With the news that AOL and Arianna Huffington are teaming up to take over the Internet -- combining the Huffington Post with AOL's roster of Web stars including Politics Daily, Engadget and TechCrunch -- I couldn't help but feel a bit overlooked. One of my inspirations for starting CurrentMom was the Huffington Post, and I'd like to take the opportunity to point out to the AOL acquisitions team the many ways in which Arianna Huffington and I are alike.
We use our friends
A few years ago, when friends of mine started blogging for the Huffington Post -- for free -- I was shocked. These are experienced, talented journalists with insightful, powerful things to say, and they were giving it away. So that got me to thinking … if Arianna Huffington could elicit high-quality content without paying for it, why couldn't I? Thus, CurrentMom was born, just over two years ago.
Like Arianna, I launched with a core group of friends I persuaded to write funny, informative, thought-provoking blog posts to drive traffic to my Web site. The only difference is that her friends were drawn from Hollywood, national politics, big business and journalism. Mine come from the preschool parents' group, volunteer journalism organizations, my school days and my secret life as an a cappella singer.
I'm immensely grateful to my friends -- and the new bloggers we've added since then -- and very proud of the result: CurrentMom is immensely readable, never predictable and I regularly find myself in tears over an intimate emotion or universal truth that one of my bloggers shared. Granted, AOL just agreed to pay Arianna Huffington $315 million for the enterprise she built on free labor, and CurrentMom's advertising revenue hasn't even covered my expenses, but things can change!