You had a really great thing going, Arianna.
The Huffington Post was one of the more exciting and visually striking destination sites on the Internet. There was a fantastic sense of community – a “we’re-all-in-this-together” kind of feeling that will be nearly impossible to replicate anywhere else.
Whenever I went to the Huffington Post (before the buy-out), I could literally see the hustle and the bustle (new stories posted by the minute with user comments multiplying before your eyes).
You rallied and recruited celebrities and experts who blogged about subjects that were important to them. So important they didn’t want or need to be paid. Huge communities sprung up overnight on hundreds of topics. It was an amazing success story.
But it’s gone.
You cashed out.
You became an employee of AOL. AOL? One of the most hated brands in the world.
When I go to the Huffington Post now, the excitement is gone.
Topics have been slashed. HP content is painfully lacking in any kind of passion. The only interesting things to read are those that are reposted (some say stolen) from other websites.
You alienated those that meant the most to you – the celebrities and citizen bloggers – because you couldn’t share the wealth. You became irrelevant and for what? $315 million (for which, reports say, you received $18 million). You were already rich. Was it worth that extra $18 million to become irrelevant?
Dumb question. We all need an extra $18 million. But politically you are nothing now – just another rich person on the cocktail party circuit (which may have been all you wanted anyway).
As for AOL… there’s really nothing to say. It will always be AOL. And that’s who you work for, Arianna.
I guess if things really go into the shitter, you can always write columns for the Brentwood Patch.
Jill Kennedy – OnMedea