How to Make Corrections When Blogging

Sometimes you make a mistake when blogging and get the facts wrong. How do you follow up with a correction?

I don’t know the exact terminology that press guidelines or rules use, but generally it is something like

Give corrections with equal precedence and weighting

Effectively this means:-

  • If you published the story on the front-page, your correction should be on the front page as well
  • If you wrote a 2000 word article lambasting someone, a 5 word retraction might not be looked on as suitable

When blogging generally it seems to be acceptable if it is a minor correction to correct the post with an update, but I suppose that also depends at least partially on the number of people who might have read the original article.

I have noticed some controversial high traffic blogs never make a correction, not even in their comments. A correction in the comments isn’t enough, because most of your readers won’t see the correction.

How about Podcasts?

Professionally produced Podcasts take a lot of editing, and are often downloaded first, and then listened to a few days later. Making a correction in the Podcast isn’t easy, and wouldn’t receive the same level of distribution.

Do it how the Pros Do It

The WordPress Podcast mentioned my Disclosure Policy Plugin in Episode 14 back in December. I was grateful for the mention, but made a comment to clarify some of the points raised in the Podcast.

They only publish the podcast approximately once a week, and had a very full schedule already planned. I honestly didn’t expect a high profile correction.

Episode 18 has just been published, and they spent half of the show dealing with listener feedback. They actually read almost all of the comment I made, word-for-word (and it was quite long), and then responded with an acknowledgement.

I think the original mention of the plugin was about 30 seconds towards the end of Episode 14, and the correction was over 3 minutes long… these guys are real pros.

It is well worth subscribing to their WordPress Podcast Feed although it is another Feedburner Feed that needs the RSS overlay fixed.

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  1. says

    I have to agree with you that retractions and apologies should always be made or you loose any integrity you have.

    As I write this I’m just after posting (1 minute ago) to apologize and correct for the fact that I jumped the gun and didn’t do my homework properly on the whole Google AdSense Policy update.

    I know some bloggers would never admit their error and just continue blindly on, but if you want to maintain any credibility you have to bit the bullet, stand up and say “I was wrong”.