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Arianna Huffington admits unpaid HuffPo bloggers aren’t even getting the exposure they’re supposedly working for

It didn’t take much for the veil of concerned liberalism to get pulled back from Arianna Huffington: just $315 million. From TheWrap:

Arianna Huffington scoffed at a group of unpaid Huffington Post contributors that announced on Wednesday they would stop contributing content to the site, weeks after its $315 million sale to AOL was announced.

Huffington, speaking alongside AOL chief Tim Armstrong at PaidContent’s 2011 Conference in New York on Thursday, dismissed the notion that all bloggers should be paid, given the wide platform HuffPo gives them.

Working for “exposure” is bullshit — no one expects other professionals, such as doctors or architects, or other craftspeople, such as plumbers or bricklayers, to work for “exposure.” But even if there were some value in “exposure” for writers, Huffington instantly goes on to admit that those unpaid bloggers aren’t getting any exposure at all:

“The idea of going on strike when no one really notices,” Huffington said. “Go ahead, go on strike.”

No one really notices. Which means: No one is reading all those unpaid HuffPo bloggers. Which means no wide platform at all.

So why does HuffPo court all those unpaid bloggers? What’s in it for HuffPo?

All those individual bloggers may separately be garnering little traffic and attention for themselves, but thousands and thousands of them add up to a significant long tail for HuffPo: all those bloggers getting a few measly pageviews here and there bring in lots and lots of ad revenue in the aggregate. For HuffPo, of course. Not for those unpaid bloggers.

So if they all went on strike, and no one stepped up to replace them, HuffPo would notice.

However:

And, she said, there are plenty of people willing to take their place if they do.

Those people are fools and idiots. Huffington just said as much. Why anyone would work for free for a multimillion-dollar site is now an even bigger mystery than it was before, when the multimillionaire who runs it doesn’t even feel she needs to hide her disdain for those workers.

Slaves were at least bound by law to remain in their forced servitude. Today, people volunteer to become slaves.



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