject that’s been batted around before. But some sort of a time stamp is definately needed, IMHO.

gailcalled's avatar

@jb; the correct spelling of definitely has also triggered endless discussions, if you care.

richardhenry's avatar

I definutlie agree.

jlm11f's avatar

No Rich. You mean you defiantly agree! Get it right :P

gailcalled's avatar

Oh, goodie goody, another for the list. I am astonished at just how many permutations and combinations are available. Thank you, RH.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@gail – sorry!

asmonet's avatar

Well, since it’s such a hotly debated subject I would hope the powers that be would also add the ability to turn it off somewhere in your settings so those who would not enjoy it could opt out.

The only suggestion I’ve liked that’s been mentioned on any of these threads is richardhenry’s.

breedmitch's avatar

(deep breaths)

Jeruba's avatar

I innocently asked this recently too. I had no idea it was potentially explosive. Actually what I asked for was a note at the top that just shows date of latest activity so you’d know if it was completely stale. If a question has been inactive for a year, it doesn’t really matter if it was 11:18 a.m. or 9:53 p.m.

But can’t someone’s response spark new activity? If the asker or someone who was following it gets a “new activity” message or someone gets a long-delayed GA, mightn’t they look again? I have often posted GA on answers to old, old questions that I was seeing for the first time. It could be the case that there are several recent responses, but you’d never know it if the original date is ancient.

What I’m curious about is those links to related questions over on the right. Are they based on subject only or are they in any way date related? That’s what leads me to some old ones.

andrew's avatar

@Jeruba: Wouldn’t you be less likely to post on an older question if you saw the last activity?

Jeruba's avatar

@Andrew, no, I don’t think so. I don’t think knowing the age of the last activity would make me less likely to respond. Not knowing makes me less likely to respond. Knowing its currency would just help orient me to the context in which I’m considering posting. Right now I feel like I’m posting blind.

Many older questions probably have relatively recent responses, and I would find that encouraging. I also think that if I post now, I will be encouraging someone else to post if they can see that my comment is new.

I do read through first and try to post only if I have something fresh to add, and sometimes I go ahead even if it looks like nobody’s disturbed the dust in a year, but recent tracks would mean the question isn’t dead.

The chronology of every response isn’t necessary, but just knowing that the latest comment was made three weeks ago rather than 18 months ago would probably get my attention. It means somebody else who’s around right now is interested in the question.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Jeruba, I SO agree with you. Not knowing how old these posts are makes me way less apt to add to the comments. I hope something is done about this situation soon.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

I’m with Andrew. If I know that a question hasn’t been touched in a year, I’m way less likely to answer it.

andrew's avatar

@Jeruba: I think you’re proving my point. If there are no “recent” tracks, you’re less likely to respond—but so is everyone else, so you’re less like to have “recent” tracks, so having a timestamp would dissuade contributions to older questions.

Jeruba's avatar

On the contrary, @Andrew. When you have nothing but the original question date to go on, everything looks old. Worst case, all responses are as old as the question. You have to assume maximum age.

A “last activity” date is not always going to be more recent than the question, but it very well may be. If it is or isn’t, you know where you stand. Worst case is still maximum age, but it may be a lot less, hence encouraging.

I stand by my original assertion: not knowing makes me less likely to respond. (When I say “less likely” and “more likely,” it is relative to some neutral or median degree of likeliness.) Knowing it’s old does not make me less likely to respond. Knowing how old it is makes me more likely to respond, whether the latest activity is recent or not. For me the key isn’t recentness. It’s knowing.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Jeruba, amen. I’m still behind you on this.

Jeruba's avatar

@jbfletcherfan, thanks!

@Andrew, maybe it could be a configurable option: show/hide latest activity date?

andrew's avatar

@jeruba: That’s a great point. I suppose it’s a question of whether you assume there is or is not new activity when you look at an old question.

asmonet's avatar

“Jeruba: I think you’re proving my point. If there are no “recent” tracks, you’re less likely to respond—but so is everyone else, so you’re less like to have “recent” tracks, so having a timestamp would dissuade contributions to older questions.”

@andrew: I completely agree.

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