Recommendation about editing last instead of posting

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pcallahan
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Recommendation about editing last instead of posting

Post by pcallahan » March 15th, 2019, 2:37 pm

I don't want this to come across as complaining. I'm curious if anyone has a strong opinion either way.

I have seen the recommendation, usually followed (as I try to), that if you are posting after your own previous post, you should edit that instead of writing a new post. This certainly makes sense for afterthoughts that come in a few minutes, and I understand the overall rationale. I have broken the recommendation a few times by accident, and other times intentionally because more than a day had passed and I felt that my update was logically something new, not really a postscript to the last post.

The problem as I see it is that edits do not show up as activity on the thread, so anyone scanning a thread for new comments will never know if you had (e.g.) a new result on a long-running search and want to say something else. Such threads may have some silent readers ("lurkers" as we used to say on Usenet; does anyone use that term anymore?) and this edit policy is a recipe for making threads look inactive when there is actually one person continuing to contribute.

So I want to stick to policy and not abuse the website just to get attention. I wonder if this update issue is considered a feature or bug, or whether it bothers anyone else. If there were a way to have recent edits show up as activity on the thread, that would solve the problem.

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dvgrn
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Re: Recommendation about editing last instead of posting

Post by dvgrn » March 15th, 2019, 3:52 pm

pcallahan wrote:I have seen the recommendation, usually followed (as I try to), that if you are posting after your own previous post, you should edit that instead of writing a new post. This certainly makes sense for afterthoughts that come in a few minutes, and I understand the overall rationale. I have broken the recommendation a few times by accident, and other times intentionally because more than a day had passed and I felt that my update was logically something new, not really a postscript to the last post.
Occasional deliberate double-posting with interesting new material seems fine to me. As long as you know that people subscribed to a thread or board will get a notification email pointing them to your new post, and that's exactly what you want to happen, then you're probably doing double-posting right (unless you start getting objections).

I didn't invent the policy about editing instead of double-posting, but I think the rule was intended more as a reminder that "This is an academic forum, not a chat or microblogging platform" -- i.e., the forums aren't intended for adding new posts for every tangential thought or random joke that comes into your head, whereas it's probably fine to edit things like that into previous posts.

pcallahan
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Joined: April 26th, 2013, 1:04 pm

Re: Recommendation about editing last instead of posting

Post by pcallahan » March 15th, 2019, 4:17 pm

dvgrn wrote:As long as you know that people subscribed to a thread or board will get a notification email pointing them to your new post, and that's exactly what you want to happen, then you're probably doing double-posting right (unless you start getting objections).
That's a point I had not considered. I think I'm not subscribed to anything and I just glance over to see what has changed. It would be an improvement if "last edit" could propagate up to the thread heading, but it might not be configurable on phpBB. I will feel free to add a ping post if enough time passes on something I think deserves attention (used sparingly of course).

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gameoflifemaniac
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Re: Recommendation about editing last instead of posting

Post by gameoflifemaniac » March 19th, 2019, 1:53 pm

I do a new post instead of editing the previous so people can notice me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6EoRBvdVPQ
One big dirty Oro. Yeeeeeeeeee...

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