Still, Silverman and Shirky both consider the question of a site’s credibility to be an audience decision, not an editorial one. Blue takes a more rigid approach, choosing to hold all blogs written for the public to the highest journalistic standards. “I really believe in the concept of a permanent history and keeping a journal that is an accurate telling of history,” she says. “My site is a personal site, but it’s something in the public sphere, something of permanent record.” Blue is quick to say that many of her posts reflect personal opinions that have changed over time. She claims never to have deleted a post—even the ones she posted while drunk.
Moving forward, Boing Boing’s editors promise to involve readers in the archiving practices of the site. Shirky, who is one of those readers, offers this: “I think it would have been optimal if whatever problem the editors had with Violet Blue had led to an editor’s note, a strike-through, or just a sense that ‘we stopped posting her stuff a year ago,’ that she’s persona non grata, and simply letting the other stuff go.”
Silverman hopes that Boing Boing begins to conform to the standard blogging practice of noting how and when a post is updated. And the Boing Boing commenters continue to wage a major debate on new media archival ethics.
“I’m not quite ready to say that I’m glad this took place, but it raised these questions that are fundamentally new questions,” said co-editor Pescovitz. “I’m glad that the discussion is happening on our site.”