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message 1: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 228 comments I've been involved in a couple of conversations where people go back and edit posts in response to someone's comments so that the conversation is hard to follow for someone reading the conversation later. This seems to be not quite playing fair, either for the participants or later readers.

Would it be possible to limit the time someone can edit a post, say to two or three minutes, or at least to mark a post that's been edited? I've seen both of these methods used on other systems: in the former, there's a timer telling you how much time you have left to edit a post, and once time is up, the post stands as is with no further chance to edit. In the latter, if a post is edited after posting, it's is automatically marked, "EDITED AT [Time and date]." I'd love to see this idea implemented for fairness and accuracy, so that people can't change threads after the fact.


message 2: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new)

Rindis | 47 comments I would recommend auto marking a post as having been edited. My favorite systems will say "This post has been edited by _ # times." One system also allowed you to give an (optional) reason for the edit that would appear with the edit notice.

And definitely give us a few minutes grace. I often find myself going back and tweaking something right after I post.

message 3: by rivka, librarian moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new)

rivka | 12270 comments Mod
I like the sort of systems Rindis described. Please do include a 10-minute grace period!

message 4: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 228 comments If it wasn't clear from my initial post, I agree that there should be a short period during which one can still edit. However, I think ten minutes is way too long. Three to four minutes seems to be more than enough time to allow correction of errors without giving enough leeway to go back and change stuff that will make the thread hard to follow later.

message 5: by rivka, librarian moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new)

rivka | 12270 comments Mod
Since I post on a forum that has the ten-minute rule, I disagree based on experience. If I get distracted by something else -- be it online or one of my kids -- I frequently barely make the 10-minute deadline.

And since the lag between one post and the next here is generally considerably longer than 10 minutes, I don't foresee a problem.

Of course, another option I have seen, rather than a time limit, is that you can edit without the "edited" tags until someone posts another post on the thread. After that -- whether it's 2 minutes or two days -- edit tags appear, but not before.

message 6: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8939 comments I like that last idea Rivka posted, if Goodreads can make that work.

I often find spelling/grammar/etc. errors or other things I want to add long after my initial post. Could always post again but don't want to clog up the boards any more than I already do. I'd never object to a note showing I'd edited though.

message 7: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 228 comments I'm active on a system that does not allow editing of posts, period. You can delete a post and repost it without the errors if you want, and of course you can make a follow up post to clarify an earlier post, but you cannot edit at all once it's posted. I don't have any problem with that at all, because it acts to preserve the integrity of the discussion -- there's no ability to go back and edit stuff based on later posts so that you can render a later comment meaningless or senseless, and if something has a couple typos or grammatical errors it's not really a big deal and everyone understands. So that's my experience, and I like that system a lot better.

I'll meet you in the middle -- how about five minutes? (Not that the decision is ours to make, of course, but you get my meaning.)

message 8: by rivka, librarian moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new)

rivka | 12270 comments Mod
I'm active on a system that does not allow editing of posts, period.

I'm on one of those too. And I hate not being able to edit, and it's a big part of the reason I don't participate much there.

message 9: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8939 comments Laura and Everybody,

If edited posts distort the meaning of later posts, wouldn't continuing to allow posters to completely delete posts pose some of the same problems? If someone/many have responded to a post that no longer exists, that wouldn't make any sense either.

Just curious what you think about that potential situation.

Also, devious person that I am, hee hee, guess a poster could copy & paste the ORIGINAL post they're responding to in their response post. Since we can edit only our own posts, the original poster could not "hide" or delete their original post. This, if a poster deems this measure important for some reason.

I do spend a fair amount of time on Goodreads, and I've seen a couple of threads where edited posts or deleted ones have caused consternation, but the situation doesn't appear to be that typical that I've noticed.

Am I incorrect about that?

message 10: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:36PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 228 comments Lisa, yes, allowing people to delete posts can make it harder to follow a discussion, of course. But as long as there's a notation that the post has been deleted, instead of just removing it as though it never existed, at least there will be a record of what happened so people understand that part of the conversation is missing. On the other system I was referring to before, if a user deletes a post, the header of the post, with the person's name and so forth, is still there, but it says "scribbled" where the content of the post was. (Same on imdb, btw -- it says "this post has been deleted by X").

And yeah, I have definitely seen people abusing the ability to edit posts at any time. Does it happen in most threads? No, it doesn't. But it happens enough that I think it's worth changing the system so at the very least edited posts will be automarked as edited. Again, that will allow for at least minimal preservation of a discussion's integrity.

message 11: by Bree (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:36PM) (new)

Bree (coffeebeanbookshelf) | 124 comments I wouldn't like it if we were only given x amount of time to edit...I only edit in one of my groups, where I list books I've read. I read some pretty fast, so instead of posting every 2-3 days, I post once with 2 book names, and go back and edit with the finished date after. That way I only have to post once a week with updates.

I do like the "this post was edited..." thing, but I think in a discussion or thread, editing to ADD info that relates to something below should be discouraged anyway. Why not just post again, kwim? Weird.

message 12: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:36PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 228 comments I think that's a good idea, especially if the developers eventually decide to go with the "no edit" option.

message 13: by Ruth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:36PM) (new)

Ruth | 113 comments I would have a fit if I was not allowed to edit posts, or if I only had a short grace period in which I could do so. Ack. What about those typos? What about when you come back 2 days later and realize that what you said was not clear?

I have participated on two bulletin board discussion groups for over 12 years where we can edit freely and there's never ever been a problem over edited posts.

R, coming back to edit and put in a question mark.

message 14: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:36PM) (new)

Jessica | 99 comments I have to agree with Laura's approach here, partly because I'm also a participant in the other system she describes, and I see how it works. I don't mind having the ability to edit a post (and I'm pretty agnostic as to whether there should be a time limit, or what that time limit should be) as long as -- and this is crucial -- that any edited post is tagged as edited, and any deleted post is marked as deleted. I haven't seen tons of editing/deleting abuse around here, but there has been some, and it hurts the integrity of the discussions. And after all, discussion about books is what this site is all about. I foresee, based on a good 10 years of online forum participation, that as the system grows and the group boards grow and become even more flexible and usable, leading to more passionate conversations, that the problem will only increase.

message 15: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:37PM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Good stuff!

I agree that it would be helpful if you could see when a person last edited their post, and also if a deleted post exists.

I'm not a fan of the time limit, as it doesn't really solve the problem (you can always edit offline). So we're going to add a new message "last edited on xxx" that appears on any message that has been edited. This way you can tell if the post is edited, and when. I think this should solve the problem, but let me know your thoughts!

Deleted posts are a little more involved, so we'll put that on the todo list.

message 16: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:37PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 228 comments Whoa. How's that for responsiveness!

Thanks, Otis. You guys are awesome!

message 17: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:37PM) (new)

Jessica | 99 comments Thanks!

message 18: by rivka, librarian moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:37PM) (new)

rivka | 12270 comments Mod
It's relatively innocuous, and not in your face.

I still wish we had a 10-minute window (I'd settle for 5 ;) ), and I expect that I am likely to to delete recent posts and re-post them to fix typos, to avoid the edit tags.

*shrug* It's a fairly good compromise.

message 19: by Rob (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:38PM) (new)

Rob McMonigal | 41 comments Testing editing feature!

message 20: by Debbie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:38PM) (new)

Debbie Moorhouse If someone persistently edits their posts, the simplest approach is to preserve the content to which you're responding by quoting it in your post. Which they can't edit.

Bwa ha ha!

message 21: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:38PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8939 comments Squirrel, Yes, that's what I said in message #12 on page 1 of this thread.

Rob, what are we supposed to be seeing?! Your post looks like a regular post. Or have you not edited it yet?

my edit:
oh, ok, see little note on Rob's post now. That's fine with me. We won't know which content has been edited but that's fine with me also.

my edit # 2:

Glad there's just a last edited: if there was a notation for every edit, my posts would look ridiculous...I edit a lot. ;-)

message 22: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:38PM) (new)

Jessica | 99 comments I just tested to see if a deleted post is indicated, and it is not. FYI.

message 23: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:38PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8939 comments Jessica,

See the end of message 19 on page 1 of this thread. Otis said:

"Deleted posts are a little more involved, so we'll put that on the todo list."

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