Monday, May 16, 2005

Superblog: The Huffington Post Celebrates Its First Anniversary

It's a week old now and I don't care about all these negative reviews. The Huffington Post rocks. This is one addicting web page. Let's see why.
  • The selection of news content: Excellent, a combination of the top stories of the day and little offbeat items.
  • The two column look in which the news is presented: Excellent, easy to read.
  • The "in brief" link that allows me to spend 10 seconds absorbing the gist of a story and deciding whether to click and read the whole thing. Excellent, and a big improvement over Drudge.
  • The "click to comment" on each news item. Great innovation.
  • The use of color on the front page. Outstanding, with the teal graphics, combining beautifully with the red and black fonts on a white background.
  • The lack of ads. Great, none of those annoying popups like on Drudge.
  • The sign up box for email updates. Nice touch.
  • The contact box for reporting scoops. Nice, but I wonder how many they've had.
This baby's like a sexy new car that makes last year's model look like a peacock stripped of its feathers . But how does she perform on the road?

The attention to detail continues with the wider left hand column that gathers Arianna's intro and all the previews of the blogs of the day together. That little bit of extra column width is important. The blog previews are set off subtlety but clearly from the news because of it. And what blogs. Before I actually read The Huffington Post the comments I'd seen had made me believe I'd better brace myself for airhead, wacko-vegetarian, new-age, far-left, blogger lite. It hasn't been that way at all. Why would it surprise anyone that Walter Cronkite and mystery writer Roger Simon can think clearly and write well? Why would the blogging community tar and feather the 250-strong stable of bloggers that Arianna has put together? Jealousy? Until The Huffinton Post features Paris Hilton mouthing off about how cute her feet are, let's show some appreciation for the work it took to get these folks into the blogosphere.

There's one improvement that would make this superblog perfect. It's obvious that readers would like to weigh in with comments on the blogs. That's not allowed. At least not yet. Arianna, do it. That change would make The Huffington Post the closest thing to a true town meeting on the Internet. And make for one heck of a read!

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