New Technology And Old Media

Earlier I got back from a dinner party at Arianna's place. (Dinner At Arianna's) If it had been a private party it would have been bad taste to blog about it.

I had no idea The Huffington Post has major international expansion gameplans. I am so impressed. The Huffington Post is still very much a startup, just with more resources.

Paramendra, I very much hope you can join me for a dinner for Juan Luis Cebrian, who heads El Pais, our partner in launching The Huffington Post in Spain. It is at 7pm at my home at _________ 17th Street_______. Let me know if you can make it. All the best, Arianna.
The Huffington Post has been in Canada for a while now. I did not know. It even has a French edition in Canada. And it has already teamed up with the top French newspaper. I did not know. And I thought Arianna bought a yacht and went on a world tour after selling The Huffington Post to AOL. Not so. She is hard at work. If you think the newspaper is dead, talk to Arianna. I did not know El Pais was the biggest newspaper in the Spanish speaking world. I had never heard of that brand name.

I got to meet a whole bunch of people on the El Pais team. And I congratulated each of them. I told them I was not with The Huffington Post, although looks like I might do a few projects for them. ("How do you know Arianna?" "I met her at a party a few days back.")

I told them, this is a really smart move for both of you to be making. You have the content and the culture and the local reach that The Huffington Post does not have. The Huffington Post has the magic that you don't have. They do not embrace new technology, they have not mastered new technology, it is more like they were born out of new technology. Being big will not save you. RIM of Blackberry fame was big. The Huffington Post does new technology better than any newspaper in the world. Teaming up with them will rub off on you.

And I got to meet Joe Klein, the Time columnist. "You are Joe Klein, right?"

And - take this - I got to meet Charlie Rose, the man himself. "Charlie, I am a huge fan of your show." So true. Nobody quite like Charlie in the business.

I also met the president of MSNBC, but he had to tell me that.

I met a Danish guy out of London who sold a video startup to AOL for $100 million, and another guy who sold a startup to AOL for an undisclosed sum.

Towards the very end I got to meet Arianna's sister: "I am the artist in the family."

Meeting Arianna Huffington

Ends up Arianna did not buy a yacht. She bought something better. She has a great, great apartment. The big, open space of the living room, the view of the Freedom Tower, the white coloring of the walls. It is nice.

Mike Arrington and Arianna Huffington are a study in contrasts. One sold the top tech blog in the world to AOL, another sold the top blog in the world to AOL. And the similarities kind of end there. Arianna's is the biggest startup newspaper in the world, a newspaper for the digital era. In short, you ain't seen nothing yet.

If AOL remakes itself in Arianna's image, it will more than thrive. It will not end up a Yahoo.
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