The big news in the blogoverse is that AOL (once known for its ubiquitous disks and demonic approach to cancellation attempts) bought the Huffington Post for $315 million. While AOL was once a huge player in the media and online world, it fell into hard times via the usual mix of bad decisions and changing trends. Since it can swing $315 million, it still seems to be at least a moderately sized player.
It is clearly a good deal for Huffington-getting that much cash for an intangible good that is based primarily on the culled labor of others is an amazing deal. As far as AOL goes, the corporate folks seem to be pretty fired up and their PR folks are spewing out the shiny, empty buzzwords to convince us (and their masters) that this is an awesome thing.
Given that the Huffington Post did not seem to be a massive money maker, it is not entirely clear that this was a smart move for the folks at AOL. However, this seems to be a major way the New New Economy works: people sell each other virtual goods for vast amounts of digital cash and hope that massive profits will be forthcoming at some unspecified date. Presumably if we can keep all these digital wheels spinning fast enough and keep adding new ones as some burn out, the economy should spin up nicely. Right? Well, if not, we can read about it on the HuffAOL Post thingy.
They’re buying eyeballs. HuffPo didn’t know how to exploit them, but they knew they were valuable. AOL thinks they know how to exploit them. The money is based on what AOL expects to make, not on what HuffPo has made in the past.
Michael LaBossiere says
They can probably make money by claiming that they will make money at some future date.