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Maybe I’m noticing it more with the end-of-the-year roundups, but time is such a slippery thing on the web. In fact, it’s often little more than a timestamp.

Stacking a list of things by reverse-chronology is easy for computers, but my squishy human brain misses having more discrete units of time. Printed publications can be categorized by how they bracket time — dailys, weeklies, monthlies, quarterlies, annuals — and are as much tied to their pace of production as to their worldview of what is the most interesting span of time?

We haven’t yet formed good answers to this online. Streams reflect our ability to instantly put things out there, but what is the right amount of time to talk about an idea? To deep-dive into a subject? To have an argument? To celebrate, or to mourn?

What unit of time will distill this piece of information to its most potent?

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