Evolving Processes, Or the Problems with Years of Posts

One side effect have having nearly 5,500 posts going back to late 2005 is that several times a week, I get comments on posts that are six-, twelve-, eighteen-months old. Often these comments are suggesting alternatives to things I’ve described that I do (how I use “to-do” lists; which word processing software I use, etc.). The comments are appreciated, but, of course, the posts are out of date.

One thing I have done to combat this is to make available in the sidebar on the right, a link to the most recent version of the “How I Work” post. I update this post (with a new month/year combination) each time I make a significant change in the way I work–whether it is a process I use, or a piece of software, or other gadget. Going to that link in the sidebar will always tell you what I am currently using in my work life.

Of course, there is the option of turning off comments for posts older than a certain age, but I want to encourage discussion, not discourage it. I turn off comments on a very limited basis. A third option would be to add a note to those more technical posts that are now out of date, but that is impractical. There are dozens of them, and it would be an effort to locate them all.

But I do have an idea, and I will be working on implementing this before the end of the year. For any post older than, say, six months, I am going to attempt to add a note before the comment section that indicates that this is an old post, and possibly out of date. There will be a link to the most recent “How I Work” post that I’ve written, and it will encourage people to check there before commenting on the old post.

Because, you see, for me, the way I work is an evolving process. In some areas, I stick to the same tools and processes for a long time. But in other areas, as the technology changes and the tools improve, I evolve more rapidly as well. And this is the best way that I can think of to make sure that people can see not only how I am currently working, but the evolutionary route I took to get to that point.

Incidentally, if anyone has suggestions on better ways of handling this, I am all ears. Leave your suggestions in the comments.