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  1. tatterjack

    tatterjack Member

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    Editing

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by tatterjack, Jun 13, 2017.

    I gather from previous posts on the subject that members (as distinct from new members) can edit their posts. There doesn’t seem to be any reference to this in the FAQ’s. That aside it is quite discombobulating when you look back at the original story to see how the writer has developed it only to find the original has vanished.

    In another forum I used, writers would post new versions, or more often just rewritten sections, later in the thread. I appreciate this has its confusions too. The unwary can end up reading and commenting on something that has already been rewritten.

    The edit facility also seems to contradict a warning I read on the introduction that posts will never be deleted. This would be sensible as doing so could make the remaining posts in a conversation gobbledygook. The ability to edit previous posts of course can create the same problem since I can mutilate/delete the entire content of a post.

    It may be of course that I have misunderstood the editing rules and that only the thread originator can edit and possibly only the first post.

    In any case I would suggest

    a) a FAQ

    b) it would be polite just to put a note at the top of a post you are rewriting to say, ‘rewritten version below’, leave the rest of the post as was and post the new version at the bottom of the thread.

    I’m new here so apologies if I’ve missed something.
     
  2. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Hello Tatter,
    most seasoned posters do this, but you're right, it discombobs my lations too when it occurs. I tend to capture what I'm critiquing in a quote so as to freeze it in time, or intermesh my critique right into a copy paste of the original.
     
  3. tatterjack

    tatterjack Member

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    Thanks Seth, that does explain the widespread use of the quoting mechanism. I will just have to get used to the way things are done around here but a FAQ would help.
     
  4. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    When it comes to using the Workshop, we expect members to post revisions of their story in a new post further down the thread. Changing the original post would only cause confusion among readers, as many of the posts below it would critique something that no longer exists. Leaving a note at the top of the original post saying "a revision can be found in post #x" is definitely appreciated as it helps the critiquers find the correct text. (I'm pretty sure we have written up somewhere that this is how the workshop should be used, but I can't seem to find it... o_O)

    In general, any Member can edit any of their own posts. We allow this to let members correct the content of posts they've made (maybe they've found new information, or realised something they said was incorrect), as well as append more information without having to create a line of posts. Of course, this means that members can delete the content of their posts (by replacing it with just a word or so). However, this behaviour is not allowed and if it happens a moderator can restore the post's original content (we have access to all revisions of a post).

    I agree with you that it might be worth clarifying this somewhere. I personally think it would fit quite well in the New Member Quick Start.
     
  5. tatterjack

    tatterjack Member

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    Thanks Komposten,
    That is exactly what's happening here and in other threads. Given that it is an onerous task for moderators to monitor every thread repeatedly and that 'this behaviour (deleting content) is not allowed' I have to question the wisdom of enabling editing at all after a reasonable window, say an hour.
     
  6. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know if it is possible (i.e. if the software allows it), but maybe we could lock editing after a certain time (an hour, or something) in the Workshop specifically. I still think allowing editing is a good thing elsewhere, but if we can disable it in the Workshop it would force people to post revisions in later posts. However, doing so might be a bit confusing as the editing rules/ability would work differently in different areas.

    Apparently it looks like we (the Staff) have touched upon this issue before, but I don't think we got to a conclusion on what to do (or not do). Tagging the rest of the staff here to get some more opinions. @Wreybies @Daniel @KaTrian @T.Trian @Mckk @Kingtype @minstrel
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  7. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I know in one thread I posted revisions in replies rather than in the first post, used strikethrough on the first post, AND amended the thread title to say 'Revision in post #Whatever'. And still somebody critiqued the opening post and said the strikethrough made it difficult for them. :D

    Sometimes you can lead a horse to water but...
     
  8. tatterjack

    tatterjack Member

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    Thank you Tenderiser. The laugh, the sober reality and your avatar's expression are all appreciated.
     
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  9. tatterjack

    tatterjack Member

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    Hi Komposten,

    I am not fully persuaded editing after a limited period anywhere on a forum is a good idea, primarily because it can make nonsense of posts written in response to the original. In fact I can't think of a case where writing the amendment in a subsequent post would not be better. The only argument for it I can conceive of is from the individual who has thought better of something he has originally said. Real life doesn't come with an edit function and mistakes function as aids to learning. I think the same should apply to a forum.
     
  10. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    I disagree. Especially in the critique forum, I really resent it when I waste my time reading and giving feedback on a version of writing that is no longer current. The changes I suggest may have already been made, or the writer may have gone in a totally different direction in subsequent versions. I like to know that upfront, and I don't like to read the entire thread before I post my comments because I want to be sure I'm using my own ideas without being influenced by others.

    So for me, the first post needs to be altered at least enough to let me know it's no longer current - "see most recent version in post 36" or whatever. And if we allow people to edit for that, they may well edit for other purposes.

    In terms of real life not having an edit function - writing in real life generally does, and creative writing almost always does. I agree that people learn from mistakes, but I think the most valuable learning comes from fixing the mistakes, not sitting there and staring at them...
     
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  11. tatterjack

    tatterjack Member

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    Thanks for your thoughtful response Bayview,

    We seem to agree on alerting the reader upfront there have been changes. If I've understood correctly your objection to my suggestion is twofold.

    Firstly, if we allow editing to that extent then there is no way of preventing them from 'edit(ing) for other purposes.' You may well be correct, but that can lead to the situation I described where already created posts read nonsensically. This may not be as important in a workshop but I suggest it is something you would want to prevent elsewhere in a forum.

    Secondly you don’t want to read the entire thread to get to the current revision. I’m with you on that as well. It is a waste of the reviewer’s time and like you I don’t (usually*) wish to be influenced by other comments.

    Would we not both be satisfied by Komposten’s suggestion "a revision can be found in post #x"?

    I also take your point about the difference between writing and real life. However, might there not be an advantage to a history of how a piece has developed in response to feedback? It’s certainly something I’ve been encouraged to consider in creative writing courses.

    *I’ve found myself making exceptions where the first few paragraphs are difficult to read and I want to make an informed judgement about whether to continue.
     
  12. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    But how do we include the "a revision can be found in post #x" line without allowing editing?

    I mean, I agree that people shouldn't be deleting huge swaths of text or making changes that obscure the original meaning, and as I understand the forum rules people aren't supposed to do that. So if they do I'd tell a mod and the mod could come and restore the original version in order to make the thread make sense.
     
  13. tatterjack

    tatterjack Member

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    You are right unless we or the Xen Foro people can write a plugin that achieves this effect without enabling across-the-board editing. I would imagine a link/button at the top saying 'Latest Revision'. Failing that why not make it an explicit code of conduct. One of the reasons I started this thread was that I couldn't find anything telling me how it was supposed to work. Personally I would prefer no changes apart from the warning. Sometimes I want to look back and see how something worked in context and the quote may not do that. That's in the workshop. Elsewhere my instinct is that it would be nearly impossible to disentangle which particular post caused others to be nonsense.
     
  14. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    You may be right about it not being a forum rule... I'm remembering a poster who has gone back and deleted a large number of her posts, making threads hard to follow... I reported this to mods and I just checked and nothing was done about it, so possibly it's either not a rule or it's a rule that is being selectively enforced for some reason.

    So, bad forum etiquette? I think definitely. But possibly not against the rules, in which case... blech. I wish it were against the rules and/or I wish the rule was enforced.
     
  15. tatterjack

    tatterjack Member

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    We await the Gods' mods' decision.
     
  16. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    deleting stuff in a fit of pique is against the rules .. that's what got Toe Knee Black banned... the mods can also put them back if they can be arsed. However just editing your first post with revisions etc isnt against the rules as far as I know

    btw if you want the mods to respond its best to either tag them @Wreybies @Mckk @Komposten etc or to hit the report post button. They don't read every thread so they won't necessarily respond unles you jump up and down waving frantically
     
  17. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    Possibly it's not against the rules if it's not "in a fit of pique"? I don't know, but I know I hit the report post button (possibly on two separate occasions, since I know I've noticed it at more than one time) and nothing happened. Maybe it's because it was older posts?
     
  18. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I think deliberate thread spoiling is against the rules, doing it for other reasons probably isnt - i would guess its either selectively enforced because they've got a lot on, or they just havent got round to the one you reported yet

    ETA the rules say (my bold)

    "By posting, you are granting limited use. Specifically, retention or removal of that piece of writing from the site is solely at the discretion of the site administration team, and members may quote the submission in full or in part for the purpose of critique within that thread."
     
  19. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, at this point the members are expected to use common sense and not edit the entry others have already critiqued.

    There's a list of Writing Workshop rules on our Forum rules page, so this could be mentioned there (do not edit excerpts that have been critiqued. Please post a revised version further down the thread. Please indicate in the first post there is a new version to be found in post #00), for example.

    I don't believe we'd do away with the editing function. With great power comes great responsibility, and all that. ;)
     
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  20. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Wow, optimistic :D
     
  21. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I see that, for example, the Short Stories subforum has custom text: "Writing fiction? Post your short stories here for review."

    Maybe it would help to add a piece of boilerplate to the custom text for every workshop subforum? Something like:

    IMPORTANT--READ BEFORE POSTING: Do not delete or (substantially) edit your workshop submission after posting. If you wish to post an edited version, please do so as a new post in the thread, and add a note to the top of the original post.

    That could probably be more concise.

    Edited to add: This wouldn't help with people misbehaving deliberately, but it would make the policy clear to those that want to follow it.
     
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  22. tatterjack

    tatterjack Member

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    Dear Chicken Freak
    your little beak
    has pecked the problem nicely

    If fits of pique
    are what they seek
    this rule will fit precisely
     
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