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.
via The Economics of Blogging and The Huffington Post – NYTimes.com.