I launched a screencast on a Monday morning… February 24th, 2014. Except, I mean it launched Sunday night. But it was supposed to launch Monday morning, only “Monday morning” was 12 hours earlier in Australia when it was Sunday night, here in Texas.
*sigh* Time zones are hard.
This was the first time I’ve tried to use MailChimp’s “time warp” delivery feature. It’s an awesome feature that sends out your email to your list, in the local timezone of the recipient. It’s time travel for email… except it’s forward-only time travel. But whatever. It’s cool.
The problem is, I timed things wrong. I’m used to scheduling my emails for 7:30am… this is my typical delivery time… 7:30am Central Time. So I set up a 7:30am Time Warp delivery.
Publish Early, Publish Often?
I got an email Sunday night at around 7:45 pm… it was a reply to my mailing list email. And it confused the heck out of me. My email was going to go out at 7:30am on Monday… how did he already get my…. oh. I didn’t stop to think that 7:30am in Australia is 7:30pm the night before, here in Texas. Ooops! So I had to publish the screencast quickly… set the publish date to the 23rd and go! Then Monday morning, reset the pub date to the 24th like it’s supposed to be and republish.
Publish early, publish often, right?
Careful With That Timezone. It Might Hurt
Fortunately, this was a simple mistake and easy to learn from and correct. I don’t know if I’ll be using Time Warp for my product launches again, honestly. I don’t want to publish a day early just for that. Building the anticipation of a release date flops a bit when you have to publish earlier than stated. But I’ll be using Time Warp again for other email… things that aren’t timed to a date for a launch of things.
Ultimately, this is just one more in the long line of time zone related problems that I continuously run in to. It wasn’t the first (wasn’t even in the first 1,000 most likely) and won’t be the last. Time zones are hard. Be careful with them, or you might end up publishing something earlier than it was supposed to be published.