The blogosphere goes professional. Where Huff leads, who follows?

The Huffington Post itself is on the soft sell as the MSM grinds it axes. This from Howard Fineman, as if nothing has changed.

 My best teacher at Columbia was a man with a sly grin, a razor wit and a gift for Delphic utterances. He told us that journalism had one mission and one method: “to go there.”

In one sense, however, everything has changed. These days, my teacher’s mission statement applies not just to journalists, but also to us all. EVERYONE is a journalist, or can be. Technology gives us all the ability – digitally – to “go there”: to Tahrir Square, to the talk of Cairo streets, to diplomatic cables, to live feeds.

If the 21st century is about “self-determination” – and I think it is – then we all need to be actively informed and engaged. Journalism has become an interactive, communal exercise in self-education.

“Up to point, Lord Copper,” as Mr Salter, the supine editorial director of the Daily Beast said to his megelomaniac proprietor. A cool $315 million from AOL is bound to change something . The Guardian’s Comment if Free is nearest over here to Huffpost, offering a mix of paid and unpaid comment. Their Emily Bell scents trouble ahead, as Ms Huffington makes a massive profit from others’ sweat of brow and brain.

And the lesson for Slugger, such a prize asset but so far utterly uncorrupted by serious dosh? If somebody makes you an offer within a thousand miles of that one Mick, the choice simple: it’s off to Vegas or turn it into a cooperative.

 

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  • The more I muse on this one, the more perverse — by and for either partner — it seems.

    HuffPo is politically left-centre and unashamed to be liberal Democrat. AOL is (or would like to be) a multi-national global-capitalist corporation. Its users were polled and (as Nicholas Carlson reported and Henry Blodget commentated) proved overwhelmingly GOP.

    HuffPo has, without cavil, been a success. In no small part, as both Brian Walker and Emily Bell make clear, that derives from all those worthy and unpaid and willing contributors. “Citizen journalism”, it seems, involves riding on the backs of other, formal news-sources.

    Above all, AOL’s recent history is a series of stumbles and mis-steps..

    Huffington herself may, infamously, be the most upwardly mobile Greek since Icarus. So, what happened to him?

  • Mack

    Brian, HuffPo was an already profitable new media / blogging / journalism outfit. Compete.com shows it getting around 13.5 million UV’s per month, and the Telegraph report actual numbers are almost double that.

    What’s changed is that Arrianna Huffington is going to run AOL’s media channels.

    Given her track record, a pretty smart move by AOL..

    @Malcom

    HuffPo is politically left-centre and unashamed to be liberal Democrat. AOL is (or would like to be) a multi-national global-capitalist corporation.

    Run by a coitre of ex-Google execs, I seem to remember you waxing lyrical about how progressive that multi-national global-capitalist corporation was not so long ago..

    http://www.businessinsider.com/meet-the-googlers-running-aol-2010-2

    In truth AOL is pretty small these days, looks like they’ve brought in HuffPo to play a crucial role in their turnaround. Arianna Huffington is more likely to be driving change at AOL proper than the other way around..

  • Shrewd assessment, I feel, by Dan Sabbagh on http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/feb/07/huffington-post-aol-analysis

    Hmm: obviously Mack @ 10:41 pm and I have different recollections of my take on Google’s Android:

    View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes,
    And hate for arts that caus’d himself to rise;
    Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
    And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer;
    Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
    Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike.

  • And the lesson for Slugger, such a prize asset but so far utterly uncorrupted by serious dosh? If somebody makes you an offer within a thousand miles of that one Mick, the choice simple: it’s off to Vegas or turn it into a cooperative” ….. Brian Walker

    Having your cake and eating it is also a choice, Brian, with off to Vegas and turn it into a cooperative being a crazy option covering all bases.

  • Is not media just a phishing operation/metadatamining exercise nowadays? Really just hacking into third party intelligence systems to discover what the plans are for the future based upon a person’s past actions/shared thoughts, although of course, at different levels dependent upon one’s needs to feed, with some of them being extremely sophisticated and intelligently designed campaigns which have reverse engineered the process somewhat, and have a groomed media presenting information and intelligence specially crafted for them to “discover” and present as a scoop and/or news.

    Then is it just IT creating with AI, Future Virtual Product Placement for Reality Scenarios. And just like everything else, so easily done whenever one knows how.

    However, what may make it unlike anything else and so very different is whenever one also know the why, for to know them both is an Immaculate Blessing.

  • Mack

    @Malcolm Different thread. You were singing praises of their campus lke atmosphere during our discussions of third level fees. Maybe it was a different comment in the same thread.

    @Amanfrommars That’s about right.

  • pippakin

    I enjoy Huff Post but there is no doubt about its bias or its business acumen. To become dependent on the system is to become part of the system and once that happens credibility is devalued. All sites who value their independence should avoid being too closely connected to the MSM.