Well, we’ve seen enough articles over the past week that we can’t stop reading about AOL’s remarkable acquisition of The Huffington Post – at a pretty significant $315m price tag.
First, I have to say that the capitalist in me needs to genuinely congratulate Ms. Huffington. To turn her website into the pageview and influence juggernaut it’s become shows real internet acumen. Through a savvy combination of headline-seeking, and SEO, she leveraged thousands of unpaid volunteers – many of them desperate grateful for any bit of exposure they could get for key underreported news stories like: how vaccines cause autism and updates on Katy Perry (PHOTOS!). Well done.
I’ll admit – I never thought it had a real chance of success. When it launched, I remember asking myself, “who actually gives a crap about what Julia Louis-Dreyfuss thinks about legislative politics?!” How wrong I was, apparently.
But now that the dust has mostly settled from the big sale, something interesting has emerged – some pretty widespread liberal discontent at Ms. Huffington’s payday. My favorite, of course, is the complaint of those like the Freelancers’ Guild:
We call on Ms. Huffington to live up to the ideals she so earnestly professes and share some of her profits with the people responsible for the Huffington Post’s 117 million unique visitors each month.
You know, it brings to mind a funny story given all of the hyperbolic bile that’s been flung at this site and its leadership – especially by members of that wronged class of HuffPo sweatshop bloggers…
When RedState was sold back in late 2006 (alas, for far, far, far, far less than $315m), the founders of RedState took more than ten percent of the GROSS purchase price to distribute to the contributors and editors whose efforts had been (and remain) so key to the site’s success. Not only that, Eagle also made clear their interest in not just keeping our superstar Mr. Erickson engaged – but key volunteers as well.
I’m sure those enjoying the windfall at HuffPo have plans at least as generous as those of us right wing crazies here at RedState.