My favorite blog posts are not spawned by Carefully Planned Brilliant Ahas but often as happy accidents out of day to day tinkerings.

And here I ponder the difference of seeing blog posts as things written in stone that slide down the conveyer belt of archives vs things that are organic and come back to be re-edited. Do you update old posts?

This also bring back Mike Caulfield’s brilliant crafted metaphor of the Garden vs the Stream. Stop, click and read, I cannot do it more summary justice than his own words.

In my small minded opinion, the blog posts you write and own ought to be alive and tended to as needed.

I was thinking about creating an new Ontario Extend Activity on the The Indispensable Digital Research Tool I can Say, Without Lying, Saves Time, yep RSS readers.

Staring right at me is a statement now point blank wrong.

The original sentence in my blog post is now, well just dead wrong

Digg Reader just went onto the Another Web Bites the. Dust train in March.

Now I cannot have wrong information sitting on my blog. What will people think? I need to fix it.

But you know what I don’t do? I do not remove the wrong sentence. In WordPress, I highlight the sentence and use that odd editor button you may have never used. In the visual editor which I never use as I am a freak who loves editing raw HTML, it’s in the second row of editor buttons labeled strikethrough.

It does what it says, it puts a line through the text, to show I have changed my sentence. But switching to be text editor, I’m a bit dismayed because it’s just formatting:

Yet, when I use the del button in the text editor

I get something semantically better- a date time stamp when I made this change:

Either way. I am crossing this off to publicly show that I have not only fixed information, I am acknowledging my past wrongness (in this case it’s just a fact, but think about showing what world views you may have re-thought?)

I have not only shown what is no longer true, I have added a sentence and a link to a more recent post, and it’s now got a nice flower in the middle of the post (I think so).

Here’s another nifty way to make your blog alive; link to your own posts. It’s so easy in the WordPress editor when selecting text to hyperlink. In this case I knew I wanted to link to a post that mentioned Digg going south and my switch to Inoreader. I search and link all in one place of my blog editor.

Searching and adding a link to my own older blog posts, I am my own web!

I also often will append an update section heading to the bottom of a blog post. It’s like an addendum. For example I have a post about a tool I had worked on where my information needed an longer update; so I edited my post.

Again, because of the awareness I have of a text editor and how HTML works, I go beyond what the easier editor provides; I add a heading level two with a CSS id= value that represents the date

followed by the extra content. Why go to this trouble? If I want to refer people directly to this section, I can use a URL with an internal page anchor link at the end (not a hashtag, kids), e.g. http://cogdogblog.com/2018/02/keynote-tweet-sierra/#021118.

The HTML and code are not the point; moreso that I see my blog as a living organism, and often it needs tending and additional fertilizer.

It’s got stuff in the cracks.

How do you see, use, care for your past posts?


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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

Comments

  1. I don’t edit my old posts much, though I do liberal self-linking. (Or I did, when I blogged more, and I will again.) I’ve also done some updating in comments, though I think you’ve convinced me that editing the post actually makes more sense.

    But for one recent counter-example, I had a post with an embedded Storify about a conference panel I was on. That post really would have been pointless without the Storify, but fortunately, some nice guy built a tool for extracting and republishing Storify stories so I was able to save the post. (Hmm – now I’m wondering whether to edit again to remove the dead Storify embed, or leave the Error 410 page up as a memento mori.)

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