Have you ever 'retracted' your blog post? You may want to.

By
Mortgage and Lending with 214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com NMLS # 322646

Many posts I read are filled with information, perhaps pictures were added to make it eye pleasing, and of course it was formatted for easy reading.  Clearly, you are putting your best foot forward for your readers.  After all, your readers are going to choose to do business with you because of it, right?

That being said, why do you not retract a post that is no longer valid?  Keep in mind I am not talking about the posts that are based on opinion or experience.  I am strictly talking about factual data that has since changed and/or were just incorrect to begin with but someone provide you with the correct information within a response.  I know I know.. it takes time to make the corrections and perhaps an updated post will come... eventually.

So, why do I care?  Well, I like for the buyer or seller to have the correct information.  Its bothersome to read some posts that have incorrect data.  And even after the blogger was told about the error, it was never corrected.  Sure, they acknowledged the error within a response, but what if your reader does not read all of the responses?  Should you not make an adjustment to your original post with the correct information?  Don't you want your readers to know they are working with someone who KNOWS the latest changes?  I still come across posts that talk about the $7500 tax credit.  Really?  Why haven't you updated that older post with a link to a new post which talks about the $8000 tax credit?  After all, the newest guidelines are more pleasant to read (no repayment plus more money).

Take the time to make the corrections.  Don't delete the previous post, but take the time to add the corrections and a link to the newest version/post.  Not only will that clear up confusion, but it will also provide some 'link love' which GOOGLE loves.  Win Win!

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Ambassador
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I just don't see how a post can be considered "outdated" when the post itself has a date.  It's the information all over the Internet with no date that is misleading.

May 15, 2009 01:25 AM #8
Rainmaker
191,572
Sheila Moran
RE/MAX Access (Garden Ridge, San Antonio, New Braunfels) - New Braunfels, TX
SanAntonioSheila.com, RE/MAX Access, 210-32

John,

wow, I was just going to mention that I was a culprit of this and was going to go back and correct (well, maybe just one)..

but after reading everyone's comments...it sounds like tons of work for the peeps who have tons of posts....

definitely made for some interesting conversation though...

May 15, 2009 02:06 AM #9
Rainmaker
175,287
Naoma Doriguzzi
Virginia Beach - Virginia Beach, VA
New Media Director

John - you bring on a great question and topic.  I definitely see your point on this but I agree with Lenn...it might be very difficult to do especially if you manage multiple blogs. 

May 15, 2009 04:16 AM #10
Ambassador
3,102,939
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

John, I actually search topics on ActiveRain and note the date. I like to read about a subject that may have changed. I learn from history. The only ones that try to change history are politicians!

May 15, 2009 04:36 AM #11
Rainmaker
661,136
JL Boney, III
Coldwell Banker - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

That's a tough one John. I see what you mean, because we would run the risk of misinforming or confusing people with a post that is out of date, but it can't be easy to go back through everything and figure out what we should drop.

May 15, 2009 05:13 AM #12
Rainmaker
400,528
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Vanna - You may be right about that, but I am really thinking about the people that I know for sure blog regularly.

Lenn - Its on honor to have you comment on my post. I don't recall you commenting before, although I've heard a lot about you.  I do agree that I think you can't go back to previous posts that you wrote weeks or months ago.  There is a limit I think to how far back you go.  But, let's take the example I provided which is the $7500 tax credit.  Sure, that was quite some time ago now... but people created posts about it and then we found out about the enhancement to the guidelines a few days later and still not correction to the previous post.  I'll use another example... how many people wrote a post about the $8000 being used as a down payment?  Within hours it seems, we received an update stating that its on hold because the details were not finalized.  If you posted something THAT morning, would you not want to go back and correct it?  Or at least write a new post (for the points I guess) and go back and link the new post to the old post?  This way your readers know you are staying on top of the latest.  * Thanks for the comment *

Gita - I agree there.  Certainly you would not go back.  As a matter of fact, even if you sold the house RIGHT AWAY I would not make the correction.  Hopefully someone will call about the listing and it will be an opportunity to work with them on another home.  I would never suggest making those updates.

Interesting thought Mike.  You are right that a sports writer may not go back and make the adjustment.  I do see your point, but I think that the reporting is different.  A batting average is something that could change daily, so I think its expected to change.  Regulations (although they seem to change a lot lately) should be accurate when reporting them.  And although they are accurate at the time of the post, I would still think you would want to make the adjustment as they happen.  The difference is this...  you may write two posts... the first one is now old data and the new one is up to date.  If someone googles the information, they may find the OLD Post first.. therefore thinking its correct.  Sure... that may not happen, but it could.  I would want my customers to have the latest information available to them so going back and correcting it would be ideal (for me).  Again, I know some have 800-1200 posts.  To go back and correct them would be too time consuming.  I am more thinking changes within the first few weeks.  Thanks for making me think though.

May 15, 2009 06:11 AM #13
Rainmaker
400,528
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Shirley - I dont think you have to delete it.  Fact is, it was correct at the time.  I just suggest you go back and make an foot note.. something that states this has changed since xx/xx/xx and please see the following link for the latest.  Then either blog about the adjustment and/or point them to another post that has accurate data.

Good point Donna.  I completely agree with that.  Its a time waster to go through all of those posts and make adjustments.  I think I am leaning more towards information that seems to be changing a lot.  The tax credit was a big one because one minute it was $7500, then it was $15,000, then it was $8,000.  Many wrote a post while it was still being discussed (I know I did).  But after the final decision was made, I went back and made the adjustment.  So, I think my peeve is really towards news of today.  I would not expect someone to go back months and make corrections but I think that if you did a post last week and it changed this week... go back and make the adjustments.

I agree Loreena.  Dont go back far, just address the items that are fresh in your mind and are being address in the media that day.  Many will post before something is really official because they want to be ahead of the game.  Thats GREAT!  I applaud them and encourage them to continue.  But if you find out the next day.. or the following week... I think they should go back and make a side note about the changes.  After all, you want your readers to know you are up to date as well.

Hello again Lenn.  I am feeling someone important to have you back twice. :-)  Please note (and maybe I should make an adjustment to my post.. ???) but I guess I am really considering stuff that is recent news.  I think the two examples I provided were pretty good.  The Tax Credit (because it adjusted so much in the beginning) and the Tax Credit used for a Down Payment (which changed within hours).  I'll go one better... Jeff Belonger wrote a post recently and Re-Blogged a post where someone was clearly wrong about the HVCC guidelines. (sorry to use your as an example Jeff).  Jeff commented on the persons post about the modifications that should be made to the persons post because it was incorrect and then he reblogged the post to tell people the correct guidelines.  I would think that this person would adjust their post to be accurate.  I don't know the person.  Perhaps they don't care, maybe they do.  But I would certainly want to make that adjustment so its accurate.

Sheila - You know that I follow your blog and you are correct that you had the incorrect information.  The difference is that you may not have had time to make the adjusts yet.  Im not thinking that people are sitting at your computer, waiting to make adjustments.  You have things to do.  But I assume that you would make the adjustment at the next opportunity and not just forget about it.  You mentioned it yourself... you were going to make the corrections.  And thats all I am saying  :-)   When you find out and its RECENT, go back and add two lines of data.

There are many good points Naoma.  Definitely for someone that has a tremendous amount of posts out there, you can not be expected to adjust them.  You'd spend days trying to go back and make adjustments.

LOL Paul.  I think following the changes of a process is great.  You do learn a lot from history.  I am surely not expecting someone would go back to a post 6 months ago and make the adjustment (unless of course you can search that post quickly and easily... then 'why not?').

I completely agree with you JL.  Going back would take a long time.  Fact is, if you posted something that was accurate at the time and then they changed regulations a few months later, definitely leave it alone.  But if you have a post that is changing (tax credit or down payment) I think you owe it to your readers to go back and make adjustments.  At least write a new post with the latest data.  Some people will post about one but not post about the latest information.  I think at the very least, you would want to add a post to your blog that highlights the latest data.

*** thank you all for your feedback.  I appreciate the comments ***

May 15, 2009 06:34 AM #14
Ambassador
2,739,883
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

You wrote:

how many people wrote a post about the $8000 being used as a down payment?  Within hours it seems, we received an update stating that its on hold because the details were not finalized.  If you posted something THAT morning, would you not want to go back and correct it?

THAT IS A POST that should definately be amended or deleted.

We have to remember that when we delete a post, all of the members who commented on it lose their comment points.

But, accuracy is more important 

May 15, 2009 07:28 AM #15
Rainmaker
400,528
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

That is really the stuff I am talking about Lenn.  Now if it happened that we were okay to use this as a down payment and then 7 months from now they change the rules again, I would say 'it is what it is'.  Dont go back and change it.  But this news is still new and should be reported accurately.

I didnt know that the comment points were removed also.  Its a shame, but like you said its about being accurate not about the points.

May 15, 2009 07:35 AM #16
Rainmaker
238,410
Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors - Dallas, TX

True that.

Wow, you have had alot to say today.  Are you writing a book?

May 15, 2009 10:21 AM #17
Ambassador
489,685
Kristin Moran
Owner - RE/MAX Access - KristinMoran@Remax.net - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397

Good points John.  I hadn't thought of doing this before but need to check it out to make sure I am current!

May 15, 2009 11:56 AM #18
Rainmaker
195,296
Tony Orefice
Wilkinson ERA/www.TonyORealtor.com - Concord, NC
Realtor/Harrisburg NC,Concord NC

Like most people said...it would be hard to go back and change old posts, especially when you have so many. When I have a change on a recent post, I go back and update it...posting a little message telling readers that I did so.

May 15, 2009 03:52 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,086,367
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

John,

I am honored to be sharing a blog with you, Tony, Lenn, Donna and myself. Especially myself. My blogs are 100% perfect in every sense of the word.

May 15, 2009 04:42 PM #20
Rainmaker
400,528
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Angelia - We did type a lot, but it was technically the same stuff repeated a few times. :-)

Sounds like a good plan Kristin.  Things that are too far dated would be better off being left alone.  Only update recent items.

Exactly Tony.  A small note is excellent.  No need to delete or rewrite.  Make a note that there were changes and point them to the updated post and/or post the adjustments right there.

Greg - I have had the honor of speaking with you several times... the novelty has warn off.  LOL

May 16, 2009 03:06 PM #21
Rainmaker
1,157,274
FN LN
Toronto, ON

You may want to include an advisory in each blog posting that discusses that the content was accurate at the date of publication but is subject to change due to changes in law, programs etc., thus, readers should ensure that the information is current before undertaking any action.  The text in my comment is not likely to be a sufficient disclaimer or warning and will need some modifications in order to be used.

May 16, 2009 05:01 PM #22
Rainmaker
1,086,367
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

yeah, yeah yeah

May 17, 2009 04:04 PM #23
Rainmaker
177,160
Leander McClain
North East, MD
Cecil & Harford County Realtor

John,  

I never really thought about that. I did go back and edit my company name, but didn't give any thought to the content.

Good Call

Have a great day
Make This YOUR Best Year Ever.

Leander

May 18, 2009 12:48 AM #24
Rainmaker
400,528
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Thats an interesting thought Marc.  I think in most cases people report the facts, they are accurate, and they do not change several hours/days later.  Maybe adding the disclaimer on all posts would be a bit much considering the percentage but it couldnt hurt.  Good idea.

Greg, don't be upset.  I was being sincere.

Hey Leander.  I noticed the new name a little while back.  You definitely want to be sure that a customer knows where you work. :-)

May 18, 2009 01:46 AM #25
Rainer
179,681
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

John - In looking at the MSM, breaking news articles are updated as new information becomes available.  However, this usually occurs within a relatively brief period of time.  I do agree if you post something (such as the $8000 down payment fiasco) that is completely wrong, a retraction or correction is in order.  Older posts can be left alone assuming they were correct at the time.  However, it could be beneficial to the consumer (and the blogger) if a link to newer information was added.

May 19, 2009 05:11 PM #26
Rainmaker
400,528
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Thanks Erik.  I could not have said that better myself.

May 20, 2009 01:29 AM #27
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