7am = 2pm but is it summer time?

Miraz Jordan hits a sore spot with her posting What time was that? She makes excellent sense speaking up for us, the international web audience, when she says:

I hate it when websites use ambiguous, vague or 'local' terms for dates and times. 10am to 12pm PDT means absolutely nothing to me. I don't know what PDT is. I guess it probably means Pacific Daylight Time, but what the heck does that mean? Googling ensues.

I've got the same anxiety right now: will I phone in to that conference call on time? Better phone the receptionist in advance? Can I trust the trusty web site World Time Server know whether it's summer time in Washington tomorrow (which is already today in Wellington)?

The safe way to go is to stick with absolute, specific terms of time, date and place. Not next month but October 2007. Not First Quarter but April-June 07 (or the appropriate dates for your situation). Not in our city but in Cairo.

Blogs can be excused for breaking the date rule because the date is a prominent feature of every entry. (Lucky!) But absolute time and dates are crucial on regular web and intranet content, which sits there year after year promising a meeting of the Kindergarten Banjo Club next Tuesday, or the imminent appointment of a new HR officer.

Have you struck other problems? Or do you think I'm too hardline on this issue?Miraz Jordan's TiKouka blog



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