How Website Owners Find Publishing News They Trust
Whether you’re just starting out with the adventure of being an online publisher or you’ve been rockin’ the Web for years, we all face the same dilemma of where to get our news and industry-specific information. Making this more complicated, we live in an era of fake news, rumors, and plain-old spin that spreads so fast that it can take on a life of its own. Even if a particular topic is nonsense from the get-go.
This means that every website owner is hoping to quash the fake news while being fast and on top of the latest trends and information relevant to surviving in this industry. Yeah, that’s a challenge, all right, and it can be quite hard to try and be first to publish something really interesting!
This week, I thought it would be helpful for me to talk about what sources I use to keep followers of my tech site AskDaveTaylor.com up to date with news, gadgets and tech, and how I research articles and topics once they hit my radar. I should highlight that the site isn’t a news site, per se, but our social feed includes lots of consumer electronics, tech, and industry news. Gotta feed the beast, right?
Avoiding fake publishing news
If you’re an information publisher, odds are good you’re a subject matter expert, so you already have a basic idea about what sources are the industry record. Lawyers read American Lawyer, Doctors read the Journal of the AMA, psychotherapists read the Journal of the APA, car dealers read Automotive News, people in the entertainment industry read Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, and so on.
These publications can often cost quite a bit for a subscription but that’s because they’re vetting and checking everything they publish and whatever you read there is likely the real deal — the information you can trust as being authoritative and accurate.
But every industry has a lot more options than just the one publication from the big dogs. In my space, consumer electronics, I read TWICE, the publication of the Consumer Electronics Association, but I also closely track both Engadget and Techcrunch. They compete to break news and it’s common to see the same story in both publications days – or weeks! – before it makes it to TWICE, but knowing what’s legit is my job. Sure, I can pass on rumors and editorials, but my readers expect me to be the one with the expert opinion.
Vetting articles and maintaining high engagement
And, so when there is an article or breaking news story — right now it’s the release of the Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone X — I read lots of sources, analyze what they say and what they like and dislike, then make up my own mind and craft my own opinion on whether it’s good or bad. This helps me understand how my audience might respond; giving me some smart insights about how I might structure a topic for virality on a platform like Facebook.
To evaluate veracity, I have learned to work backward on stories. A post on Facebook might reference an Engadget story, for example, but reading that cites a newly released tech note or patent application from a company like Apple. I’ll keep digging and read the original source material so that I can get the facts. Armed with a reading of a patent application or news release, I then go back and see how my fellow experts interpret and evaluate things.
Having a fresh tech can help you endear yourself to a core audience fed up with reading the same old things over and over again by your competitors on social media. Getting that edge can be the difference in growing and dying.
There’s a brainstorming technique called “question to the void” and this is the digital equivalent. Keep asking “based on what?” and keep digging until you find original source material. That’s really the only way you can properly assess anyway, and it helps sweep away the vast majority of skewed, misinterpreted, misunderstood or plain fake interpretations of news.
Remember, an absence of fake news on your site and social channels directly translates to greater trust from your readers and, ultimately, a more successful publishing venture. And that’s something you can take to the bank.
Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since it was known as the ARPAnet and has decades of experience as an independent online publisher. Dave owns multiple online businesses and websites. You can check out his site AskDaveTaylor.com or find him on social media as @DaveTaylor to learn more about how he sees emerging technology.