Thoughtful analysis of the economics of the Huffington Post sale. The indie bloggers (which were a prominent part of the original mission of the site, and were responsible, through their inbound links, for giving the site its initial buzz, contribute only in a small way to the site’s income.
One reason that The Huffington Post gets a lot of criticism for not paying its bloggers is because most people think of it as a publishing company, when really — like Facebook — it is more of a technology company. Whether the content is paid or unpaid, the site is able to generate a comparatively large amount of revenue from it because of things like search engine optimization, and the way that its editors use their page space: a poorly-performing article will all but disappear from the site almost as soon as it is posted, while a strong one can hold its 32-point headline for hours. The Huffington Post, also, makes itself “stickier” by providing an abundance of links to other articles and to social networking tools.