Home Media Will You Boycott the Great Green Aggregator?

Will You Boycott the Great Green Aggregator?

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Over at Kos last weekend, one writer recommended supporting the writer’s strike against HuffPo. It seemed  like a good idea at the time.  Arianna Huffington got $315 million to take her blog and move over to AOL and into wrong-wing land.  AOL is a major source of donations to Republicans.  Mostly, HP writers, upon whom her popularity is based, got not one penny.  They write for free and still do (if in fact they they moved over to AOL), but the already wealthy Arianna is considerably richer.  Something is rotten in Huffington Land.  And the paid celebrities she has hired do not account for the huge take Arianna gets from this sale.  She essentially treated her entire cast of volunteers as if they were furniture to be handed over to AOL without any effort at consensus.  

And though the purported progressive bent of HuffPo had leaned to right-of-center in recent months, many of us have long criticized HP for its blind acceptance of wrong-wing frames, excessive prioritization of pop culture, aggregating and republishing work from elsewhere (at least they pay for it), and running too many one-paragraph stories for a blog of its “stature”  and popularity.  And it is popular. With about 13 million unique visitors, its readership is not shabby by any means. Why not mobilize a contingent of them to cause a little boycott pain to ultimately get fairness for HP’s writers?  

One week ago, I thought I could do it.  That was then.  After that, each and every day I thought I could go cold turkey from Huffington Post.  But, in this week of wrong-wing lunacy, and ongoing threats against our population by the errant GOP, I am afraid I failed.  Geek that I am, I only occasionally read entertainment and tabloid stuff.  The lion’s share of my time is spent on the news, politics, business and media sectors.  But, damn, even they are addictive!  No matter how I fuss about GOP-negatively framed headlines, I keep going back for more.  It’s pitiful, I admit.

I had planned to write something on whether we should boycott the old Huff. I even told Lokell I would write something about this.  There I was turning on my iPad at the breakfast table, sipping my iced tea (yeh, iced tea in the morning) and being unable to pass over the big “H” when deciding which app to open.    And as I opened up my iPad each AM, I realized how hypocritical it would be for me, failing in my own personal resolve, to bid anyone else to do so.  What’s a blog junkie to do?  I managed to stay away only half of one day! 🙁

The Writers’ Guild has urged Huffington bloggers to stop providing services.  There’s a Facebook page here urging everyone to avoid the Big Green Aggregator.  But you don’t have to join the FB effort.  On your own you can boycott Huffington Post.  I hope you can do it.  I am working on it.  I will keep trying.  What are your thoughts?

  • Catzmaw

    but I’ve been boycotting it for the most part for several weeks now. Arianna is a sellout and she’s being unfair to all those unpaid bloggers.

  • Ingrid

    I haven’t read huffpo since she sold out.  Not hard to do.  There’s dailykos and there’s tpm and there are others.  It takes getting unused to, but it can be done.

  • Mike1987

    Boycotting is like dieting. It really does not work in the long run.  I am just no longer interested. I find my mundane postings like “Fav” don’t seem to show up, which tells me there is a larger problem.  So, I go maybe say once a week.  I have stopped because I no longer find it interesting and the AOL merger has brought so much hate speech that gets through.  Try Raw Story if you want true socialist/anarchist/insane libertarian views that are in fact uncensored. It’s actually refreshing but not for the timid or dainty. This place is milk toast when compared to Raw Story or even TPM or Kos.

    But don’t think Raw Story commenter’s represents any significant portion of the population ’cause they be lunatics over there, but it is fun.

  • Say What

    I like Kathy’s piece about HuffPo and Arriana …. to me it’s an informative critique. But really … where’s the beef? She pulled together a web-site as a glossy counter to the DrudgeReport. Can’t say I ever really read the blogs attached to the stories at either site. If I want to read a blog … locally it’s Blue Virginia and nationally Daily Kos. I’m sure I could expand my horizons but that all takes time.

    But to criticize an owner of a business over a deal they make … well in the end … it’s none of your business really. Sounds harsh but that is the reality. When company owners cash out they rarely take care of their employees and this is particularly true here on the east coast. The left coast ethic is a little different where being in a company at the beginning (on the ground floor) can lead to considerable wealth (you know – Micorsoft, Apple, Google etc.)

    So if you like a website because of a particular point of view … views you endorse … isn’t that a little like … liking a particular flavor of Kool Aid? Is there a concern that AOL won’t keep making that flavor? I suspect they will … because they are a business that wants the viewership in a particular market segment.

    Even if they promote republican politicians.  

  • blue bronc

    Back when she started HuffPost I was a contributor. When it went to the new format I decided to no longer post. Then when it went to the latest format I stopped commenting,and only looking at once each day (if that).

    She has created a replacement for newspapers. It works well; the layout is good; most of the content is good, but not great. With the move to the sexy content a while back she and her editors indicated the move away from politics.

    I don’t have any nickels in the cup so I’m not going to sweat the corporate style moves. I will filter it like I filter all the others.

    Boycotting/not viewing is an option for all of us. I stopped viewing a formerly important LGBT blog once it was turned over to professional victims so they could pound their rants and attacks. That’s life. I don’t need it so I don’t have to view it.  

    If you don’t like a blog – start your own. That is what we still have open to us (as long as the republicans are not running the show).