Editing an impatient web

The Buddha was called "the prince of patience." Patience was his hallmark. I bet he would have liked our adages "Anything worth doing, is worth doing right" and "If you don't have time to do it right, you better have time to do it again".

And yet I find myself being a bit hasty, especially with my blog posts, and quality has suffered. That's very bad: It has always been important to speak clearly, honorably, and with an eye to benefit the listener. And with the power of technology, the need for care in writing has only increased.

It hits me like a ton of bricks: I need an editor. A lot of us bloggers do.We need to learn to have more patience, to accept that our posts need to take longer to wind their way into the public Internet. Fewer articles with higher quality content would benefit everyone.

As an author, I need an editor, but how can I get one? Who is willing to tell me when my work is substandard and how to improve it (tighten! clarify! bad transition! fewer words!). What about providing editorial services to another author in trade? Do such arrangements exist? Do they work? Please do contact me if this notion interests you, or if you've heard of such a thing being done (successfully or not).

Is there an opportunity for software innovation here? Definitely, in fact there are two such. First, there is a great editorial tool waiting to be written that is like Google Docs meets SharedCopy meets voice recording. Such a tool might make more available inexpensive, quality editorial services. This hypothetical tool would allow an editor to read a document, highlight problematic parts, and either type in or or speak their feedback.

The second opportunity is to offer readers a reliable system that would guarantee a minimum level of editorial quality. This could take the form of a difficult-to-forge "I've been edited" badge, perhaps even with some notion of how many revisions the text has been through, and how much time human beings have spent working with the text. Such a rating system would give the social media crowd great leverage to make better judgments faster, allowing it to bring higher quality content to the forefront. If there were a de facto editorial tool, then such a rating would be straightforward to introduce.

Until then, I'll just have to be more patient.

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