Editing Posts March 8, 2002 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to have an edit facility? I know there are ample opportunities before you actually post, but some of us like to unwind after work on a Friday with a little drink or three and don't always spot our little boo boos until it's too late, thus incurring the wrath of the less tolerant among us.
If we could edit the post, post posting as it were, it would save embarrassment.
Profound apologies for my too too boo boo on Miguel Carduso's radio thread. Should have caught an earlier choo choo.
posted by Fat Buddha to Feature Requests at 11:58 AM (24 comments total)

I concur, FatBuddha, I've had a couple of threads nearly derailed due to minor semantic mistakes but they recovered when I basically reworded it within the thread's comments things got back on track...It would've saved me some headaches if I could have altered the original post after seeing the misinterpretations causing unexpected problems. Whether this would just cause more problems, I'm not sure, but it's worth considering.
posted by jonmc at 12:16 PM on March 8, 2002

[pointing at Buddha, making crazy "drinkie-drinkie" signals, and ridiculing him mercilessly...]

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Think of it! A state-of-the-art editing facility for MeFi, carved out of the New York skyline in gleaming bronze and chrome, staffed with a small army of scurrying minions, constantly on the look out for a stray comma.

Alternately, we could just do it ourselves, too.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:17 PM on March 8, 2002

it's been discussed and rejected, FB, in the past.
posted by moz at 12:18 PM on March 8, 2002

I think it would be a bad idea. If only because you can't have a running conversation in a thread if people have the ability to return to their comments and change their statements. I know that simple word edits would be helpful to get rid of lame spelling thread derails and semantic arguments, but imagine if you could remove comments that you had made just because they were unpopular or because you were proved wrong.

It would really ruin some of the great debates on this site. [Though, for someone like me, the preview button works fine but the post button should really say "reveal typos"]
posted by eyeballkid at 12:30 PM on March 8, 2002

It's too confusing - if you refer to someone's comment in your own, and then later they edit theirs, and yours is rendered meaningless - well, that stinks. Also, the last thing we need is less encouragement for people to think before they post.
posted by D at 12:32 PM on March 8, 2002

Whoops. Slow-boy beat out by eyeballkid.
posted by D at 12:33 PM on March 8, 2002

Winston Smith's job at the Ministry of Truth, updating the past by falsifying records in accordance with the principles of Ingsoc, provides the catalyst for his descent into unorthodoxy. After reading The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism ,it seems reasonable.
posted by Mack Twain at 12:43 PM on March 8, 2002

why not create the ability to edit a post once, for a limited time after the post (say, 5 minutes)?

that would avoid most of the problems mentioned by eyeballkid and D while providing the benefits Fat Buddha seems to be looking for. [Of course, if you're drunk off your ass, 5 minutes won't help much, but in most cases it should.]

Just now, I typed "20-20" rather than "20/20" (referring to the ABCNews show) in today's Simpsons topic; being a stickler for detail, I posted a correction. If I had had the ability to edit my post right away, then that second post would have been unnecessary. (One might argue that it was unnecessary to begin with.)

That is what Preview/Post is for, though; I simply failed to scroll back up and look at the context before I hit "Post." So maybe it does make sense to say, "No editing: use Preview!"

But like eyeballkid says, it's only when you see your gaffe on the site that you slap your forehead and say "D'oh!"
posted by gohlkus at 12:44 PM on March 8, 2002

Oh dear, old insomnia slaughters me again.
I was thinking of maybe a 2 or 3 hour period of grace so I could avoid the sort of humiliation I inflicted upon myself last week, Friday again!!.
I would not disagree with eyeballkid, and even drunk would not want to change anything I said if it turned out to be cobblers, I take your point too D. I was thinking more of just tidying up a "lousy post"....having just done it again.
Until I get banned for it I suppose the world of mefi is going to have to accept a serial offender.

posted by Fat Buddha at 12:44 PM on March 8, 2002

as much as I enjoy forging email chains in Outlook, this is Bad Idea jeans...
posted by machaus at 12:45 PM on March 8, 2002

"...I mean, when am I ever going to be in Haiti again?... Bad Idea Jeans...."
posted by eyeballkid at 12:58 PM on March 8, 2002

Insomnia, (again) I think you might be a bit anal. No offence intended, but I really dont think you grasped my point. You just wanted to ridicule. Fair enough I suppose but keep it up and it could get nasty.
posted by Fat Buddha at 1:19 PM on March 8, 2002

I will point out that on a couple of occasions I've spotted a mistake in a post and thrown a quick email in Matt's direction pointing out my mistake and he's very kindly edited the URL/spelling/sentence structure to what I want. He's even taken down a post I wasn't proud of as well.
posted by feelinglistless at 1:34 PM on March 8, 2002

so you think the proper response to insomnia_lj is to threaten him?
posted by moz at 1:34 PM on March 8, 2002

Fat Buddha - what booboo? Thanks to you I learnt about Radio 6(starts Monday!). You shouldn't be so hard on yourself(or on others). And when others criticize you, remember they may not be as intensely self-critical as you are. And, above all, think about all of us and dismiss it if one individual focuses on you. Same for you - don't do the same. Otherwise...well, even then it's not important. It's no big deal, really. :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:40 PM on March 8, 2002

Do a search for metatalk threads containing the word "edit" and you should find past arugments of why I will never allow for editing.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:50 PM on March 8, 2002

You could just try not posting under the influence.

OTOH, it's good to see that the American tradition of claiming "It was the booze!" is as strong now as it was for Wilbur Mills (assuming I'm not getting my former politicians involved in scandals mixed up).
posted by anapestic at 1:53 PM on March 8, 2002

Miguel,the voice of sweet reason as ever.
Feeling listless,thank you for that very good advice.
Moz.It is as difficult to spot a tongue in a cheek in life as it is in cyberspace.Insomnia and in particular mo nickells I have taken some abuse from. I happen to think the tone and tenor (though not the substance) was uncalled for.
I was being silly. If there was any threat it was to a war of pedantry which I would clearly lose.
But there was no threat.

posted by Fat Buddha at 1:58 PM on March 8, 2002

I believe set in stone are Matt's operative words. It works well: take as long as you like previewing; hell, be a Flaubert: spend a whole day changing the place of a comma only to put it back where it was when you started. When you've finally looked your great work over, read it aloud, shown it to the cats and the janitor, and you still think it's worth sharing with the world...well then, hit that beckoning post button. Don't worry if it looks worse "in print"(it always does) because it won't really matter: you're now well and truly, officially, but very fairly fucked. And you can't take it back! ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:14 PM on March 8, 2002

Fat Buddha - It was a wellmeaning joke, really. I've had the occasional "Did I really say that?!" post before... and surprisingly alcohol has also been an interesting factor in some of my posts. I can relate...

... and yes, some basic degree of editing would work very nicely, thank you! I don't know whether we can count on the people who submit the posts to do it themselves, however. They might post something, then not really follow the thread or notice the errors. There's also the risk of revisionism.

Still, with all that said, it looks like (insert deity) has put me on this earth to be your foil... or comic relief. Who am I to question her will?! ;->

posted by insomnia_lj at 2:47 PM on March 8, 2002

Insomnia,Fat Buddha - It was a wellmeaning joke, really. I've had the occasional "Did I really say that?!" post before... and surprisingly alcohol has also been an interesting factor in some of my posts. I can relate...

I confess I am lost again.
But then again many hours have passed.
I think you missed a space.

posted by Fat Buddha at 2:57 PM on March 8, 2002

FB - are you drinking right now? :-)

Your typing started out great, and is getting sillier as the thread goes on. I'm not ragging on you, I just think it's kinda funny.

Cheers, and happy Friday, everybody!
posted by andnbsp at 3:23 PM on March 8, 2002

I'm going to bed.

posted by Fat Buddha at 3:31 PM on March 8, 2002

Friends don't let friends drink and mefi.
posted by tomorama at 12:23 PM on March 9, 2002

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