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Mel Hopkins

100,000 Huffington Post Contributors "Out of work"

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Reason #777  why I rarely write for free - and definitely not on a third-party platform (well except for AALBC.com).  

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Huffington Post's Editor in Chief Lydia Polgreen announced today the contributors platform is now history.  You read right.  All those Huffpost bloggers, some starting back in 2005, found out today "the HuffPost blogging platform is no more.  

 

In its place, Huffpost Opinion and HuffPost personal.  Writers will have to pitch ideas to get inches on the platform now.  But at least they will be paid for their work.   

 

Polgreen also announced they will be hiring staff writers too.    Rest of the story can be found on the Huffington Post By Lydia Polgreen    

 

If I wanted to hear more of the same programming, I'd watch national network news.   But I don't.   

I want to hear/read diverse thoughts.  I want others to challenge and stimulate my thoughts and beliefs . I don't want to get  stuck in an echo chamber.   

So let's hear it for yet  another reason, reason #1 we need to maintain our own platforms, share our thoughts and link to each other... 

RIP HUFF POST CONTRIBUTORS BLOGS. 

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I read an article about this in today's New York Times.  I have ALWAYS thought this was an exploitative practice that allowed Ariana to become fantastically wealthy without sharing a penny of it with the writers who made her wealth possible.  Writers felt getting a HuffPost byline was payment enough. I thought that was just dumb considering virtually anyone could write for the website.  Indeed the numbers of unpaid writers they exploited was staggering!

 

The Huffington Post (or whatever it is called now), was one of the reasons I wrote this article almost 5 years ago, “5 Things Writers Must Do To Survive Online.” Point #5 specifically addressed THP.   When writers decide to write for wealthy sites for free it depresses rates for all writers.  How can an AALBC.com afford to pay writers when the largest platforms that I compete with gets their content for free?  I still pay writers for my reviews, but I pay for far fewer reviews as a result.  This is why you don't see a lot of professionally written reviews of Black books on platforms with a decent audience.

 

Worse still, is the fact that the free content was unvetted and often paid for by sponsors!  More than one writer I know told me their articles were sponsored and this was not made clear to the reader.  This was told to me when I asked why do you give the THP free content.  Getting sponsors to pay was how they made up for it.  To be clear: some articles on THP were just straight up advertising that was disguised as an article or even journalism!

 

This change is a good one for the Huffington Post.  Now that they are taking their content seriously I may start reading their site--which I, up to this point, actively avoided.

 

I view writing for the HuffPost for free no differently that writing for Wikipedia or social media for free... 

 

...at least sharecroppers got food and a place to live.

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