Thursday, July 07, 2011

Just the sort of crap

The Huffington Post opened for business in the UK yesterday, offering exactly the diet of low-grade crap that you would expect of its founder.

Strangely enough, I was not invited to the launch party in London. Had I been there, I presume I would have heard the Huff gurgling about a real-time "digital water cooler" - "which embraces the best of the new (immediacy, transparency, interactivity) and the best of the old (fact-checking, accuracy, fairness, and an emphasis on storytelling) - becoming the spark for many interesting conversations".

Anybody who comes up with that sort of guff really should have been drowned at birth, but instead we have a range of clogging luminaries joining the Huff in her race to the bottom. These include the likes of Alastair Campbell, Matthew Sinclair of TPA fame, the gut-wrenching Tracey Ullman, Zac Goldsmith, Jeremy Hunt (rhymes with ...), Roy Greenslade, the great sage Ricky Gervais and - we are told - Tony Blair.

One commenter says, "The HP is becoming an international social news arena. It is good to be a part of it. I like to interact with people that may have a different view", at which point one wonders why he is commenting on the Huff. Another commenter remarks "This is exciting", adding, "Now there is this to check during the day along with the Guardian on UK news and culture", which tells you just about all you need to know.

So far, there are no recognisable British bloggers on her list, the launch edition concentrating on the chatterati trash of the sort you would travel miles to avoid. It is certainly not going to affect this blog, although Huff seems to have pitched it low enough for it to be serious competition for The Guardian and even more so the Failygraph.

Those who want to be up to date with the news, however, would be better off setting up their own custom page on Google News, rounded off with a list of their own favourite blogs. For all the hype, the lightweight Huff brings nothing of any consequence to the table ... which means it may do quite well.