Tuesday, February 15, 2011

AOL acquires The Huffington Post - capitalism against illusion of freedom

AOL has acquired this week The Huffington Post for $315 millions.

The Huffington Post is a kind of newspaper written by citizen bloggers. AOL expects to sell ad space around what became a popular real estate. As outlined in The Herald Tribune by David Carr, it's funny to see that all these bloggers have created value for Miss Arianna Huffington.

A lot of this content is created by citizens, inspired from other articles in paid newspaper (as this one ;-). Before acquisition, it was difficult to attack a company with no fund. Tomorrow, shooting for the 2.2 $B from AOL market capitalization risks to tease a lot of content providers willing to protect their assets and value their content.

Moreover, now that citizen bloggers know they directly feed advertising revenues of AOL through their posts, they will perhaps not demonstrate the same appetite to contribute ... at least on this particular real estate. Of course, AOL can pay the best contributors but the relationship then becomes commercial with a totally different mindset.

On the other hand, will readers continue to absorb this content the same way since the spirit has evolved ?

Anyway, this move is the demonstration of capitalism against feeling of freedom. And the most cynical is not AOL which pays money but Ms Arianna Huffington who receives money valuing the efforts from a lot of others.

Will citizen bloggers go on supporting this attitude ? Will readers change their behavior ? It's a good test for our whole society.
Future will say.

Benoit Quirynen

No comments:

Post a Comment