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It's a new year (Gregorian). As it's the 1st January everything that was posted over "2 days ago" now includes the year in the timestamp.

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Although it is technically last year, including the year makes it seem, to me, longer ago than it actually was.

Instead of separating posts into this year and last year can the timestamps include the year only as it becomes necessary. So, only those posts posted on 1st January 2012 would include the year in the timestamp. On the 20th June 2013 all posts from before the 20th June 2012 would include the year and all those after would not.

It could also be done on a month-by-month basis.

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Meh. This is sooo last year. –  Oded Jan 1 '13 at 13:51
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Corresponding UX question: When should a year be added to a timestamp? –  Gilles Jan 1 '13 at 14:48
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If this boils down to a toss up between making things seem older and making people remember what month it is, I don't see a real benefit. Can you give an example where this would actually be confusing, in the context of using the system? –  Tim Post Jan 1 '13 at 14:59
    
When using the system @TinyTimPost, I don't think it would be confusing anywhere. It is confusing at the moment though because it's only just a new year and I'm used to recent posts not having the year appended. I guess it makes little difference but I think that if it is confusing for a majority of users coming up with some solution that doesn't confuse them would be beneficial. –  ben is uǝq backwards Jan 1 '13 at 15:49
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+1 Sheesh... you try to smooth a rough edge on SO and you get stomped on... and don't babble on about down votes here are different... –  Chris Gerken Jan 1 '13 at 16:34
    
@ChrisGerken But downvotes here are different. –  Asad Jan 1 '13 at 17:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I don't think it's a big deal, but I prefer the status quo to your proposal. But that's because of a major dissonance I see in your proposal which is easily fixed. If it's 20 June 2013 and I see a post dated “22 June”, I'm going to first assume June this year, then do a double take. When in June 2013, all posts dated June should have a year mark.

The no year → year transition should happen at a month transition: keep the past N calendar months yearless even when they're the last calendar year, for a value of N between 1 and 10. (No more than 10, so that on 30 June, posts dated 1 July from the previous year have a year indication.) For example (N=1), keep last December's dates yearless until the end of January.

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Unfortunately I think the reason people think it's not "a big deal" is because the majority of stack exchange users remain to be programmers or computer hobbyists. As it continues to grow to a wider audience with new sites, I think this is a great User Experience issue that should be smoothed out. –  slawrence10 Jan 1 '13 at 19:42
    
But your solutions is great, and would like to see it implemented! –  slawrence10 Jan 1 '13 at 19:45

While the '12 does make it look a bit older than it actually is, I don't see what the harm is in doing that.

Besides, adding what is imho an inconsistency to the timestamper would confuse users much more than the '12 ever did, and would probably lead to people asking for it to be reverted.

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