As a LiveJournal-user I’ve come across a lot of deleted posts, for the exact reason you state here. LJ’ers tend to be a bit wackier and more personal than the other blogs I read, and they also tend to delete their posts or make them private when they encounter ramifications, or suddenly think an entry too personal. I can understand deletion when you use your blog as a journal, and wrote things down in a moment of desperation. Maybe you want to come back to it, and rid the world of your drunken rant on broken hearts.

Different ways of using blogs, also make for different approaches to deleting (and editing) entries. With a vast audience, you cannot delete your entry unnoticed, and will have to state you deleted the entry and why. In that case I think it’s better not to delete. A follow-up post will do the trick of explaining things better.

On my own blog I haven’t deleted one post. (I did make an occasional post private, because it included pictures that weren’t online anymore.) Whatever silly things I have written, I’ll leave it on there. Things did get mulled over before I wrote them down, especially the longer posts. I do have the habit of editing whenever I notice someone didn’t understand what I was trying to say, or I made a blatant mistake. I will note this with “eta” or in a smaller footnote. And I usually correct spelling mistakes and bad grammar (which happens quite often, as English isn’t my mother tongue).

Deletion tends to give the feeling you don’t stand by your own words. It feels like arguing with someone and then saying “I didn’t mean what I said.” But you did mean what you said, because otherwise you wouldn’t have said it. The thing is being able to say why you have said it. You can’t take back what was written. You can only pretend it was never written.

Re. you previous post: I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with it. I haven’t read the article you’re linking to, but I think the link clears everything up. The PS is a bit strange, maybe, but why wouldn’t you send a book to a reviewer? Anyone who writes on a public forum (be it “The New York Times” or a personal blog) can be contacted. And since writing for the newspaper is Walter Kirn’s job, maybe you can try his workplace for an address?