First!

by Jason Preston on July 6, 2009

Everyone knows the benefit of First: you get cited. You get seen. You get credit. You get traffic.

On the internet, where the money you make is often measured in the pageviews you serve, being first can seem to be of paramount importance. After all, Google ranks its search results by (among other things) how many different sites give you credit.

Of course, First comes with some problems, too. It’s unpolished. Sometimes you look stupid. You don’t have time to make it engaging.

First isn’t the only way to get credited, though. You can also do things Well. You’ll come “late” to the game, but you have a chance to be interesting, to provide real analysis, to put some work into the delivery and make it yours.

Would you rather do things First, or Well?

They’re both valid models. Which one do you want to use?

{ 2 trackbacks }

The Choice of First or Well | The Blog Herald
07.08.09 at 10:01 pm
The Choice of First or Well | BLOGCHINA
07.09.09 at 12:13 am

{ 5 comments }

1 Noah R. 07.06.09 at 12:54 pm

FIRST!! (Sorry, but it was too good to pass up. ;-)

But you make an interesting point here. Both the Firsts and the Wells are necessary, and equally important. Without anybody to be first we would have very little, but without anybody to do stuff well we’d end up with a lot of shoddy (albeit innovative) products.

Personally, I like to do new stuff, but I think that’s most people. I mean, it’s always fun to break new ground, to boldly go where nobody has cared to go before, no? But at the same time, the inventor rarely profits from his invention, so if you want to turn a profit, Well is the way to go. Most of the time, anyway.

(Of course, you forgot Different, which takes something that’s already out there and breaks the mold, giving it inherent qualities of both First and Well. That’s fun too ;-)

2 laurent 07.06.09 at 1:02 pm

I would use first and well ;-) .
I think first is very much important but it’s also very 1.0 (pageview as you said). Social media is a different ball game. It’s a lot about relationship. If you’re not doing the ‘well’ model, you loose credibility and because everything stays forever on the net, people will find that out.
So to me it’s ‘well’ first, and ‘first’ then.

3 Murph 07.06.09 at 9:04 pm

wow, nobody wanted to be “first!” with a comment?

4 Jason Preston 07.07.09 at 3:10 pm

Noah I don’t necessarily mean first as something “new,” but first as in “first to report the news online.” Inherent in that is the lack of time necessary to make something truly remarkable (“different” by it’s quality).

Murph My bad! I hadn’t cleared the “suspected” comment cache in time!

5 Chip Oglesby 07.07.09 at 10:16 pm

I think this is a slow and painful process for journalist to move from the current way we approach publishing stories, into a mentality of being “first.”

It really depends on who you ask, but most will err on the side of being “second and right” than “first and wrong.”

Here’s my opinion, If you know that breaking news is happening, what’s wrong with writing two or three sentences and following up with the story as the day progresses?

Lets say a local solicitor was charged with a DUI. Do we need four paragraphs going into detail about this man’s career, or would the headline local solicitor charged with DUI’ and three sentences answering the 5 W’s not work?

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