Sunday, February 13, 2011


 The "sellout" of the hitherto-independent Huffington Post news website to corporate AOL, has angered many freelance bloggers who were responsible for providing [largely free] content for publication.
HuffPo editor Arianna Huffington has been described by American Republican strategist Ed Rollins as domineering & "the most ruthless & ambitious person I'd met in 30 years of national politics".
The HuffPo was established in 2005, by Huffington, & "has risen from being a marginal voice in the blogosphere to a prominaent outlet for liberal opinion, & one of the most influential new-media platforms in America" - NZ Herald Sat Feb 12, 2011
This media release from
#HUFFPUFF "Arianna Huffington has betrayed us, so let's huff and puff her house down. She built a blog-empire on the backs of thousands of citizen journalists. She exploited our idealism and let us labor under the illusion that the Huffington Post was different, independent and leftist. Now she's cashed in and three thousand indie bloggers find themselves working for a megacorp.But the Huffington Post is not Arianna's to sell. It is ours: the lefty writers and readers, environmentalism activists and anti-corporate organizers who flooded the site with 25 million visits a month. So we're going to take it back.We'll stop going to her site. And we'll stop blogging for her too. Then we'll give birth to an alternative to AOL's HuffPo by using the #huffpuff hash tag to tell the world about our favorite counter-culture websites and indie blogs.We are the ones who built the Huffington Post. And now we will be the ones who will huff and puff it down."
The merger deal was worth $US325M - tho one wonders now of the value of the HuffPo brand "going forward". Will AOL sue/demand some/all of their money back?.
The point to bear in mind is that the phenomenon of social media is still in its infancy. "Experts" proclaim to understand its workings & where it is headed, however the nature of the beast is that it is truely democratic, & [as we are seeing in Egypt] people-power has tremendous clout. Individuals acting together are the source of revolutions, as well as the survival of brands.
Arianna Huff may be at the top of the pyramid in the media world, but she is standing on the shoulders of her contributors. If the bloggers blog elsewhere the house of Huff may run out of puff.

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