Philosophy, Film, Politics, Etc.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Blog Etiquette: Cosmetic Editing

This is a confession and a disclaimer.  I have a bad blogging habit.  I secretly edit my blog posts after I've already posted them.

These edits are never substantive.  I do, on rare occasion, make substantive changes to my arguments, but not without explicitly signalling the fact.  However, I often make important cosmetic changes within 24 to 48 hours after I post, and I usually don't make it known.  I change paragraph structure and phrasing, remove ambiguities, add clarification, etc.  For example, my last post, A Closer Look At Sam Harris On Guns, is not the same as when I first posted it a couple days ago.  It's a much better read now.  If you reread it, you certainly won't notice all of the changes, but you might notice some.  You should at least notice that I added a music video.

I wonder how common this practice is, and how it is commonly received.  I think, if there are no substantive additions or subtractions, then there's no big deal.  On the other hand, I can understand if some people find it irresponsible or off-putting.  I'm not so happy about doing it, but I think it comes with the blogging territory.  Blog posts are informal enough that I don't want to spend a lot of time thoroughly editing a post before I post it, but I take my ideas seriously enough that I want them to look as good as possible.