The Huffington Post was sold for $300 something million to AOL. Amazing, congratulations! I’ve been reading that several bloggers have been crying and staging Twitter hashtag protest as they feel betrayed.
The Huffington Post ecosystem features a wide range of citizen bloggers – people who are just writing for them but not getting paid for it. These unpaid bloggers now feel that The Huffington Post has sold out on them and cashed.
I guess in some ways that may be true and I may have felt in the same way in case I was writing for them, but now it is up to the bloggers to take the next step: stay and crank free copy for a large corporation or move on.
I am not sure about the motivation for bloggers to write for another site for free in the first place (except guest blogging of course) but check out the quote from the The New York Times:
“The technology of a lot of these sites is very seductive, and it lulls you into contributing. We are being played for suckers to feed the beast, to create content that ends up creating value for others. The land many live on is owned by someone else, be it Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr, or some other service that offers up free land and the content provided by the renter of that land essentially becomes owned by the platform that owns the land.”
If you want to own the land and be the master of your own content you must have your own platform. This usually means a domain name, a blog hosting account and for bloggers a WordPress blog installed. This means that you own everything you publish on that blog and you have the full control.
You can always use social media or other blogs to build a name for yourself and drive traffic back to your own site, but always make sure you own the land somewhere which you are in total control of.