The pressure of being first

It’s tough being first on breaking news. Sometimes it really hurts your reputation too when you report something that you find out later on to be a hoax. That’s what happened to Engadget yesterday. Here’s Ryan Block’s post apologizing to the readers.
Apple’s stock tanked yesterday on this news as investors got wind of this. I’d be curious to know if someone has launched any investigation on people shorting Apple. With this elaborate scheme, there’s bound to be someone that had money tied to it. Apple’s stock came back later in the day and is back on its normal track.
But lesson to be learned here? Being the first to report isn’t always a good thing. It’s all about the content behind the post itself. A buddy of mine taught me that. Engadget did a great recovery and they have always been on the up-and-up when it comes to the news they report. I doubt this would sour their reputation that much if any. They’re the juggernaut that just happened to stumble on a pebble.
But it also goes to show that first to show doesn’t necessarily mean as much. It sure doesn’t mean as much in television anymore. In fact, you’ll find that people are much more interested in investigative reporting than “breaking news”. Probably because “breaking news” is just too common across the stations. Same thing happens with group blogs and news sites.
And when it comes down to it. You really don’t have to be first. Just have good content that your readers would want to read. They truly care about quality over quantity. As with many in the tech world, Engadget has our support too, especially after the very cool and collected save by Ryan Block.
One last thing. Didn’t your mother ever teach you the little lesson of taking everything with a grain of salt? I’m surprised that investors and analysts alike didn’t actually do some fact-checking right away from reading it (the post) before going ballistic. Ahh well.