Should you proofread a blog?

I have just had the following comment posted by Jim on my ‘biography‘ entry on this blog.

Please proofread your website.

It doesn’t detract from what you’re saying, but I did find the spelling errors and grammatical mistakes a little annoying.

How to respond?  Obviously, I first checked the comment for typos – no such luck.  Should I delete it?  It is, after all, the only comment on this ‘not-particularly-for commenting-on-page”.  Well that wouldn’t really be in the spirit of social media.

It’s also not the first time someone has highlighted errors in my copy – though never directly in a comment.  It therefore gave me pause for thought, but as I thought, it became apparent that this is actually part of a much bigger issue.  The clue to this lies in Jim’s description of my output as “a website”.  But it’s not a website, it’s a blog.  What’s the difference?

Websites (as we tend to understand them) are traditional forms of media.  They are relatively expensive / difficut to produce.  They therefore have content rules attached to them – as do all traditional forms of media – and these rules derive directly from the implications of the fact that traditional media is expensive and scarce.   Social media, however, is cheap and disposable – that’s the whole point.  Social media, even if it looks like traditional published material, is more akin to conversation than publication.  That, in my opinion, absolves it from a responsibility to conform to the rules of traditional publication.

You could say that criticising my blog for containing typos and grammatical errors is the same as looking at a home video in YouTube and saying that the lighting is all wrong, the sound balance is all over the place and whoever did the post-production should be shot.  I may be stretching it a bit here – but you get the point.  (Should that have a question mark after it – “you get the point” – question or statement?)

You get the point?

You get the point.  That’s what it is all about.

If any of my posts were to be reproduced in a traditional publication, I would expect them to be put into their Sunday best – be edited, proofread and had their hair smoothed down.  But while they live in this blog, they can dress casual.

Sorry Jim.

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