Huffington Post is launching an opinion site called HuffPost Live 3,2,1 … on August 13 that is indicative of the new direction the Internet is heading. The site is designed to allow ordinary people, rather than professional pundits, to submit videos of what they’re feeling in order to stimulate conversation. Then the most “engaging” people will be hired as contributors.
As HuffPost Live president Roy Sekoff says, “People don’t want to be talked at any more, they want to be talked with.” Arianna Huffington added, “HuffPost Live is all about engagement and making the HuffPost community an integral part of the dynamic, ongoing conversation that will be the heart and soul of the network. And we wanted to have a launch as innovative as the project itself, as opposed to a traditional top-down approach.”
The idea is a good one, but in all likelihood the most “engaging” people in the HuffPo universe are likely to have no historical knowledge that would indicate they have actually studied anything, no argument showing a background of even mild erudition, no experience in articulating something intelligently. Why, when you think of it, are they going to be any different from a normal HuffPo contributor?
Nonetheless, the idea has great merit. And it’s another sign that the American political scene is moving beyond the monopolistic old media, and into a realm where anyone with a well-spoken opinion can champion their perspective.