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Arianna Huffington, Lawsuits, and Bloggers Who Write for Free

April 1, 2012


Arianna Huffington attending the premiere of T...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I admire Arianna Huffington for three reasons.  

First of all, she married a rich guy who was not heterosexual.  And when they divorced, she (probably/maybe) got a lot of money for it.  

25 years ago when I had more hair and was kind of cute, I had the opportunity to have a rich guy who was not heterosexual give me a lot of money (since I’m a dude, we couldn’t have gotten married, so Arianna had an advantage that I didn’t have).  I thought long and hard about it but decided it was a bad idea since I am heterosexual, but now I’m going to have to live with that decision for the rest of my life. 

So I kind of understand what Arianna went through.  Life is full of difficult choices. 

Next, she convinced a bunch of bloggers to write on her Huffington Post for free.  She must be very persuasive because I’m a blogger, and I hate writing for free, even for my own blog, Dysfunctional Literacy.  Writing for free stinks, but she convinced a bunch of writers to do it… for her blog. 

Then she convinced AOL to give her a lot of money for The Huffington Post, a blog so monolithic and pointless, it overwhelms the senses with “WATCH!” and endless columns of today’s news and opinions.  And the homepage takes forever to load on a slow computer. 

I feel a bit conflicted because I admire Arianna Huffington but I despise The Huffington Post.  

At any rate, it was this third crowning achievement that led to a blogger suing Arianna.  From what I understand, this blogger (and his class action cohorts) thought that he should get some of that AOL money because it was “free” bloggers like him (some guy I had never heard of) that made The Huffington Post so successful. 

No, it was bloggers like him that make The Huffington Post so monolithic and unreadable.  It was Arianna Huffington’s mastery of self-promotion that made The Huffington Post so successful. 

The blogger who just had his lawsuit dismissed shouldn’t feel too bad.  No, he won’t get money from Arianna, but his name is listed in the first paragraph of a bunch of news articles on a bunch of websites this weekend.  This is the type of name recognition and publicity he might have been hoping to get when he agreed to write for free on The Huffington Post. 

Now he’s gotten a weekend of more publicity than he could ever get just for writing, even for Arianna Huffington. 

But he still probably won’t get any money out of it.  If it’s any consolation to those former Huffington Post bloggers, I won’t get paid for my blogging this weekend either.

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