Thoughts on Editing Posts

20 Mar 2023 | ~2 minute read

Should content on a personal site be edited, or should it be a snapshot in time? Here's my thoughts...

So I read this post by Manu Moreale yesterday, where he was talking about retrospectively editing posts, and why he thinks it's a bad idea:

I dislike the concept of editing old content on personal sites. And the motivation is related to my love for simple, straight to the point, chronologically organised personal blogs. I believe a personal blog can and should be a representation of who you are at different points in time.

-- Manu Moreale

I completely agree with Manu here...under the right circumstances. I do think there should be some editing, but it has to be the right editing.

For example, I edit all my posts before I publish them - I look for poor grammar, me rambling on (something which I'm terrible for) and things like typos, although some do still get through. I think that kind of editing is fine.

I also think that going back and editing technical posts, or guides, is fine too. For example, I've gone back and edited my getting started with Mastodon post a couple times as Mastodon has evolved. I think this kinda editing is fine too.

But when it comes to opinion pieces, I don't think they should be edited. Yes, you should (in my opinion) check the spelling/grammar before posting, but I don't think you should go back and edit your opinions retrospectively if they change.

I cover this in my disclaimer, where I say:

This blog is intended to provide a semi-permanent, point in time snapshot of the various thoughts running around my brain. As such, any thoughts and opinions expressed within my previous posts may not be the same, or even similar, to those I may hold today.

What I like about having this blog for 10 years, is that I can go back and cringe a little at my opinions, my writing style, my language etc. I like that I'm a different person now than I was then. If I went back and edited my opinion posts I wouldn't be able to do that.

They'd all have been written by middle-aged InfoSec Kev, instead of 20-something soldier Kev. They're very different people.

Final thoughts

Ultimately, it's horses for courses. Different people have different motivations for their blog. I like to see the evolution over time, others may not and that's fine. Each to their own.

I'll continue not editing my opinion pieces. 🙃

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