Blogging Employee Benefits

April 2, 2006

Blogging Nunc Pro Tunc

Filed under: P&B Blog — Fuguerre @ 5:18 pm

Not in this weblog. Entirely personal preference, with no intended implications to others' practice; but here, timestamps on posts or comments signify the exact time (U.S. Eastern) when I first hit the "Publish" button on a completed item. I won't postdate or predate. Nor will I push out a partial posting just to register a particular timestamp, then fill out the entry in the succeeding minutes. Since this weblog is meant primarily for my own purposes, keeping chronological vs logical index to developments of interest to me, I could quite easily excuse shifting to a personal preference of dating my posts according to the key development involved, as that would give me a truer chronological index with correct timing for any items for which that might be relevant. Except I do already do that in a local Excel spreadsheet with hypertext links to my weblog posts (among numerous other links of value to me) and the weblog posting timestamps, but in that spreadsheet adding data for the timing of the underlying decision, action, or item. So my own private investigations thereby satisfied, I can let the weblog software keep to its own timestamping as is.

Which means that when a post's timestamp shows an aggressively early time, such as 7:48am for this past Friday's posting on FASB's pension/OPEB proposal, you know I had pretty much already written most of the post based on what we all knew from FASB's board meetings the past few months, then simply kept pinging the FASB website throughout Friday morning until the exposure draft material was actually available (around 7am), so caught that wave very early on. In contrast, when I had something like Friday's decision on the United retired pilots' appeal in my hands almost the instant it been posted on the 7th Circuit's website, yet waited until today to venture posting here about the ruling, you can pretty much guess that I've either been busy elsewhere or – as was the case here – feel unprepared to make immediate comment until I've read or researched further. I'm working background here on a posting regarding the Social Security Administration's regulations this past week on its new disability determination process, but at the rate I'm plodding through that, it might not be until next weekend before that one shows up in this weblog. In all such instances, the timestamp here refers to when I publish to the weblog, not to any past or future time.

Here's another insignificant example: reference to the pension freeze movement as an "ice age." I've seen the Washington Post's Crenshaw credited with coining that characterization, possibly by reference to his 1/29/2006 article. Again, the point is negligible for any substantive purposes; but as an example of the logistics I describe in this particular post, for the record, my posting almost 2 weeks earlier was contemporary, not nunc pro tunc, nor was that posting or its title revised after its posting. In fact, the movement had been referred to as an ice age over a year earlier, when the original agenda that included session 407 of the 2005 Enrolled Actuaries Meeting was set (although I myself only learned of that older reference earlier this month through a colleague from the actuarial side of the fence, me being alien to those circles).

After spending too many years keeping my browser favorites sorted only by index categories, I have welcomed the advent of blogging as a powerful tool to help me emulate something BenefitsLink has done almost since the dawn of the Web: track my websurfing chronologically. For my own purposes, that works best here if I simply keep the timestamp WordPress gives to my posts, without revision forward or backward.

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