Defining your Timestamp Strategy
So, you’ve decided to timestamp your content. A great decision, as you’ll contribute to a better internet! Now, let’s dive into the details. In this article, I will help you with a couple of decisions that will result in your powerful timestamp strategy!
In this article, I will cover these questions:
- What content should I timestamp?
- Should I timestamp my existing content?
- Should I show revisions or not?
- Manual vs. automatic timestamps
- What blockchain should I choose to timestamp with?
These options might seem overwhelming, but once you have configured a tool to timestamp content (which should only take a minute), the rest will happen automatically in the background.
What content should I timestamp?
Each website has different kinds of content. Some might have a lot of time-sensitive content, while corporate websites might have more static content that never changes.
While setting up a timestamp integration, you’ll be asked: “What content should be timestamped automatically?”
- Do you want your news articles and headlines to be timestamped automatically?
- Do you want new static pages to be timestamped automatically?
- For e-commerce, do you want all product information to be timestamped automatically?
If you decide not to timestamp specific content, ask yourself: “do I need to have this content on my website at all?“
Generally speaking, it is best to timestamp all of your content that has value to you or your visitors!
Should I timestamp my existing content?
After you’ve configured a tool to timestamp your content, your new publications and updates will be timestamped automatically.
However, you might be wondering whether you should timestamp your existing old content as well.
In almost every case, I do recommend you to do so. Even though timestamps have the most value for new content, you still gain significant advantages from the moment you timestamp old content!
Your timestamp-integration offers you two options:
- Do it in bulk for specific types of content (e.g. “Timestamp my 837 articles”)
With a timestamp on your content, you can prove that the content existed at the moment of the timestamp; to your visitors, search engines, social media platforms, and policymakers.
Should I show revisions or not?
Once timestamped, you can show a timestamp certificate to your visitors. As a publisher or website owner, you can choose whether you show previous revisions of this content or not.
The guiding principle for a Trusted Web: the more transparency, the better:
- Showing a timestamp offers transparency.
- Showing timestamps and their previous revisions offers even more transparency, but it takes a progressive and open mindset.
I believe the pioneers in this regard will be rewarded in the long run by social media platforms, search engines, and other algorithm-driven platforms.
By timestamping your content, you participate in the Trusted Web in an easy and affordable way. And since you can’t timestamp with a date in the past, it makes sense to timestamp as early as possible.
The guiding principle for a Trusted Web: the more transparency, the better.Sebastiaan van der Lans
Manual vs. automatic timestamps
Another decision you need to make is how your content gets timestamped. Generally speaking, you have two options:
I recommend you to timestamp your content automatically, since doing it manually is quite difficult.
It requires you to:
- create a blockchain account,
- configure a blockchain wallet, and
- manually sign a transaction each time you timestamp content.
Most timestamp tools offer some sort of automated service. With automated time-stamping, you gain the benefits without the hassle of doing manual tasks every time you publish.
What blockchain should I choose to timestamp with?
A timestamp is the fingerprint of your content, stored in a blockchain transaction.
There are many different blockchains, each one of them coming with its own characteristics regarding speed, costs, and decentralization. Depending on your use-case, you pick one:
- Bitcoin is the best-known blockchain. It has a block with transactions every 10 minutes. You can timestamp your content with Bitcoin, but the fee for storing that transaction is high (a single timestamp could cost multiple dollars), and it can take up to 10 minutes before the content has been time-stamped.
- A blockchain such as EOS is often used for timestamping because of its fast transaction times (0.5 seconds) and low transaction costs. Most timestamp integrations, like WordProof, come with a default ‘recommended’ blockchain.
Decide what matters most for your use-case; consider at least speed and costs.
Answering the questions above helps you in defining the timestamp strategy for your website, webshop, or platform. You now know everything you need to know to get started.
Let’s build the Trusted Web, together!