Have you applied the Cringe Test today?

As Internet tools are making it easier for everyone to publish their every thought and action, whim and fancy online via Twitter, Facebook or (don't say it's passé!) blogging, I think it's handy to also think about "Self-Editing: The Cringe Test". Carol Fisher Saller writes:
... we’ve all had the same experience at some point, of trying to ignore a subpar passage that we hoped would escape our editor’s/agent’s/reader’s notice.

When you aren’t certain, how do you decide whether a particular chunk is good enough?
She offers three "cringe tests", which you can find in her blog post. I would add a fourth, which is: what if that passage/tweet/Facebook update/blog entry is the first thing people find when they Google your name?

(In related news from Saller's Twitter feed, I'm gleeful that the Chicago Manual is finally going to permit the word "website" to be left in lower case.)

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At 6/23/2010 9:01 am , Blogger naixuhs said...

I have used this a few times myself and now think this would an excellent way to teach adolescents on what NOT to post on Facebook and Twitter.

The variations on a theme I had heard:

1) what if your post was the headline in tomorrows' news

2) what would your future spouse feel if they read this post/saw these pictures

3) 10 years from now, what would your future self think about this post.


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