I’m looking into ways of making my posts living, breathing things. I don’t feel like I have any of the answers yet, so I’m compiling some questions about the effects of editing the past.
Looking at the archive…
As an evolution of feelings
What’s the best way to update old blog posts? Does my audience care if I’ve changed the meaning of something from 2011 or simply removed the harshness of my tone? What about the fact that I often write to get it halfway there (or even 5% there), just to help myself understand my feelings?
What if my feelings turn inside out? What if I want to delete something, because it’s just plain bad?
Do I get to decide what’s important as the author? Why? Or do my readers get to decide with traffic, comments, or attention?
Is frequency important, or is all of this an exhaustive attempt at making order out of chaos? Maybe I should stop right now.
As a written record
What are the ethics of deleting something? Or hiding it? What if I just shove it in a corner or an armpit, only to be found by Google or someone with a link? Why bother keeping it there, if it’s not worth sharing openly?
Is it an archive if I don’t preserve my words as they were originally posted? Or does it break the web to think anything should be static for more than a month or two? Do we breathe here in minutes, months, or milliseconds?
As a resource
Is this helpful if it’s not updated? Should I announce every change I make, or put notes within each article? Do I get to summarize my own summaries, or is there a more programmatic way of showing changes, like a differential or commit?
Should I notify anyone of anything? Or is it annoying and uninteresting to know about teeny changes on a personal site? But isn’t everything connected? Even if my opinions are small and unsharpened, isn’t that the point of sharing them and working on them over a lifetime?