Unlike many in the mainstream media, we bloggers don’t have fact-checkers or proofreaders to point out potential errors in our posts or to catch typographical mistakes. We very often depend on our readers to catch mistakes we may have missed. And owe it to them and our readers to fix them as soon as we are made aware of them.
I did just that yesterday when a reader, indeed, one of the subjects of the post, informed me that I had misrepresented his views. I corrected a post after I became aware of my error. Later, I decided to pull the post, being only the third time I have done such a thing since I started blogging.
On a day when I was trying to post as quickly as possible so I could provide fresh material for you all, I quickly typed up a post, summarizing a piece from Newsbusters that a reader had e-mailed to me, offering my own spin. That piece inaccurately reported comments Michelangelo Signorile had made on Joy Behar’s talk show.
Shortly after I posted the piece, Signorile contacted me, informing me of my error and asked me to watch the clip. (Interestingly, he did not ask me to correct or pull the post.) He was right that I should have watched the clip before I posted the piece. Because I find Newsbusters normally to be reliable, I didn’t watch the clip, primarily because I had wanted to save time yesterday.
My error ended up costing me time. After watching the clip, I updated the post to correct my error, perhaps devoting more time to writing the correction than I did to composing the original post.
As I was returning home last night, however, I realized that had I watched the clip, I wouldn’t have written the post in the first place. It thus struck me that I should probably pull the post I had recently corrected. Given that readers had already commented, I thought I’d keep it up and write this post.
But, as I began writing this post, I listened to my gut and decided to pull it.
In the end, I spent more time correcting the post and mapping out (and writing) this one that instead of saving time as I had hoped to do, I actually cost myself time, cutting into the time I had allotted to my dissertation. And I have no one to blame but myself.
Now, as bloggers, we come to trust this or that site, believing that the bloggers/journalists there do their homework. And there are some sites we know now never to trust and always to double check. When a reader asks me to blog on something from said site, but I find that their links are either bad or to questionable sites, I don’t follow through.
When we’re in a hurry, as I was yesterday, we tend to dispense with the double checking on the sites we trust.
As I write this, the maxim, “Shortcuts make long delays” comes to mind. For that is what I experienced.
I apologize to our readers for the error. I realize that even sites I trust make errors sometimes. In trying to save time, I made a mistake which ended up costing me time, and at the same time, posted inaccurate information on this blog.
In the end, I thought it best to pull the offending post (removing that information) and to write this one.