Friday, May 22, 2009

...and now the Huffington Post is charging people for being interns

Link brought to you via This Modern World.

It isn't cheap either: $15,000 is the bidding price for the privilege of getting an internship at the respected HuffingtonPost, where bloggers supply most of the content there for free.

You have to ask yourself where exactly is the meat in the blogging world. According to the article, HuffingtonPost justifies the bidding by saying that being a blogger there gets you great exposure, and presumably prestige. But what exposure does HuffingtonPost really bring you? Exposure within the demi-monde of the online blogosphere, which is in large part a collective circle jerk? Within the world of folks who actually write to a wider audience that's not integrated into the borg like incestuous hive mind of liberal bloggers, regular commentators of those bloggers, and regular commentators of those bloggers who are also bloggers? Exposure, in other words, of the sort traditionally associated with straight writing and journalism?
The meat isn't there, there are no real terms that this exposure translates out to, and unless you can produce some your exposure is only theoretically effective. Which means that if you bid on this internship you're shelling out money for something that will only theoretically, hypothetically, get you the sort of attention that could lead to some prestige in the real world, and that, I should add, doesn't seem to have a good track record of actually doing so.

As the economists say, you need to evaluate the cash-value of this, and right now the cash value for being a HuffingtonPost blogger is next to nothing.

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