Internet Time (Part Two)

I am back at work, and thrilling it is too… I am really taken with the way that metajohn has incorporated the date information into his blog. I may be forced to steal valuable sexy ideas from him.


So the response to my first conception of Internet time wasn’t particularly overwhelming. People seemed (how should I put this) … confused … by its purpose and/or functionality. Looking over it again they are probably correct.

So I have a new and better idea. Imagine this – you wish to organise a meeting with someone at 1pm your time. You decide on e-mail. You click on the new e-mail button, write what you want, and when it comes time to put in the time of the meeting you click on the clock icon on your toolbar. This icon triggers a “realtime” plugin which would bring up an image of a clock which you could click on, thereby selecting a time. This then writes a small piece of code into your e-mail which you would see as 1pm.

However this code at the OTHER end would be read by the plugin and automatically translated into the equivalent in their time-zone – thus your meeting partner would view it as 3pm (for example).

This plugin could then be added to any number of packages, automatically translating a particular timecode into what time it should be in the place where it was read. (Packages like word processors and web browsers are obvious examples – you can do something on the web like it with applets or javascript, but they go no further).

If you added to the functionality of the plugin by having it check the time against some form of authority (such as GMT) and automatically setting the computer’s internal clock accordingly, you could have a really handy nice little device that would completely invisibly generate a standard for Internet Time.

And to make it more entertaining, you could have any number of additional translation timescales in place – you could specify you wanted to see times sent to you in Swatch Internet Time (automatically translated with Swatch’s permission) or any number of wacked out systems. Think of it – on your home computer you could choose to work completely in StarDates (with the permission of Paramount of course). And if you wanted to extend it to dates, you could operate in a completely different calendar (although that might get a little too confusing). And it wouldn’t matter at all, because to the people who you communicated with would all think you were making all these appointments in whatever system they preferred as well!

Is there anyone out there interested in developing such a mini-app? I even have a snappy name for it: THERMIDOR, after the month of the French Revolutionary calendar in which I was born.

More ravings tomorrow.