If you’re scanning this in your news aggregator, I’ll bet my headline, with its apparent misspelling probably jumped right out at you. In fact, I meant to spell “ledership” just as I did. A lede is the introductory section of a story, and New York Personal Injury Law blogger Eric Turkewitz’s
recent masterful April Fools’ Day Spoof shows just why a lede matters so much.
For those unfamiliar with the story, on April 1, Turkewitz ran a lengthy post captioned Supreme Court Grants Cert in Fantasy Baseball Case; Three Justices Recuse Themselves Due to Participation in High Court League. Turkewitz’s first paragrah then described how the court granted cert (even linking to the Eighth Circuit case on major league baseball that’s now pending a cert decision) and wrote authoritatively about the justices seeking recusal – something that has been the subject of frequent discussion recently in the blogosphere. As a result of his authoritative opening, Turkewitz managed to fool multiple bloggers into believing the story without reading to the end, where they would have discovered telling clues.
My guess is that most of the bloggers taken in by Turkewitz’s prank rely on aggregators to scan news stories quickly. And Turkewitz’s joke, cleverly executed as it was, might not have duped as many people a few years back when aggregators were not as pervasive. Even today, while it’s true that not many lawyers or consumer readers use aggregators, journalists and major bloggers all do. So if you’re interested in getting coverage for your blog at major sites, follow Turkewitz’s example, and lead off with your best lede.