Since it is recommended that you audit your online presence for professional reasons, it makes perfect sense that websites are increasingly allowing users to edit their every word. Even so, I take pride in my misspellings and blame it on being a record-setting speed typist, but we could be onto something here.
OkCupid’s Edit Suggestions
The WikiProfile feature upgrade introduced to dating website OkCupid back in 2008 allows collaborative editing by enabling friends the freedom to suggest profile changes to your online dating identity. You are later able to approve or deny these suggestions. This is especially helpful for those who need help in the dating scene, and it sounds like something ‘Millionaire Matchmaker’ hostess Patti Stanger would endorse. (Side note: For those of you who like to be smooth, you can easily use this profile editing feature as a sort of pick up line. Simply edit a sentence in the Apple of Your Eye’s profile into a playful and humorous revision. Your crush will be so enthralled with your wit that they will have no other choice but to message you. Just remember to invite me to your wedding.)
More recently, Facebook announced that you can now edit comments, complete with a revision history of the conversation. This will allow Facebook users to immediately save face, instead of having to signify spelling corrections with asterisks after a series of taunting replies from your friends, which often veers the originally intended message into guffaw. Luckily we still have iPhone’s auto correct to provide us with continuous laughter (and occasional tumult). From a company standpoint, accurate word choice and spelling is typically expected by the consumer. The editing feature effectively serves as an immediate crisis management tool.
Will this trend continue to grow? Part of me feels like my elementary school English teacher has been stalking me well into my adult life, but I do occasionally come across misspellings and incorrect grammar usage on websites and blogs that I wish I could just go ahead and edit myself. Businesses often grow too busy to pay attention to any content revision necessities other than right-clicking the red underlined words of auto-correct. Consumers will interpret this neglect as carelessness rather than notice the diligence you’ve intended to portray. Words become near permanent when placed on the Internet, so it is critical to wear your Sunday best.
This could potentially turn the common do-good-er citizen (or in my case, the slightly anal detail-oriented individual) into a volunteer proof reader. It feels great to catch a mistake and fix it. It feels even better if the mistake could be fixed in real-time, with no generic email contact forms or prolonged customer service call times involved. As a consumer myself, I would feel more connected to a company by being able to participate in their positive growth. Isn’t this one of the many reasons why consumers are willing to partake in beta-testing? Like a teacher to his pupil, the original author would definitely benefit solely from being aware of the mistake detection. Anything that encourages proper grammar is okay in my book! Just be sure to be as friendly as the Microsoft Word Paper Clip, but maybe with a little less glass tapping.