jump to navigation

Huffington Post’s metro expansion plans seem unlikely to work 6/19/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in Uncategorized.

No question, Arianna Huffington’s “The Huffington Post” is a big success, ranked as the most visited or most linked-to blog, depending on which service you check. Before it was launched, I would have thought the market was already saturated for left-of-center positions of celebrities, but apparently not. In retrospect, it seems like there is also a market for ordinary people who want to feel like they are part of this club.

Historically, the Huffington Post reminds me of 18th century Paris, where some of the city’s finest hostesses held formal news groups called “salons,” named after the elegant reception rooms in which they were held. The best, brightest, and most connected were invited to share the most important news with other elites. One can imagine Arianna as a hostess, sporting an enormous and elaborate wig. And one can also imagine a few extra chairs in back where today’s HuffPo visitors might sit, gawk, and feel like they were part of an elite and superior in-crowd.

But now, the Huffington Post is talking about expanding into Chicago and perhaps other cities with skeletal staffs operating outside this formula. Encouraged by the work of a remarkable and unique “citizen-journalist” involved in a joint experiment with NYU Professor Jay Rosen, Arianna is looking to build a franchise out of breaking news using amateurs. Given that she was right and I was wrong last time, I would not count her idea out. But I do think her audience would much rather hang with celebrity know-it-alls than amateur gumshoes.


1. Digidave - 6/19/08

I also counted out HuffPost when it originally launched. Now I’m eating my hat – as are all my colleagues who also scoffed at the idea.

Granted – I think your assessment of the situation is reasonable.

But the fact is: Citizen journalism still hasn’t been tackled in a meaningful way at a local level. If any organization can give it an honest shot – it’s the HuffPost.

But – I am also bias – having worked with Jay Rosen on NewAssignment.net over the last 2 years.

2. Steve Boriss - 6/20/08

Digidave, It’s sure worth a try. Any new business formula that works at this point is welcome. Good luck to you and Jay!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: