If you get your news online, you've probably heard of The Huffington Post. This week marks the fifth anniversary of the news-aggregation site, which is one of the few places on the Internet where you can find a story about Goldman Sachs bankers right next to racy pictures of Miss USA contestants.
As of this writing, HuffPo offered up a banner headline and a dozen links about newly announced Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. This is par for the course with Internet aggregators: big pictures, catchy headlines and links, links, links.
The Drudge Report, HuffPo's counterpart on the other side of the political spectrum, has been around longer, but has changed less over the years. However, both sites have changed what it means to post news online. These pages have built massive followings by being aggregators—sites that link to other sites that contain the actual news. Google News compiles these stories automatically; Drudge and HuffPo select and rewrite headlines to get you to click on them.
While The Huffington Post does produce some of its own articles (via an army of contributors who write everything from investigative news stories to analyses of Twilight), its bread-and-butter remains the daily batch of hundreds of links.
These aggregation empires are both good and bad for sites that deliver original content (like, say, TucsonWeekly.com). Aggregators do send news sites traffic—but only when people feel compelled to read beyond the written equivalent of a sound bite.
Coincidentally, TucsonWeeklyTV.com is also celebrating an anniversary: 2 years and 2 months. This week, we're featuring a video preview of Bodies: The Exhibition, which opens downtown this weekend. Find it first on our site.
Link to that Arianna Huffington!
THE WEEK ON THE RANGE
We continued to cover the fallout from Arizona's new immigration law, including the news that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords wants President Barack Obama to read the Tucson Weekly to understand what's happening on the border; we highlighted a new campaign ad from Republican Jesse Kelly, who hopes to unseat Giffords in November; and we shared why Bob Wick, co-owner of the Tucson Weekly and other publications in the Wick Communications empire, wants Gov. Jan Brewer to veto HB 2617, which limits the ability of the Department of Environmental Quality to regulate mines.
In other political news, we told you about a TV ad running in the Tucson market that links the need for clean energy to overseas wars; delivered a bulletin about the appointment of Democrat Paul Cunningham to the Tucson City Council; and brought you new Research 2000 poll numbers on U.S. Sen. John McCain's race for re-election and Gov. Jan Brewer's race to hold on to her seat. (Read all about them in The Skinny.)
We previewed Second Saturdays Downtown; an open house at the remodeled Valley of the Moon; and a show by Gabriel Ayala at the Amerind Foundation.
We also brought you slideshows profiling the freak show at the Pima County Fair, the farmers behind Tucson Community Supported Agriculture, and the critters at Reid Park Zoo, courtesy of UA journalism students.
On the Chow beat, we let you know that May's Counter Chicken and Waffles would soon be opening, and that Tiki Tim's Grill will be coming to the Hut.
Finally, we gave away dozens of endangered-species condoms from our friends at the Center for Biological Diversity.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
"Couldn't disagree more with the reviewer expert guys above and below. This film was better than The Hurt Locker—it should've won the Oscar for many reasons. Right vs. wrong in a multi-layered world of fantastic images. The film was creative, fast-moving, absorbing, thoughtful and FUN!"
BEST OF WWW
We've dug into our archives (the dead-tree kind) to compile a complete list of Tucson Area Music Awards winners going back to 1993 that you can now find at TucsonWeekly.com. As always, you can find more recent video of our TAMMIES honorees at TucsonWeeklyTV.com.
In other video news, two of our recent SB 1070 protest videos have shot to the top of our "most viewed list" on YouTube. It just goes to show you that angry people are often the most entertaining.