The coming of Arianna’s Huffington Post to British shores isn’t generating much buzz yet. It should, the product is perfect for the internet generation’s short attention span, the connectivity of the site is superbly executed and search engine optimised to make millions in advertising. She also sold out to AOL for $315 million.
Far from being daunted Guido welcomes the competition convinced it will spur us to work harder to break more stories first. She’ll find us a bit tougher than her past rivals. And it won’t be just Guido, in politics she’ll be up against Ashcroft’s growing online political media empire; ConservativeHome, PoliticsHome (a fellow aggregator), ePolitix, Dods, BiteBack, and TotalPolitics. Aside from the billionaire’s stable the NewStatesman’s Staggers and the Spectator’s soon to be ramped-up CoffeeHouse will not cede ground without a fight. Iain Dale’s return with his The Daley posse will give her a run for her money on political comment and he is her match when it comes to grabbing media attention. On the user generated commentary front she is up against the well-established Guardian’s Comment is Free and the newer rival right-of-centre The Commentator.
On the showbiz gossip front she is up against Popbitch, Holy Moly and the Mail Online. The tabloids are ruthlessly competitive when it comes to showbiz stories and she’ll find them a bit more punchy than USAToday. They’re not going to roll-over easily for Ari.
Meanwhile word reaches us from across the pond that all is not well at AOL-HuffPo, combined traffic is down, the integration is not going well and there is a lot of dissent in the ranks, as well as some backlash from unpaid HuffPo bloggers. Perhaps Ari should sort out her problems at home before expanding?