To What Extent is Post Revision Plausible?

heavily revised much?

heavily revised much?

A genuine question on my part: to what extent is post revision plausible? Should you stop at going back and fixing spelling mistakes, or is it logical to completely revamp an old post without starting over from scratch? I’d like to discuss the possibilities of such actions.

Or as I may see fit to phrase it – how much do your old posts matter? I have a lot of really shitty old posts, but I also have a couple of gems buried under the sand. Now, obviously I want to make it easier for someone to find these gems, while still diverting them from the posts that I am not proud of or do not consider representative of my opinion anymore. After all, reading my blog would not necessarily all be based on my output from the time that you become a reader onward – otherwise, I would have to keep restating old points for the sake of an ever-growing audience. Therefor, if you want to see what kind of interesting things I have once said, then you will have to venture into the archives.

I’ve taken what feels like an obvious step already a few weeks ago. I went back to a bunch of my really old posts that are outright horrible and at ends with my current thoughts, and put labels at the top stating “[NOTE: This post is very old and no longer reflective of my opinions or writing style.]” This way, I don’t have to delete my old posts (as they are surely fun to look at) but no one will confuse them for my opinion. I’ve also gone and created a number of pages to help direct people in the path of posts that I am actually proud of – there are the Reviews, Highlights, etc. pages that can help someone looking for something specific, and then I added the ‘Best of Fuzakenna!’ page for an easy guide to anything on my site that is honestly worth reading. I haven’t completed these sections – there are a number of episodic and show-specific posts that I am still looking for a place for, but that’s for later.

However, even among my ‘best of’ posts, there are a number of posts that were simply written at a time before I was as good of a writer as I am now. Take, for instance, my ‘Depth Versus Chemistry‘ post. I love the points made in this post to death and I cite it quite frequently. However, I know that the post is not very well written at all, and it’s a little embarrassing to show off. I feel like I should do this post over to make it more presentable.

How should I go about this? There seem to be two options – I could either revise the already existing post, or exile it and do a new post restating the point in better language. Now, the latter works well as a way of reintroducing readers to the concept, however, how many times will this happen? Will I keep having to republish this post every year as my writing style gets better? If we are under the assumption that honestly interested readers will go and read my backlog, then they will be more obliged to visit a revised version of the post, will they not?

There are a number of posts that I want to revise. In my early days as a blogger, I didn’t even spell-check my posts, and even I have a hard time reading them nowadays. Aside from the ones that aren’t really worth salvaging, I feel I should fix the problem. I also keep seeing the flaws in my style up until this point. Re-reading my Simoun review, I decided that I wanted to trim a lot of the fat on it and curve my language in other directions – This would be easy enough to do. However, re-reading my Darker Than Black review, I want to almost entirely re-write large parts of the post. Does this remain a revision, or does it warrant a new post?

Before I part you with these questions, I bring up the point of Roger Ebert. I love Roger Ebert’s reviews, but what I really love is his ‘great movies‘ reviews. In these, he revisits a movie that he reviewed years before, and in some cases states that he may feel a little differently about the piece of work. This made me wonder if it wouldn’t be wise to go back and edit his old reviews, or if it’s better to have the two different standpoints of his original impressions and then his thoughts some time later.

I’m very interested in how you think this should be handled.

16 thoughts on “To What Extent is Post Revision Plausible?

  1. Some things I had in mind but not mentioned in the post – movies get revised, too, like Bladerunner, or the above pictured Rebuild of Evangelion. The movie itself could be called a revision of the anime, and a reposted one, but then the first movie itself was revised and re-released several times. Now, if we consider the Rebuild series a ‘new post’ on the old concept, then would the re-releases of that movie be the edits of that post? I’ll leave it up to you.

  2. Here’s what I would do. If it’s a matter of spelling I’d go right ahead and change and correct the old posts without noting anything. If it’s some new content you want to add, I’d put it at the end of the post with a heading [UPDATE] or something like that..If it’s heavy revision, I’d go ahead and write it as a new post. I’d keep the old post but put a warning over it saying [for the new, improved version of this post go here].

  3. There’s nothing wrong with revisiting old gems with a present-day perspective. You can even say, “I thought X in this old entry (link), but now I’m more inclined to think Y.” Absolutely nothing requires you to delete your old posts, unless you yourself just can’t bear to see them. In which case, think about this: If your old perspective is so different from what it is today, who’s to say you won’t get nostalgic about your “for realy-real” original posts a few years down the line?

    You should preserve the artifacts of your past. They’re still you.

    • Yeah, I second this approach – it acknowledges that the “new” post is not entirely new, and also provides a kind of interesting way of seeing the evolution of your writing style and quality.

      My earlier posts aren’t so hot… and my former co-blogger’s are pretty bad too.

  4. I rather like that logic myself, so I’m glad to hear it’s what you guys think. Expect to see some revised versions of old posts popping up.

  5. Reminds me of the time I thought of trolling my own posts, like hijack it and put the label “WARNING, THIS POST IS PRETENTIOUS” XD

    In any case, revisiting shows you’ve watched in the past and seeing how your perspective have changed over the years would make for interesting introspective posts, allow you (and others) to see how your taste have changed (matured?) during that span of time. A great timeless anime will always be great, and revisiting it would simply result to having a newfound appreciation for it, if it’s indeed as AWESOME as you once thought it was :)

  6. I think older posts are demonstrative of the journey that you’ve made as a blogger/person/anime fan, and for that reason they shouldn’t be changed or edited. Writing a new post on the same subject’s a good idea, as seeing comparing the “then” and “now” can lead to you improving your writing or way of approaching things. Readers are probably going to end up looking at your latest posts and the pages you’ve set up before trawling the archives anyway, so they’ll take that into accont when looking at the site.

  7. Embrace the past. Readers should take note of time stamps anyway. Spelling and typos I think are always suitable for editing; sometimes I’ll add short addendum to the beginning or end of posts if the edit is made within a week or so. Beyond that, you might as well save all new content for a new post — that helps you continue to drive content as well. There’s really no point in continually revising the same old post as it’ll never really be “up to date” with your ability or opinions assuming you keep growing in both areas.

  8. It’s quite often that I dive into my own archives and shudder about the me in the past, but deleting old stuff is something unmoral. If what is bad is the grammar or orthography I edit them, but I don’t change opinions. It’s better to write a kind of re-review, because it’s always interesting how one’s opinion and writing style are changing over time.

    Now I’ve finally let myself read the above comments, which I avoided to reserve my own point of view… So, it seems I wrote what everybody already did. Let’s say, I agree with the above.

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