DonnaM » Blog Archive » Blogging – time vs content

Blogging – time vs content

A blogging conundrum that I have come across a couple of times…

I posted a few days ago about card sorting tools. At the time, I had worked through the first few steps in a couple of tools and blogged initial results. Now I’ve done the sort and entered the data and would like to report back on what I found.

There are two ways to do this – edit the first entry or write a new entry.

Now what I decide to do depends on the nature of blogging and how we use blog-based information. Initial blogging is a time-based thing. Write something, people point to it and comment on it within a couple of days. But content is an ongoing thing. I write things like this to provide value not for 3 days in my lifetime, but for longer term value.

This first came unstuck for me the first time I found a URL from my blog in a book and realised that this was all too real. I effectively couldn’t change here without breaking someone’s book (I place strangely high value on books – I can’t bend a corner and wouldn’t dream of writing anything except my name in one). I didn’t care about breaking google – it would repair eventually, but breaking a book!

If I perceive blogging as write and throw away, I should post a new entry now and not worry about the fact that everyone will repeat their inward links, and future readers will have two posts to read. I guess that many bloggers percieve blogging this way – a lot don’t have any categorisation beyond date-based, which makes it difficult to find older stuff, and makes me feel that anything off the home page is perceived as having little value.

If I perceive blogging as longer-value content, I should update the initial post, and not worry about the fact that inward links may not match and that comments may seem strange.

I managed to avoid this with maadbooks – although it uses a blog tool, and has an RSS feed, a lot of the design is based on some sort of content solidity. For example, I haven’t bothered with date-based navigation as it is irrelevant, and have used subject-based nav instead.

But I haven’t sorted out what to do here ;) What do you think?

9 Responses to “Blogging – time vs content”

  1. Abhay S. Kushwaha Says:

    I would update a blog entry only if the date posted is very recent, or if the dicussion in comments is near edit date. Otherwise, I would post a new blog entry and point to my previous entry. Something like:

    I have <link>previously written about ACME Machines</link>. Recently, I’ve had the chance to look at these in more detail.

    [New content here]

    Given the nature of the world (best illustrated by your book example), I would then follow up by posting a comment to my previous blog entry: “I’ve written <link>more about ACME Machines</link>”. This will ensure anybody who comes to the old post also finds a way to the new content.


  2. Small Paul Says:

    Why not edit the old blog entry, just adding a simple link to the new blog entry? What would be wrong with that?

  3. Donna Maurer Says:

    It sounds so simple now…makes me wonder what I was worrying about ;)

  4. Hanni Says:

    I’ve often used the method described by Small Paul, but I do think that you were right to worry and to ask the question.
    It could make an interesting debate.

  5. vanderwal Says:

    The common convention is to notate change is to put *Update* in square brackets to let readers know the entry has been modified in some way. After doing this you can put a link to the new entry. Another option is to put it a comment pointing to the new entry also (it is good to do this inconjunction with the Small Paul suggested method).

  6. Donna Maurer Says:

    Thanks guys – I’m still thinking about the nature of blogging, future findability, and managing related content, but for now have written a new post and pointed from the old post.

  7. Maybe Says:

    When I’ve written a wiki-page related to someone else’s blog-entry – Is there a way to “manually” send the blog a trackback that points to the wiki-page?

  8. Kelly Underwood Says:

    Boing Boing ( put “Update” on their posts to cross reference. Should they make a correction they do not delete what was previously posted, but instead use strikethrough to cross out the incorrect text and then insert the corrected text.

  9. jyoti Says:

    The common convention is to notate change is to put *Update* in square brackets to let readers know the entry has been modified in some way.