For anyone that wonders why AOL got into bed with Huffington Post, here is your answer. People use the site. At least, that is what HuffPo says and we believe.
Last month, Huffington Post claimed they hit 1 billion page views in the month of August. With as much diversity that the post has, I wouldn’t be surprised. With the growth of the site in the last 30 days, I wouldn’t be surprised if it hit 2 billion a month by early next year.
So how are they doing this right?
Sites with Communities
This seems to become a new trend – divvy up a site into several niche markets. Make the site feel like it caters to what you like. If you cannot group people in one big circle, make little circles and put all the numbers together in the end.
The announcement also talked about the purchase of “Localocracy” – an “online town common where registered voters using real names can weigh in on local issues.” This could bring the HuffPo to your local community. Get news and comment on it.
The HuffPost 50 is another good example. They call it the “Internet Newspaper”. You can get a little bit of everything on this page. You can scan the front page, find the one thing you like, read it, and move on.
Top Name Site Hires
This is how part of the press release reads:
The Huffington Post Media Group announces today the launch of four destination sites: Huff/Post50 (www.huffingtonpost.com/50), HuffPost Gay Voices (www.huffingtonpost.com/gay-voices) and HuffPost Weddings (www.huffingtonpost/weddings). Each offers HuffPost’s unique combination of real-time news and opinion, and passionate communities powered by a leading social news platform.
HuffPost/50 — whose Editor-at-Large is actress, producer and writer Rita Wilson — covers the challenges, complexities and joys facing the boomer generation, now 77 million people strong. It spotlights boomers who fearlessly tackle new challenges in the spirit of reinventing themselves, regardless of age, and encourages boomers to question conventional wisdom about aging. Topics being covered include: longevity, relationships and sex, politics, the intense “sandwich” pressure of simultaneously taking care of aging parents and children, retirement, spirituality and religion, friendship, politics and dying.
Not only did it announce new communities in LGBT and Wedding categories, it also put a staff together that includes comedian Margaret Cho, Heidi Klum, and other celebrities in their respected fields.
It’s amazing to see how many people “Like” an article. Whereas a site has a good day with 34 likes on an article, HuffPo good post would see 1000x the traffic. For example – their “Arrested Development is back” post produced 79,000 likes.
Integrating the Facebook Factor really helps. Then again, their social comment section also adds community response, which – in turn – can be posted back to the social networks. I guess the day of the forum is really dead.
So in a nutshell, Huffington Post is a community site. You can go to get your tech fix, political fix, LGBT fix, and more. It has news, commentary, pictures, video and so much more. Of course, it’s staff of bloggers and reporters is pretty impressive. So 1 billion page views is not surprising. With addtional website acquisitions, the 2 billion view mark a month is very possible.