Huffington Post Loses Its Way
Posted by Allison Fine on December 16, 2009
It was reported yesterday that the Huffington Post is giving advertisers the opportunity to “buy” comments in posts on Huffington and pay for tweets that become part of their Twitter stream. Of course, this is an absolutely horrible idea that runs counter to the fundamental principles of authenticity and equal participation that power social media.
Here is how one ad agency exec described it, “It’s interruptive, potentially, but it also presents an opportunity for the advertiser to say something worthwhile.”
I don’t think I need to say anything more.
What is so shocking about this idea is that it comes from Huffington, the darling of new media, not a terrified, old media newspaper. What’s going on? Here’s what’s going on according to the Silicon Alley Insider: Greg Coleman, the president and chief revenue officer says he will double revenue in the next year and grow it by six times in the next three years.
Coleman’s pronouncement sounds like a that of a company ready to go public. We’ll focus all of our energy on hitting quarterly profit targets year after year after year. Huffington is, of course, a for profit venture. However, it was one with a soul — until now. The site has become the media equivalent of a big box store – everything here for one, low price! And in the process it has lost site of what it set out to do; provide alternative, citizen voices on politics.
It now looks and sounds more like the mainstream media outlets that Arianna has long ridiculed than the pioneer that it once was. Which leads to flailing around like paid comments and tweets looking for new revenue streams regardless of their ethical fit with the site.
It’s too bad. It used to be a fun, irreverent, alternative voice for progressive politics.
This entry was posted on December 16, 2009 at 12:41 pm and is filed under Social Media. Tagged: ad revenue, huffington post, Silicon Alley Insider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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