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Huffington Post Business Model

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Sara McCloskey

on 26 May 2013

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Transcript of Huffington Post Business Model

Reaction by HuffPost "As readers of our site know, we frequently engage our community with requests for feedback and suggestions.

So while AOL Huffington Post Media Group employs an in-house team of more than 30 talented designers, we felt this would be a lighthearted way to encourage HuffPost Politics users to express another side of their talents."
(Aug. 25, 2012) Huffington Post
Business Model By: Angela Mammino, Sara McCloskey,
Max Ocean and Jamie Swinnerton History of HuffPost Aggregation Fair Use Guidelines Unpaid Bloggers Lawsuit Crowd Source Designs HuffPost's Potterbox Our Potterbox how to improve Huffington Post's business model how HuffPost looks at their business model Is it ethical for a media corporation to financially benefit from unpaid work? attribution, compensation,
and authenticity "the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people" money and advertisers Loyalties Empirical Ethical Principle:
Utilitarianism Values at Stake Ethical Dilemma: Decision Ethical Dilemma: Is it ethical for a media corporation to financially benefit from unpaid work? Values at Stake: attribution, compensation,
and authenticity Empirical Ethical Principle:
Judeo-Christian Ethic "treat others the way
you want to be treated" Loyalties: colleagues (other news outlets)
and readers - use free content to build site
- content covers variety of information
- helps aspiring writers get attention
- hire more journalists Our Solution: - invited designers to make an icon

"If yours wins, your icon will be used to represent this channel all over the interwebs -- with credit to you, of course." The Huffington Post Politics Icon Competition Reactions to Design Competition Cartoon by Jeff Couturier "Requesting work for free demonstrates
a lack of respect for the designer
and the design process as well as
the time of the professionals who
are asked to provide it. This approach,
therefore, reflects on the integrity,
practices and standards of the
Huffington Post and AOL."

- Ric Grefe, Executive Director
of American Institute of Graphic Arts The terms are broad and not very specific. Nature of Guidelines nature copyrighted work
amount of your work is used
value (monetary gains) from work
cite your sources
give credit where credit is due
don’t plagiarize May be considered Fair Use of material if author is okay with the use and proper citation is used. Reproduction of work for: education (libraries, schools, newspapers), parodies, scholarly research of technical work, legislative or judicial proceedings. Downside easy to manipulate and
difficult to break The Campaign Professor Jeff Cohen on Blogging for HuffPost Ethical Dilemma:
should we have blogged for free? Is it ethical to crowd source
free content when there
are paid staff members that
could create the same content? What's all the about? “Too often it amounts to taking words written by other people, packaging them on your own website and harvesting revenue that might otherwise be directed to the originators of the material ... In Somalia this would be called piracy. In the mediasphere, it is a respected business model...The queen of aggregation is, of course, Arianna Huffington.”-Bill Keller, criticizing the Huffington Post in a March 10, 2011 column for the New York Times This chart from an article in The Onion pokes fun at HuffPost's methods of aggregation The Example What It's Like to Get Used and Abused by
The Huffington Post: -Simon Dumenco, the media blogger at AdAge.com, wrote a piece that reached number 1 on the site’s “most read” chart, and was picked up by two outside aggregation sites.

-Google Analytics showed that Techmeme drove 746 pageviews to AdAge, while Huffington Post only 57. -Dumenco then wrote a piece condemning HuffPost's methods. David Carr of the New York Times and others wrote editorials on the matter.

-The Huffington Post issued an apology and suspended the writer of the post. Dumenco wrote a follow up saying that these practices are routine at Huffpost, and the suspension of a single writer amounted to a scapegoat tactic. Poor Steve Jobs Had to Go Head to Head With Weinergate in the Twitter Buzzstakes. And the Weiner Is … - Started in 2005 by Arianna Huffington and 3 partners

- "liberal commentary news outlet"

- mix of blogs, professional news, and aggregated content - purchased by AOL in 2011 for
$315 Million Controversies that stemmed from merger - 2012, Huffington Post won the Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting

- military correspondent David Wood, "Beyond the Battlefield" series

- first commercially run U.S.A. digital media enterprise The Beginning The Merger aggregation

unpaid bloggers suit

crowdsourcing content HuffPost Today Professor Jeff Cohen on Fair Use Guidelines Before the merger -2nd Circuit Court: no basis for argument, “The court said bloggers were well aware that The Huffington Post was for-profit and understood "they would receive compensation only in the form of exposure and promotion." Bloggers agreed to blog to spread information. They did not want to do it if the organization was corporation. - create a pay scale model that incorporates views, comments, and traffic driven from contributions to the site

- create (non-verbal) contracts with contributors

- aggregate with more transparency justifies their business model The Value of Blog Contributions - Majority of bloggers felt their content was of equal or greater value to traditional content.

- However the HuffPost’s revenue comes largely from advertising, the price of which is based on web traffic. After the Merger - Bloggers were discontent for they did not receive compensation.

- The merger of AOL and the Huffington Post focused public attention on the important role unpaid contributors played in the success of many Internet businesses. Ethical Dilemma:
Does HuffPost break Fair Use Guidelines?
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