I know that I'm guilty of the above from time to time, and I also know that lots and lots of people are quite fond of that site. I have no problem with that, I'm just pointing out that I'm not a big fan of Huffpo. Too many posts that I think of as "fluffy:" attractive, but in the end, empty.
All that said, I do have a certain admiration for Arianna Huffington herself; I think she's very smart and savvy. I came across an excerpt from a speech she gave recently. In light of Rupert Murdoch stating he intends to put all of his media behind a paywall, pushing other media outlets to do so as well (so that he's not demanding readers to pay for what they might get for free elsewhere- it's as if prostitutes started demanding that wives charge for sex, so as not to undercut the former's business), and Google agreeing to implement structural changes (see a response here) that would allow media outlets to emplace paywalls, I think Huffington makes some very good points.
It's time for traditional media companies to stop whining and face the fact that far too many of them, lulled by a lack of competition and years of pre-tax profits of 20 per cent or more, put cash flow above journalism and badly misread the web when it arrived on the scene. The focus was on consolidation, cost-cutting, and pleasing Wall Street – not modernisation and pleasing their readers.(...)
Get real, you guys. The world has changed. Did you know that newspaper circulation is down 7 million over the last 25 years while unique readership of online news is up 34 million in the last 5 years? Did you know newspaper advertising fell nearly 19 per cent this year while web advertising is up 9 per cent and mobile advertising is up 18 per cent? Did you know that more video was uploaded to YouTube in the last 2 months than if ABC, CBS, and NBC had been airing all-new content every minute of every day since 1948?As I've said repeatedly, I don't watch television anymore. But it goes further than that: I can't watch television anymore. Between mostly vapid writing and commercial breaks, it doesn't hold my attention. If I've been watching the tube for more than a few minutes, I'm reaching for a magazine, newspaper or something else to read. Or turning on my computer to play a game; I completely lose track of what I'm supposedly watching.
The media world is a very different place than it was a mere 10-15 years ago; it would behoove megacorps like Murdoch's to get their little heads around that fact.