The Choice of First or Well

Filed as Editorial on July 9, 2009 11:00 am

The fact that TMZ not only broke the story of Michael Jackson’s death, but also proved to be the main source of information for a lot of traditional publishing outlets makes you think. There’s no doubt that the blogs were first, and old media stumbled to verify and catch up in the wake.

In the words of Jason Preston, you can do something First, or you can do it Well.

The reasoning is interesting. If you do it first you get cited, seen, credit, traffic, readers, and so on. But if you do it well you can provide “real analysis” and “be interesting”.

True. But what is stopping you from being all that even when you’re first?One could argue that being first means that you can’t put any work in your piece, there’s no time for research, spellcheck or thought. Blam! It’s out there, now let’s hope we beat everyone true it.

Sounds like the tech blogs, doesn’t it?

Preston asks:

Would you rather do things First, or Well?

It is a viable question, especially to bloggers. We’re more attuned to a higher pace than traditional (ie old) media. It is worth thinking about.

Personally, I just want to be good. Preferably by publishing First while doing it Well.

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  1. By Andy Merrett posted on July 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm
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    Why not break one of the old rules of blogging and get basic news out first, then followup with additional news, research, interview etc. as time goes on. Hence my recent Performancing post Tips for creating timely yet comprehensive blog posts

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  2. By RaceDriven posted on July 11, 2009 at 2:20 am
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    I would rather be good (well), then be first, because I would rather be correct, then have to correct it later after being first.

    When it comes to Michael Jackson’s death, that day I heard about it on the 5:30 PM evening news, sometime in that half hour block, the news was a local FOX station that said according to TMZ, Michael Jackson is died (with all do respect), however I heard later that Jackson didn’t officially pass away until after 6pm, so in this case if the report was correct that he passed away after 6pm, its not good to be first, they quoted someone as being died, when he wasn’t.

    Like I said, I would rather good – check all of my sources and be correct, then be just first.

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  3. By Furie posted on July 11, 2009 at 6:08 pm
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    I’ve found recently that the printed media, which normally has the time to get things right, has been instrumental in spreading disinformation. http://my.opera.com/Furie/blog/show.dml/3997989 is an example of The Guardian newspaper doing that. Even now, days later the story is still being spread around via retweets etc. What starts as one institution not researching a piece soon becomes an epidemic of unresearched information.

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