Jessica Wicks

Editing Published Content


N.B. This post was originally posted in 2012. I’ve updated it slightly, but it continues to reflect my personal opinion on the topic. 

Let’s face it. The internet is a swamp of spelling and grammatical errors. Generally, when one is about to publish content (such as a tweet or blog post) they do a quick once over and send. Then it’s out in the universe, errors and all.

The problem is that this content represents you and your organization. Gone are the days of ‘breathing time’ before publication. Gone are the days of an editor who reads over every public message.

In a social media course I attended, an instructor said that the authenticity of online content relies on the fact that people do not go back and edit. As much as possible, he stated, you should leave things as they are. The reasoning behind this is that if someone visits your content twice and notices a change, they would feel the content is illegitimate.

I’m going to disagree.

I believe that although you should check everything you send out before you publish it, mistakes happen. Facts that content are based on change.

Instead, on any platform possible, I believe it is our responsibility to correct information as often as we can. We should collectively try to clear up the mess that is the internet for future generations. Blogs are perfect for this.

Schedule it in your calendar to read through your old posts and make notes or edits as necessary. Link to newer content, or explain why you’ve changed your previous opinion.

For those of you who happen to visit a blog post of mine a second time and notice something has changed: I do not apologize. I am simply fulfilling my duty as a contributor to the world wide web.

I hope that future generations will thank me.

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