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Huffington Post–Are the Paid Bloggers Subsidizing the Punters?

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Arianna Huffington, who’s now taken very seriously according to John Cusack, has hired announced Katie Lee Joel as the HuffPost’s cooking columnist. Fortune magazine’s Richard Siklos thinks the Katiebot’s winsome, but Top Chef viewers know better.

Co-founder Kenny Lerer, a former America Online executive, was similarly dazzled by Arianna’s phone technique:

Lerer visited Huffington at her Los Angeles home and was struck by her magnetic pull and how feverishly she worked the phones to reach out to people for causes she was championing or articles she was writing.

He was probably so dazzled because he’d never seen anyone actually working before. The Huffington Post attracts semi-bold name bloggers because posting’s made so easy for them, and most of them are rich enough not to want money, or think complaining about the lack of pay will make them look grubby. Willow Bay hardly needs the cash.

But who reads HuffPo for Lauren Rich Fine or indeed, any of the lonely Living Now bloggers?

The HuffPo should have site meters on every blog–most of those semi-celebrities are kidding themselves if they think they’re getting bigger numbers than Rachel Sklar.

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