I came up with the premise of "Advance Man" a long, long time ago -- I don't remember how far back. It was inspired, more or less, by an old DC Comics science fiction story from the 1960s, probably in Strange Adventures -- my story wasn't remotely the same, but the DC story was the first place I'd encountered the concept of an advance man, and that was where I got the notion.
It's clearly a pretty light idea, and doesn't justify anything very long or serious, but I thought it would be amusing.
I didn't write it immediately, though. In fact, I didn't write it for more than twenty years; it just sat in my stack of ideas.
Finally, though, I wrote it, and I sold it to the now-long-defunct webzine Neverworlds in April of 2001. I don't remember whether I wrote it because they asked me for a story, or whether I'd already written it when they asked me, but I sent it to them, and they bought it.
Unfortunately, I don't have any record of when it actually appeared, or even if it actually appeared. I think it did. I don't believe it had appeared anywhere else since -- but hey, that made it a logical choice for International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day for 2011, so here it is.