Chris Hannah

Do Blog Posts Have an Expiry Date?

As someone that tends to both subscribe to a lot of websites via RSS, and likes to sometimes quote what I’ve read on my blog, I sometimes worry if that piece of writing is too old. If maybe the post has had it’s time.

This is mainly caused by my regularly high unread count, meaning if I always read the newest posts first, it can potentially months before I get to read something. Once in a while, I go through the entire list and clean out some posts that I know I won’t read, and try to make it more manageable. But regularly, I find myself a few months in the past, with something interesting that I’ve read. And then I’ll want to use a portion of the writing as a quote, and offer my thoughts/perspective. Except, I’ll notice how old the post is, and wonder if it’s worth bringing up again, or if it’s moment has passed. Which means I refrain from writing. And I just move on to the next unread item in my list.

Maybe this is odd, but this is something that I’ve thought about quite a lot. And I’ve come to two conclusions. The first one being, yes, of course, you’re “allowed” to quote a piece of writing many months after it has been written. And the second being that, if after a few months a piece of writing becomes “out of date”, meaning the contend is no longer valid, the situation has changed, or it was only ever relevant in that hyper-specific moment of time, then has anything been lost? Because if I feel like the content I’m quoting was only ever relevant at that point in time, then anything I would have added, would have also become irrelevant as well.

This realisation has stemmed from thinking about my own writing, and that I don’t always want my writing to be about current affairs, or reactions to immediate events. Because if that’s the case, in a years time, nothing on my blog would be worth reading. I want to have pieces of writing that can stand at least some length of time. So with that personal goal in mind, if it’s relevant, then I think quoting another piece of writing from months (or maybe years) ago, should be perfectly fine.