Dave Winer & Mark Pilgrim recently had a dust-up over the propriety of changing the words in a blog once it's been posted to the web. Mark accused Dave of changing the wording (and meaning) of what he wrote on DaveNet post-posting. Mark set up a bot to periodically take a peak at Dave's blog and post a before & after whenever changes were made. Dave thought this underhanded and a copyright violation to boot. Vowing to get Mark, when Dave handed out his new business cards to some people, he would say "See what it says there? Harvard LAW School. We've got a lot of lawyers on our side."
The Dave & Mark Show is over for now, but the issue remains. Trend-setter Rebecca Blood thinks it dishonorable to recall what you've published, aside from fixing typos. Her logic is that you don't know who's already read the initial version. She says bloggers should treat errors the way the press does: Don't change the original; post a retraction.
By and large, I do not agree. I think of my blog in several different ways. I use it to voice my opinons, as I'm doing now.
I also use the blog as a reference source. It's a content management system. Some of my pages, e.g. How People Learn or Glossary, are collections of five years or more of links and content. Naturally, I prune the dead links. And if I change my mind, I may rewrite a section entirely.
Do I need to highlight new or changed material?
No. That gets into "How old is old?"
My eLearning Jump Page has more than a hundred links. My original links page pre-dates every link on the same page. Does it make any sense to highlight the entire page as having changed?
So be forewarned: I may change this posting tomorrow or five minutes from now or a year hence. Few things are permanent in the digital age.
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