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After logging into Stack Overflow for the first time in a day, I usually go straight to my Stack Exchange network profile to look for any changes across my 11 accounts.

I've noticed that although I've only visited Stack Overflow, each site displays "last seen today":

If I go into each site individually, (apart from SO which I have visited), they correctly report "Seen: X hours ago", e.g.:

I'm in the UK so my time zone is at most 1 hour different to SO's UTC day.

I'm wondering if this is a bug or if there's some logic/reason behind it (the explanation would be welcome).

share|improve this question
Eh.. there's no "last seen" in the network profile. Do you mean "Last synch" by any chance? – Shadow Wizard Oct 24 '12 at 7:36
@ShaWizDowArd - Underneath each account name (where the icon is), it gives a brief description and then (for my SO), "Joined 1 month ago, last seen today". – SteB Oct 24 '12 at 7:38
Sorry, it's not clear enough in your question. Adding a screenshot is a winner. :) Anyway, I just manually checked and you visited all sites 18 hours ago. 18 hours are still considered one day, so it's correct. The network profile doesn't show hours, just whole days, weeks, months etc. – Shadow Wizard Oct 24 '12 at 7:40
@ShaWizDowArd - I'll find out how to add screenshots (never done it before), if 18h is 1 day, shouldn't it say "last seen yesterday"? – SteB Oct 24 '12 at 7:42
This is a good argument.. if you visit a site at 23:59 then visit the network profile at 00:00 should you already see it as "yesterday"? – Shadow Wizard Oct 24 '12 at 7:45
@ShaWizDowArd - not sure about that, but when it's 10 hours and individual sites display it correctly it's very obvious. – SteB Oct 24 '12 at 7:47
They display it differently (using different format) so maybe "solution" to this can be to make it consistent? – Shadow Wizard Oct 24 '12 at 7:50
I took the liberty to add screenshots, hope you don't mind. Even with free hand red circles as a bonus. :) – Shadow Wizard Oct 24 '12 at 7:56
Hmm.. you can notice the "join X days ago" and "member for Y days" are also inconsistent. Maybe the server holding the network profile data has different time than the per site servers. – Shadow Wizard Oct 24 '12 at 7:58
@ShaWizDowArd - I've tried uploading an image, I'll open another question (nothing happened then adblock crashed and chrome stopped responding). Looking at that 2nd screenshot, I'm surprised that any of the sites have a last seen of more than 10 hours ago. – SteB Oct 24 '12 at 8:01
Glad I caused you to find possible bug in the system, lol! That said, can you manually upload images to – Shadow Wizard Oct 24 '12 at 8:03
@ShaWizDowArd - Not a SO bug then, same issue on! probably a Chrome/Extension conflict, I'll update question 152392. – SteB Oct 24 '12 at 8:14
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The "last seen" dates on the network profile are cached for short while (and therefore potentially slightly inaccurate). We paper over this by showing the number of UTC days/months/years that have elapsed since you were last ween, rather than showing the exact times as the site profiles do.

share|improve this answer
I have consistently observed that, if I login to stackoverflow, some of my other sites are clearly affected, which I didn't visit. For example, I had visited math.SE followed by SO and my other website "Hinduism" got affected. Even though I did not visit it, it got updated. Now, there is no way, I can prove that. But I have seen this happening for quite a few months. – iammilind Apr 8 at 13:27

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