Friday, August 14, 2009

A Year On -- What's the Point of Huffington Post Chicago?

Out of boredom I ended up clicking on the Chicago Huffington Post page--something I admittedly have looked at twice since they fired that up a year ago--and I realized why I never go there.

It sucks. It totally sucks. It isn't interesting and it says the same freaking things that the Trib and Sun-Times say. There is no point to this site. None. There are posts and headlines on Ozzie saying that the Sox will go after teams that throw at them. There is a Patrick Kane update. There is even a headline... no wait, two headlines, on the U of I Clout story, along with a section on how to make peach donuts and someone praising Italian wines.

So what's the point of this page again? Wasn't Huffington going to some how bring "attitude" to Chicago? Instead, it seems like it's just a rehashing of Tribune/Sun-Times stories, and has little to no actual opinion or counter arguments/reporting to what those two newspapers do. The site is totally uninteresting and pretty much fails at what it set out to do:

"Transferring The Huffington Post's blend of news, opinion, and community -- delivered with our familiar look and attitude -- to a local level, HuffPost Chicago is part local news source, part resource guide, and part virtual soap box -- featuring a collection of bloggers who know and love Chicago, and are looking to share their takes on everything from the Cubs to City Hall to the hot new local band to the best place for Greek food (and I can testify that there is a lot of that in Chicago!)."

However, the site never actually set out to do this. John Cusack talking about how much he loves Chicago doesn't cut it because he doesn't really live here any more and lost all his Chicago cred when he showed up at the Cell in 2005 cheering on the White Sox – this after years of being a Cubs fan. From what I can/could tell Huffington Chicago was supposed to be about Chicago for people not in Chicago... only why would anyone read that?

A year later, they haven't added anything to the conversation. They haven't broken any stories -- not even a clout story -- instead they've just linked to what we already knew. They could have gone the route of the Reader and just hammered home how local media is all over the place or how TIFs are being misused by Daley and his pals. But instead it's just a shittier version of the Trib and Sun-Times, repeating their stories instead of going after new stories or offering up opinion on things like why Chicago shouldn't get the Olympics, or hammering the Tribune for flying 2016 flags when the IOC was in town in the winter. I'm not sure what the point of HuffPost Chicago ever really was – posing as an edgy alternative in a city that hates phony attitude was never going to fly. And it lacks the snark of Gawker... or the off-the-front-page stories of Chicagoist.

I think it's safe to add it to the FAIL Blog.

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