AOL's acquisition of the Huffington Post will obviously go down in the annals of the Internet as a major milestone for the evolution of blogging, news and websites, but it should especially be noted for their innovative use of social media.
In many ways the Huffington Post grew up with social media and has been one of the smartest sites on the Internet in adopting the new and emerging social tool kit. When the site was launched in 2005 social media was in its infancy. It's incredible how quickly the social space has evolved and the Huffington Post has been the leader in how a website should evolve with the ever evolving social web.
When the news of the acquisition broke Sunday night, I could not help but feel honored to have been a Huffington Post blogger since April 2006. It's amazing to have seen this project explode before my very eyes, as one of the early writers for the website.
HuffPo is brilliant on many levels but this historic acquisition shows just how important it is to be constantly adapting to social media. The Huffington Post has been dramatically ahead of the curve in modifying their site to fit with the latest social trends. Last night they were rewarded handsomely for their brilliance.
One great example of the Huffington Post getting something that very few sites understand is the phenomenon of Twitter's new list feature. Most people don't even know about this feature but HuffPo has adapted to it and created incredible pages that follow the action of events with aggregated twitter lists. In April of 2010 Arianna announced Twitter Editions for all their verticals. This is light years ahead of what everyone is else is doing. They also integrated Klout into these pages -- another brilliant move. Here is the Twitter Edition for their media page.
I am excited to see HuffPo take this next step. I know that every social site will benefit greatly because the Huffington Post will continue to include them in innovative ways.
This article was cross posted from here: http://jasonpollock.tv/2011/02/why-the-huffpoaol-deal-is-a-gigantic-step-forward-for-social-media/