One useful thing that Business Insider honcho Henry Blodget has done is make somewhat public "how much websites make." The answers may surprise you, and here, in his profile of Blodget (subscription-only; you should subscribe!), Ken Auletta does a rather amazing drive-by round-up of Business Insider, Huffington Post and Gawker Media.
"You can see the sides of all their boobs, you become an expert on sideboob, on assessing the different kinds, the different types of exposure, the different ways boobs are held in place, or not held in place, or held in place exactly such that, in still photos from Getty Images or on the covers of magazines, they appear to not be held in place. You can rate each sideboob in the slideshow on a scale from one star ('Too much — this is tacky territory') to five ('Just a hint is beautiful')."
"It’s a slow-motion train wreck and will end in disaster." —Gosh, how do you really feel about the AOL HuffPo buy?
Editor of Huffington Post's New York Site Quits Role Three Weeks After Launch; David Weiner To Take Over
The Huffington Post launched its New York section on June 22. Now we hear that, only three weeks in, the site's editor, Dan Collins, is leaving his job. Dan Collins, a noted author (you should read Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11!) and also the husband of New York Times op-ed columnist Gail Collins, is remaining as a New York Editor-At-Large. We hear Katharine Zaleski will be the interim editor. Do you know more? You're absolutely welcome to email us in confidence. UPDATE: As a matter of fact, David Weiner is taking over as the New York site editor. He has a [...]
What's possibly in these "full syndication" deals for publications taking their material to other publications? We find most of them don't do us much good, with a few exceptions. (One good exception being partial syndication with some Huffington Post sections, particularly Business.) More and more, publications are throwing up their hands and just going with it. Syndication, once a brave act of sucking it all in for free, is now just the machines at work, folding the layer cake that is the Internet into itself over and over again. For example?
Two days ago it became known that, a month ago, a youngster at the Huffington Post did a terrible job "summarizing" an Ad Age thing, and the Ad Age writer (Awl pal Simon Dumenco) reasonably beefed about the amount of taking versus linking, and the Huffington Post… suspended their writer indefinitely. This is along the lines of arresting hookers instead of johns, or drug users instead of drug importers, or something. The writer, who seems to be Yale class of (something fairly recent), Amy Lee, was doing pretty much what she'd been trained to do, either overtly or covertly, and she took the fall for the [...]
AOL's purchase of the Huffington Post for $315 million is fascinating. It comes directly on the heels, for one thing, of a Goldman Sachs assessment issued last week, with a "neutral" rating and the headline "still waiting for the promised turnaround." (It notes that AOL's ad revenue was down 27% and 29% from the previous year in quarters three and four.) You spoke a little soon, Goldman Sachs! Now AOL has inventory to sell! And HuffPo has content from elsewhere to suck in to sell against! What a morning—Arianna Huffington and AOL honcho Tim Armstrong are touching each other! AOL's publicist and Arianna's publicist are integrating! [...]
In case you don't feel like reading through all the "blah blah blah back in William Randolph Hearst's day" that Jack Shafer uses to bulk out his column, here's the abridged version: It's okay that the Huffington Post steals, because they steal quickly, frequently, and with a keen eye toward efficient SEO.
Would you like to read something weird? Here is a Goldman Sachs press release headlined "OP-ED, THE HUFFINGTON POST – ARIANNA HUFFINGTON AND LLOYD C. BLANKFEIN DISCUSS OUR COMMON GOAL: EMPOWERING ENTREPRENEURS AND CREATING JOBS."
I mean, some of it is true! Goldman Sachs does indeed mentor women all over the world in creating small businesses, and their 10,000 Women project is actually one of the most interesting programs in the world. And then there's this: This past summer, The Huffington Post broke new ground in the way the media commonly report economic news. Frustrated by the relentless coverage of disaster, tragedy and scandal in traditional media sources, The [...]
For those of you who don't, somehow, do your private banking with Goldman Sachs, you won't see their just-issued report on the AOL purchase of the Huffington Post. For starters, they expect "retention compensation" to offset the Huffington Post's earnings—that the introduction of the Huffington Post will have no impact whatsoever on AOL's projected 2011 earnings. Although: "We view this acquisition as further solidifying AOL’s stance as an owner of valuable focused content channels, similar to cable networks…." Here comes the bonus: trashing Yahoo! "We consider this acquisition strategically valuable from the perspective of (1) brand building; (2) mobile distribution; and (3) differentiated content as it distinguishes AOL’s [...]
Here is the kindest, gentlest take down of the Huffington Post's "Wellness" section. For instance: "Huffington has distorted science and facts to serve a health agenda" and "the sum of the evidence suggests that distance healing is snake oil." Ouch! Ha. Wait, really? I CAN'T BE HEALED OF MY DISEASES BY SOMEONE VERY FAR AWAY, USING ONLY THEIR MIND? Anyway, the HuffPo crew goes on to talk about how "diversity of opinion" is important (even when those opinions are a shambles or, you know, socially dangerous!). It's very weird! And I suppose is its own kind of traffic-bait. Health kooks get traffic all over the Internets, from Urban [...]
It's been a while since we've done this on a regular basis, so I understand that we're kind of rusty. And this whole beta-testing thing has come with a number of distractions of its own as we tweak and adjust and confront the issues we need to address before we swing the gates wide open on this sucker. Still, I can't help feeling a little disappointed that we didn't come up with this tag first. I blame Choire.