Huffington Post best news site

by Russ Hill on March 11, 2010

“My favorite news site has become the Huffington Post.”

Those are words I thought I’d never utter.  For two big reasons.

First, the site has a liberal leaning.  I’m far from a liberal.

Second, the site is a blog, not a news site.  They aren’t the New York Times, Fox News, or some other major news organization.  So, they shouldn’t be considered a “news site.”

That’s how I used to think.

So, why do I find myself going to this site more than any other now?  What changed?

Huffington Post Changes

In the almost five years since Arianna Huffington launched the site, there have been major changes.  First, the site has backed off its liberal leanings.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, it still very much leans to the left.  But, on most days the site tries to stay clear from an “in-your-face” liberal ranting.  Instead, they lean to the left with just enough posts or stories from the right to keep conservatives from boycotting the site.

The very successful media outlets have learned that you must take a position in order to not be in the background.  Media consumers (radio, TV, print, online) are most loyal to those brands that cause a reaction in them.

The second change Huffington Post has made is they have embraced social networking.  They are a leader in this space.  Their connection with Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking tools has caused them to grow tremendously.  It also creates an experience on the site where you feel part of a conversation.

Third, Huffington Post has become the best in the business at bold, attention grabbing headlines.  Their team does an incredible job typing text that plays with you and almost forces you to click on it.  Their headlines are superbly written.

The site has also taken up cause marketing.  They have become activists in causes that the majority of Americans would support.  If they were to become liberal activists in their cause marketing then they would lose readers.  Instead, they have made major efforts to raise money for victims of disasters.  And, their effort to promote small community banks over huge financial institutions during this economic recession has been brilliant.

There are many other reasons Huffington Post is now one of the Internet’s leading news sites.  Their picture selection is superb.  Their inclusion of just a few “saucy” or “sexy” stories keeps them contemporary in today’s world (but they don’t over do it).

Finally, the Huffington Post’s portal approach to news is perfect for today’s day and age.  Much of the content on the site is not self generated.  Instead it’s links to other news sites.  This leaves the reader feeling like they’re getting a great round up of what’s happening right now.

Who would have thought Arianna Huffington’s experiment five years ago would have turned into such a successful news site?

Not me.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: