Changing and Deleting Blog Posts
Some people are blog purists: if they change a post, they’ll leave a note at the top of the post stating the changes, and they would never dream of deleting an old post (unless there was a very specific reason why it needed to be removed). Whereas others see blog posts and comment sections as flexible, breathing, and ever-changing.
They’ll delete old posts if they decide to take their blog in a new direction, removing all traces of its old personality as a food blog in order to establish it as a style blog. Or they’ll leave up a post for three days and then take it down. Or they’ll change their opinion on something and go back and change the blog post to reflect their new thoughts instead of their original thoughts.
There is no right or wrong way to blog. But there are definitely different ways of blogging.
Valleywag wrote about it a while back:
It’s an iterative process, and for me the process doesn’t necessarily end once I’ve hit “publish.” I go back and look at things. I see lines that don’t work, and I cut them out. I think of something I like, and put it in. I edit. I polish. I rewrite headlines. I fix and improve, or try to, anyway.
I think editing for clarity or to correct spelling errors is one thing — those are edits to improve. What about about edits to backpedal? Or get yourself out of trouble? Or remove evidence? Where does that fall in the edit-after-publish realm?
BlogHer had a post a few weeks later about removing (not just editing) old blog posts, a slash-and-burn method to make room for new thoughts or directions for the blog. She writes,
Whatever it may be, you are not the same. I like to think of myself as a continuous work in progress – mentally, emotionally, and physically. One of the arguments for keeping your blog intact is for a historical record. I’m thankful I grew up during a time period when your “historical records” were the photo albums your mom put together. I’m glad when I was in college there was no Twitter or Instagram. I didn’t even have Facebook in college. I’m thankful for that because I’m not sure that I would want the world knowing everything I did or said.
She’s of the delete-if-it-doesn’t-fit-anymore school of blogging.
It’s an interesting thing to think about. I don’t really look back on old posts very often, and I can’t think of any that make me cringe when I see them. Do I think my writing style has evolved? Probably. I hope so. But I leave up those posts because maybe there’s a kernel of something helpful amid the crappy writing.
Again, there is no correct way to blog, but where do you stand on the editing or deleting old blog posts continuum?
Side note: Tomorrow is #MicroblogMonday. Get writing!