Careful With That Publish ButtonCareful With That Publish Button
When a mistake causes content to go live before (or long after) its time, there's plenty of finger-pointing and blame to go around. But one thing is certain -- when you're in the driver's seat of a content management system, wield the "Publish" button carefully.
September 9, 2008
When a mistake causes content to go live before (or long after) its time, there's plenty of finger-pointing and blame to go around. But one thing is certain -- when you're in the driver's seat of a content management system, wield the "Publish" button carefully.The most recent story to (mistakenly) hit the headlines was a six-year-old article covering the 2002 bankruptcy filing by United Airlines. The stock market interpreted the article as current news, and the stock dropped in minutes by 76%, taking over a half billion dollars in value with it.
The best wrap-up coverage of the incident I've read was in Wired's Threat Level blog: ...the article in the Sun Sentinel's archive had no date on it. But when Google's spider grabbed it, it assigned a current date to the piece, which then resulted in the article being placed in the top results of Google News. When the employee from Income Securities Advisor ran a Google search on "2008 bankruptcies," the old United Airlines story appeared as the top link in the results, with a Sept. 6, 2008, date on it. A similar mess was narrowly avoided late last month when Bloomberg accidentally released an obituary of Steve Jobs. Fortunately, the mistake was caught quickly and seems to have done no harm. Just imagine, though, what could have happened if the story went out in the middle of a trading day and was picked up and spread by other sources. So, what lessons can were learn from all of this? First, make sure your new and old content is dated. Second, if you're passing along breaking news, check and then check again. It's easier said than done under a deadline, but it can save you from a lot of unnecessary embarrassment. It's rare that a slip of the Publish button causes an incident like the United Airlines snafu, but you could just as easily unveil a perfectly timed announcement days or weeks early. In seeing what unfolded over the last day, there's no doubt that content management systems are powerful, and they should be handled with the care they deserve.
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like