Blogs as history

Stephen Baker

Dave Taylor wonders whether bloggers should keep updating their old posts as stories change. His concern: that Web-searchers will come across old blog posts that proved to be incorrect and take them as gospel. I say that bloggers don't need to do that anymore than newspapers do. The value of an old newspaper story is that it gives us a view of how events were being seen that day.

Neville Chamberlain comes back from Munich and promises peace in our time. We read that clip for perspective from October of 1938. We don't need some addendum informing us that the Hitler turned out to be a cheating, murderous liar. Same goes for day-to-day coverage of the Iraq war, or even the JonBenet case. I think bloggers are too busy covering today to go back and fix a thousand yesterdays. Exceptions? I'd say that if a post contained incorrect info that turned out to be unfair to someone, it should be changed. Any other cases?