Written in reply to a friend who asked for my thoughts on AOL/HuffPo.
My first thought on hearing this was “I hope they got cash, because I wouldn’t want to be a long-term investor in AOL.” Of course, they did.
I think HuffPo is a boring collection of gas-bag blogs. I was stunned by the price and startled when I looked them up on quantcast: They’re huge and growing fast, but page views per reader are declining.
So, long term, there are two kinds of content: the AOL/Yahoo/Demand Media/Rupert’s Daily dross, and the good stuff. The first type comes with a (problematic) business model. The second type has never been much of a business, but we continue to make it. Everything in the middle (me-too content not produced at scale) has no reason to exist.
Speaking as a competitor to Patch, I hope they continue using their cash to buy stuff.