Edit Discussion

Discuss the policies of ePlaya here.

Should there be editing of posts?

No - no editing
8
17%
Some form of limited edit (timeout/last post/etc.)
21
45%
Yes - unrestricted
18
38%
 
Total votes : 47

Edit Discussion

Postby spanky » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:52 pm

OK, OK, you called me out. Let's take up yet another topic! :)

First off, there was a very lengthy and heated discussion a long time ago (I'm trying to find notes or something as to when/what/who) about Edit, and the consensus there was:

1. check your spelling first.
2. liberally use Preview.
3. edit allows contentious folks to play games with history.
4. think before you post.
5. own your words.

I think these are all pretty powerful arguments, but as has been noted, the topic was not brought before the community for discussion, so here we go.

There are several options on the table:

1. Full edit any time.
2. Edit only most recent post of yours.
3. Time delay edit.
4. Edit your most recent post until someone replies.
5. No editing.

I don't know if there a technological solutions that meet all of these ideas, but we can probably come up with _something_.

From where I stand (opinion time): I'm totally against it. I rarely edit my posts and do so only when I believe I am making an important annoucement and fuck it up completely. This is usually b/c of haste and that I *can* edit. If I wasn't able to, I wouldn't be so hasty and I would check things over carefully first. I never use edit to change my words and would never. I only use it to fix BBCode errors or a grossly abhorrent spelling nightmare. I would never go back to touch up a post, alter my language or <gasp> completely remove something. To me it's like speech. It came out and there's no taking it back. The best you can do is stand by your words, or apologize, or try to explain yourself or make things better, but once you said it, you said it. If I could go back and edit my words, I would probably still be dating my X. End of opinion.

When we had Limi here (community and usability expert) he basically reaffirmed my opinion that edit is bad. We should look back at history and see what other long-standing communities have done about editing. Let's examine some real world examples instead of everyone's opinion. I base d my opinion (above) on experience, history and some studies. (I will have to dig up something to back myself up.) Limi was also against Plonk, which I came around to, due to overwhelming demand and despite my better judgement. But I was not going to block consensus. If the consensus on Edit is not in my favor, I will not block it either. It's your boards! :)

I'm gonna try to roll the posts re: EDIT into this thread so we can be on our merry way discussing it.

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Postby spanky » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:03 pm

Ah fuck it, trying to pry the edit posts out of the other threads was really disruptive to the flow. I think we can all handle the conversation without that reference. AG had made a good point and Badger certainly had an opinion. So, let's fire it up in here!

Look forward to hearing from everyone...

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Postby geekster » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:30 pm

I am in favor of edit within some reasonable period of time after posting such as 5 to 15 minutes, and it is cast in stone after that.

If that can not be accomplished, I might be more inclined toward open edit than no edit though I can be easily tipped either way.

My take is that if someone plays that game of modifying their posts to make it look like things are other than what they are, many are going to ignore their future postings anyway so they will simply act to moderate themselves right out of the discussion.
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Postby Badger » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:38 pm

Well, for starters, some interesting background on the concept of YOYOW (You Own Your Own Words) as stated on another successful board here in NorCal known as The WELL.

Have a look http://www.well.com/conf/help/yoyow.html

Following the links you see that the original concept ended up as the basis for the Member's Agreement. found here http://www.well.com/member_agreement.html

What it suggests in my reading of it is that your words are your own. One has the right to put them out there for purposes of discussion, presenting opinion, challenging and replying to anything you say in text form. Further, those words are yours to do with whatever you want up to and including erasure of any and all things posted by you.

Now I don't think for a minute that all of this would crossover successfully to the e-playa but I do like the idea of being able to have control over those things I've written. As a minimum it'd be nice to at least be able to add an addendum to an original post for purposes of clarification or editing. I also understand that there's some concern about revision of posts and that the cadence of a discussion might get tripped up if one goes back and does a complete re-edit or deletion. However, from my experience such behaviors seem to happen less than one would imagine. Also, I believe it might be possible to explore areas of the board where exceptions to YOYOW might exist. For now I'm just tossing out the above links because The WELL has been around for a very long time and in fact served unofficially as a e-playa type resource in the early 90's when BM was just taking off.

Have a look.
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Postby actiongrl » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:51 pm

I've seen responsible folks use edit responsibly, and I gotta admit, whether it's a personal failing or not, something about "preview" still doesn't do it for me. I know that's why it's there, but somehow, seeing it in format and with other posts before and after still does more to help me "see" my post than does preview. Weird, huh?

I'm ALL for a tag that shows a post has been edited. I remember the old board had edit, and I don't remember it being abused. The 3playa has edit and there's no expiration, and there was only one time I used it for more than a simple change in grammar/spelling or adding a word or two, and I replaced it with a comment that said "Nevermind."

All in all, sometimes you post and then you realize you made a mistake in spelling or grammar. I think it's okay to allow editing, and the few who abuse it shouldn't keep the rest of us from having the tool to use responsibly...aside from that I think I could go for a middle-ground solution, such as having the ability to edit up to 1/2 hour after posting.

Thanks, Spanky, for reopening the discussion so users can toss in their two cents.
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Postby III » Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:28 pm

this board made a big deal out of "you own your own words", but really it meant that you had no control over your words after you hit the post button.

the biggest issue i see with not editing is that the context of your post can change while you are composing it. this is only exacerbated by requiring people to extensively preview their posts before submitting them - it gives more time for additional posts to be interspersed and change the context.

i also think that the idea of people editing posts to make others look bad is a fallacy. sure, people have been known to try it, but the people who end up looking dumb are inevitably the people doing the editing (especially if there is some indication that editing happened.)

i am, after a fair amount of experience with these things, inclined to allow unlimited editing. a persons views are not always expressed properly immediately, and one of the benefits of a persistent forum is that those expressions can be refined until they properly reflect those views, rather than having to be supplemented by later explanations.

then again, i'm not some european user interface expert, so who knows...
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Postby Badger » Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:37 pm

I'm ALL for a tag that shows a post has been edited.


That and often enough people following a particular post will quote it as reference. Doesn't solve the problem of re-edits or revisionist posting but I believe that the collective experience of the readers is often enough no make noise if the content or the context is modified to the point of being revisionist.
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Postby Badger » Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:38 pm

I'm ALL for a tag that shows a post has been edited.


That and often enough people following a particular post will quote it as reference. Doesn't solve the problem of re-edits or revisionist posting but I believe that the collective experience of the readers is often enough no make noise if the content or the context is modified to the point of being revisionist.
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Postby Badger » Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:39 pm

Um... that wasn't Freudian or anything.
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Postby spanky » Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:40 pm

heheh - the anti double post MOD should put an end to THAT ;)

Randall wants to test his MOD installation skills on that, so we're gonna roll it soon.

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Postby bullD » Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:11 am

we need to make little stickers, like the ones at voting stations during the national elections:

I VOTED!
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:45 am

bullD wrote:we need to make little stickers, like the ones at voting stations during the national elections:

I VOTED!
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Postby Tiara » Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:41 pm

I'm in favor of a limited edit, enabling folks to have 10-15 minutes to see their words glowing on the screen and recognize misspellings, misspeakings, etc.

For some reason, I don't always use preview, and thus I don't always catch my own mistakes before they're posted.

When the discourse is limited to typed words, accuracy and succinctness really can affect the readers' perceptions. I'd like to give authors a chance to put their ideas forth in the best light possible.

Some of this board's history makes me think that totally unrestricted edit could fire up past problems.
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Postby Zane5100 » Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:47 pm

I second Tiara's view/opinion on editing a post.
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Postby gregori » Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:20 pm

I vote for edit functionality, with an added stamp of "edited by _name_ at _time_" and only allow editing for a couple of hours.
I've rarely seen it abused on other boards. (And have used it myself on several occasions.)

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Postby Das Bus » Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:53 pm

I am definately in favor of a limited edit function. : )
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Postby Tancorix » Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:55 pm

Full edit, but with an automatic flag so people know it was edited. But any edit functionality is better than none.
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Postby tisha2 » Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:05 pm

Yep - short-term edit ability with an automatic tag that an edit happened.
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Postby Nightterror » Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:15 pm

It seems to me that editing allows people to speak before they think. Is that what we want. What's wrong with taking a few seconds to consider your words before you post. It makes for more interesting conversation.

And - are we all so self righteous that a misspelled word is going to crumble our existence. I know many users get some kind of rush using big fancy college words so maybe we should add spell check and a thesaurus. It's all just so serious it gives me a headache at times.
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Postby Zane5100 » Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:31 pm

Part of being able to edit your post is giving you a chance to clarify things after you realize that what you thought was a lucid expression turns out to be something that can easily taken out of context or misinterpreted.

That doesn't mean we should give up on well thought-out posts, but it does give us one last chance to clarify/correct/clean-up our thoughts before they're carved into virtual stone for posterity.

I don't think of it as an escape hatch, or even a tool for the lazy, but it as an "oh shit" option so you can give your post one last tweak.

In a communication medium that is so heavily weighted on text as this is, I think that having that last chance to clean stuff up would be a good thing.
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Postby Nightterror » Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:41 pm

So I can igonore anyone I want
I can be ignored by anyone that wants to
Will I know that I am being ignored - (is it kinda like being married?)
I can disallow anyone to contact me
I can retract anything I say
When I enter a conversation the prevous posts will have changed five times and I will have no real concept of the actual conversation
Our posts can be deleted at the discretion of a moderator

What here is real or will be real.
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Postby Zane5100 » Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:50 pm

Nightterror wrote:So I can igonore anyone I want
I can be ignored by anyone that wants to
Will I know that I am being ignored - (is it kinda like being married?)
I can disallow anyone to contact me
I can retract anything I say
When I enter a conversation the prevous posts will have changed five times and I will have no real concept of the actual conversation
Our posts can be deleted at the discretion of a moderator

What here is real or will be real.


1) Yep.
2) Does it really matter? If you've angered someone to the point that they don't want contact from you in any form, then it's time to let it go and move on.
3) Yep.
4) Only for a period of time if the edit function has an expiration interval on it--then you could not retract or edit your post after the window of time has elapsed.
5) Not necessarily--see 4)
6) Yep.

This isn't chiseling words in stone--and even that doesn't last forever. If you're looking for some form of permanence, this may not be the best medium to find it in.
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Postby Nightterror » Wed Mar 23, 2005 3:13 pm

I'm not looking for any kind of permanence -

I just think that life is more enjoyable when spontaneous -

I think that editing, moderating, and ignoring is a thorn in the side of spontaneous

No big deal really - being ignored will not hurt my feelings in the least.
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Postby Zane5100 » Wed Mar 23, 2005 3:29 pm

I agree with you, to certain extent.

Spontaneous can be a good thing, and you don't have to edit your posts if you don't want to.

However, some people would appreciate having some opportunity to tune their posts after posting them--even if that opportunity is on limited-time basis.

Moderation is needed for those who choose to be disruptive and/or unpleasant for the sake of being disruptive and/or unpleasant and those kinds of people are not conducive to community building--especially in a medium as limited as text posting where our means of expression is limited and skewed by the nature of medium.

Plonk, limited editing, and moderation are tools to keep things from devolving into poo-slinging fests and, *gasp!* keeping threads on topic when desired...

Spontaneity isn't a bad thing--and this place is full of it, but free-for-alls are generally not very constructive.
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Postby Badger » Wed Mar 23, 2005 3:59 pm

So here's something to chew on.... One of the reasons I linked over to The WELL earlier is that I was a member there for years and the User Agreement was a pretty solid piece of writing insofar as describing expectations of participants, etc. Lots of good people on that board. Very interesting characters and an above normal sense of literary talent. So much so that several people over the years took their postings from the Well's public forums and ended up publishing it.

As a participant on this board what rights would I have to delete any or all of my prior posts should I get the hairbrained idea that my words might be able to be published with some success. Why shouldn't I be able to go back to any post I've ever written and delete it in order to insure my copyright for my upcoming book in shored up. What if I no longer want you to read my words for free?
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Postby Tiara » Wed Mar 23, 2005 4:32 pm

Badger wrote:What if I no longer want you to read my words for free?


My immediate response is: if someone thinks their words may have future monetary value, then they shouldn't put them into the public domain.

However, I'd be interested to hear someone with experience in copyright law weigh in on this subject.
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Postby Zane5100 » Wed Mar 23, 2005 4:36 pm

Does the LLC claim copyright of what posted on this site?
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Postby Tancorix » Wed Mar 23, 2005 4:39 pm

I was just looking over the TOS when the question showed up. This should help clear it up.

TOS: Item #6:
Proprietary Rights in Content Posted on the Eplaya. Burning Man does not claim ownership of content you submit or make available for inclusion on the Service. Each member owns and retains all proprietary rights to the content they provide on the Eplaya. However, with respect to content you submit or make available for inclusion on the Service, you may not copy, modify, publish, transmit, distribute, perform, display or distribute any proprietary information which you do not own or control, have written permission to disclose or unless such information is in the public domain. Additionally, you hereby grant Burning Man a world-wide, irrevocable license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display content you submit or make available for inclusion on the Service solely for the purposes of providing the Content submitted on the Service.
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Postby III » Wed Mar 23, 2005 4:44 pm

that's a bunch of legalese which says: "we're not responsible for what you post, but once you post it, we won't let you maintain ownership of it, either."

i never liked that part of the t.o.s.
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Postby Don Muerto » Wed Mar 23, 2005 4:50 pm

Bring edit back. Within the context of this board, none of the arguments against being able to edit posts holds water.

Forget the Well, usability experts, your philosophy on how to externally enforce reasoned conversation, your belief in the sanctity of "Preveiw," and what your chicken-bones foretell. A simple before/after review of the quality of posts here on *this* board, (were it possible to review posts), would show that the net effect of removing edit was to raise the noise level as people edit in subsidiary posts in an attempt to clarify their primary ones.

The inability to edit not only allows the proliferation and survival of mistakes, unclear language and opportunities for misconstrual, it also buries the same under mounds of "Oops I meant X", "That was in reply to you, X" & "Damn no edit rule" posts.

This mess can largely be pegged on a certain prolific poster with a penchant for not standing behind what he posted. It upset people that he said things which he later deleted and denied when they aroused contention. Big effing deal. Was anybody other than the *most* casual browser of these forums unaware of the nature of the poster or his actions? We got the classic headache remedy of decapitation as a result, and the time is long past due to reverse course.

I think any of the half-measures proposed are better than no edit by a long shot, but full edit with a tag would be the best. In addition to the timestamp on the tag, I would like to see an "edited X number of times. "

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