Arianna Owes Me (and Maybe You) Big Bucks

Time to pay up

I’ve never written for the Huffington Post, but I’ve given them something worth much more than words: my attention. So I think it’s only fair that Arianna hand over a reasonable chunk of the $315 million that AOL paid for her site.

Sure, Jonathan Tasini and all those other cry babies who are suing her wrote a lot of great content for HuffPo. But what’s content worth in dollars and cents without readers? Not much.  (Exhibit number one: the awesome blog you’re reading right now.)

Everybody knows it’s audience that bestows value. It’s an attention economy, not a content economy. As Jeff Jarvis puts it, ‘’Content is becoming a cost burden, what you have to have to get the links, but in and of itself, content can’t draw value without an audience, without links.”

And as Clay Shirky says, our precious attention is in high demand.  I figure mine is worth at least $50 an hour, but has Arianna paid me a single penny? Not on your life.  And that’s not counting my finder’s fee for all those HuffPo links I’ve shared.

When you add up all of us who’ve read HuffPo at some point, you have to figure it amounts to a lot more than $315 million. But we’ll settle for $105 million.

We’ve been modern-day attention slaves on Arianna’s content plantation long enough. So go screw yourselves, Tasini et al. This is our money.

4 thoughts on “Arianna Owes Me (and Maybe You) Big Bucks

  1. Hi John,
    I’m sure this is a fascinating post. Unfortunately, I’ve had to stop reading your work because you haven’t paid the invoices I’ve submitted for time spent reading earlier posts.
    I’m sure this is just an oversight. Please remit my reading fees quickly. I miss your content.
    If you’re unable to pay, perhaps we can work out a trade. I’ll read your posts for free if you’ll read my blog under the same terms.

  2. Sorry, Paul, I’m too busy preparing a lawsuit to pay any attention to your comment. (However, if a trade means you’ll write more posts on your site, I’m in!)

  3. Pingback: This Week in Review: HuffPo sued over pay, early NYT pay plan results, and finding devotion on Facebook » Nieman Journalism Lab » Pushing to the Future of Journalism

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