My first blogging home had a totally different take on the subject of comment editing – there, the person who replies to your post has the freedom to edit their comment at any time, but you as a blogger can’t. Here on WordPress it’s the other way round – which feels kind of weird in a way, because it means other people can put words into your mouth if they are unscrupulous enough to do that. But putting that aside (and hoping there aren’t many unscrupulous bloggers out there), I’m finding this a handy feature for managing my blogs, because it saves me having to delete some comments: when someone posted a very lengthy response to one of my posts (no, not here) I didn’t have to resort to deleting the whole comment, I was able to edit it for brevity and keep some of the valuable insights shared. And when someone comes along and posts a comment with a link to their own stuff, and I’m sitting there thinking “spam? not spam? spam? not spam? hmmm… borderline…” then I have the ability to just edit out the unsolicited link and leave the comment there.
So, yes, a helpful feature. It’s nice not to have to choose between deleting or leaving it there, nice to have this middle way.
And the fact that the person commenting can’t edit – of course that’s a nuisance if you’ve commented and made a typo (which, let’s face it, happens to us all) but if it’s important you can always ask the blogger to correct it for you; and the benefit of this system is that you don’t get these weird conversations where, say, Jane responds to John’s comment but then John edits his comment and makes it look like Jane was talking absolute nonsense. In real life we can’t go back in time and change what we said in a conversation – if we want to take something back or clarify our point we have to actually say that. So it makes sense to me that the same goes for these kind of virtual conversations – that if we realise we should have phrased things differently then we have to post a new comment to that effect.