Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Artful Scavenger: Music News for the 21st Century (Part 2)

So, when we last left our music site,, our editorial staff was laying out a game plan to report on the breaking story, “Skelter tell they’re breaking up.”

For our team, there are two stories, really. There’s the story of Skelter breaking up. And there’s the story of what Skelter told This is where I bring in what I call “the artful scavenger.” is an information predator. They make the kill. They are an original source. But what about How do our friends in that Poughkeepsie basement office report the break-up without plagiarizing?

Well, they can report the first story — Skelter breaks up — by taking what they’ve learned from RS (thank you, Jann), and using that as a launching pad to other original sources. What does the band’s website say? Did the bassist tweet anything? Anything from the guy at the Facebook fan page, who usually has insider access? They had a show last night. Is there a clip on YouTube? Can I further set the scene of the break-up show with a quick trip to There are a thousand places where the resourceful folks at can gather information to create their own unique story without rewriting one word from

But what about that quote the big Texan bassist gave to RS? Is it essential to the story? If so, and if it was given exclusively to RS (and not, say, yelled from the stage), then give credit where credit’s due.

“Bassist Big Tex told, ‘The singer was impossible to work with, really. Too much of a diva. We just couldn’t take it anymore.’”

The editor of is also responsible enough to embed a link to the complete RS article. He knows those guys are thrilled to get links to their site, just as our editor is when someone links to his own site. Links translate both to better searchability and to more traffic. We all — sites big and small — want that!

So, given his very modest tools, the editor of was able to deliver a unique report to his readers within minutes of the story breaking. Minutes! That’s the domain of the artful scavenger. Those, who can locate a carcass and make a meal of it the quickest, survive. The rest? Keep an eye out for their sun-baked bones on the savannah.

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