Listened to an interesting talk last week by Matt Loney, editor of ZDNet UK, who pointed out an interesting trend for online news sites: being first with the news isn’t the best, because Google News doesn’t think something is worth listing as a news story until a few sites are running it.
But then Google News puts the most recent story at the top of its list. Which means that the site that got the exclusive sits at the bottom. And, people being what they are, they click on the top link. So that most recent posting, which is just following up the rest, gets the eyeballs.
That’s a complete inversion of what journalists have hankered after for years – the exclusive, the scoop, the ‘beat’ [US]. Now, the way to be seen is to have the most recent timestamp, not the first, groundbreaking story.
So Matt said that what many sites are now trying is simply reposting their story once it’s come to GN’s radar in order to push themselves up the list. Perhaps I should start an “unintended consequences” category; I think the murder of scoops by robot would come under that.