May 10, 2005

The Un-Bloglike Huffington Post?

Arianna Huffington's blog is up and there are already numerous posts. I must say, it was kinda cool seeing Harry Shearer there (he voices Flanders, Skinner, Burns, Smithers, Brockman, Kang and others for the Simpsons) but the whole thing has struck me as odd on one point: Huffington is moving right to the front of the line.

In the blogosphere, pageloads, links and credibility are the main currencies, and Huffington's been getting a lot of buzz because she's famous and because she's pulling down a big list of famous people. In other words, she bought her way to the top with fame. Am I bitter? No, though it may sound that way.

See, it seems un-bloglike that somebody could "buy" his or her or their way to the top of the system, but that only goes so far. Sure, you'll always have famous, attractive or famously attractive people getting more pageloads than others, but ultimately credibility will be stunted if you can't follow up beauty and fame with something substantial to contribute.

If the Huffington Post can deliver entertainment then it will be viewed and linked. If it can offer intelligent, insightful commentary then it will be respected and credible. If it fails on both counts then it will just fade away (though it will fade slower than other blogs, coasting off the fame and name recognition).

That's why it's silly to begrudge the Huffington Post for its famous list of bloggers. They can't buy credibility, only temporary attention. The rest they have to earn, and hopefully they will. I wish the best of luck to them.


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