Stephen Downes recently published a blog post entitled “Lessons From Slidesharegate” which began “Brian Kelly wrote, in a post he later deleted“. In his blog post Stephen described some of his concerns regarding Slideshare and concluded by “wondering why Kelly deleted his Slideboom post“.

The answer to that is simple – I’d accidentally published the post prematurely, as I wanted to see if Slideshare published their comments on “Slidesharegate” before describing how I was evaluating alternatives to Slideshare.

No big deal – but I did wonder whether Stephen (or readers of his blog) had thought that I had deleted the blog post, perhaps having been ‘got at’ by Slideshare. The answer is no, there is no conspiracy. But could this happen?

Well as we have seen, once a blog post is published it is “out there” – and even if I delete the original there will be copies in people’s RSS readers and blog aggregators. And attempting to delete a blog post may well result in drawing people’s attention to it with people wondering, perhaps, if the post has been censored,

So I know that deleting a post once it has been published can be fraught with possible dangers. So if I publish a post and am subsequently asked to delete it, I can point to this post. Of course this also means that if I’m embarrassed about something I’ve written it will be difficult for me to erase it from public view. But that’s something I’m prepared to accept.

And I can’t help but think that the former Downing Street adviser Damian McBride should have been aware of the difficulties of deleting copies of digital resources once they have been published.