Living online documents


I haven’t been treating this blog as an “actual” blog.

As a reader, I view blogs as a place for regularly published posts which are read and then immediately forgotten. As a writer, I view blogs as a place to publish a piece of writing and then move on to the next piece.

I can’t think of my blog this way.

Instead, I think of each post as an unfinished piece of work that acts a stake in the ground for an idea that may be worth thinking about. In the future, I may come back to fix up typos, grammatical errors, add/remove sentences, or even add/remove entire ideas.

This means that each post is a living online document. I wish that there was some way for the public to view it as such. Instead, people just see the new posts within their email or RSS readers. To my subscribers, I’m sorry about this. It is unfortunate because all of the ideas are half-baked and may contain some horrible typos/errors. I hope you still find the ideas interesting, and perhaps find your way back to some of the posts in the future (after the 100-day challenge when I can revisit posts).

This points to an interesting thought about online publishing. Most content online does not change. News articles don’t change. Most people don’t change their blog posts. Facebook and Twitter posts don’t change. And at the same time, content is growing at and exponential rate. The Internet is becoming a firehose of half-baked articles that could be better, but never will be.

The current Internet rewards quantity. Yet, over time, it is the evergreen quality posts that really matter. One could expect writers to publish fully formed evergreen content, but this is very difficult. What makes sense is to revisit ideas, iterate on them, and then iterate on the writing.

Is there some way to support and encourage living online documents? If someone could figure how to make living documents engaging, IMHO, the Internet would become a much better place.

P.S. This is post number #70 in a 100 day blogging challenge. See you tomorrow!

Follow me on Twitter @alexshye.

Or, check out my current project Soulmix.

2 thoughts on “Living online documents

  1. We get what we want, and we want shitty content | Alex Shye

  2. Living online lists | Alex Shye

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