Eric Snider used to work for Cinematical before AOL bought The Huffington Post to improve AOL's leadership position as the place where brands go to die.
I was just going to link to his scathing Leaving in a Huff post on Twitter, but there were too many great quotes for 140 characters:
- "Say what you will about AOL, but when you perform work for them, they pay you. They're old-fashioned like that."
- "That's how newspapers operate, and goodness knows that industry is running smoothly."
- "We were like stewardesses handing out peanuts on the Hindenburg."
- "He knows that when space aliens invade, and a weaselly human swears allegiance to them in exchange for not being killed, the weaselly human always winds up getting killed anyway."
- "We may be whores, but we are not sluts."
- "You will note that, as with most professional communiques regarding the termination of a subcontractor's services, this one begins with the traditional 'Hi there.'"
- "You've got fail."
And many, many more. It ends with a recap of the wild email thread where people at AOL were still asking bloggers who were fired or resigned to pitch posts. For pay. I think.
Note: While I'm against a lot of things that are going on and it's easy to jump on the AOL hating bandwagon, I understand that there is always a logical consolidation of overlapping divisions and brands in a merger. And sometimes companies take the opportunity to trim profitable divisions that don't overlap with newly merged brands under the pretenses of that merger. Which is probably what happened to Download Squad. There is psychic organizational overhead in trying to manage 100+ brands, so sometimes sites get shut down for reasons other than profit and traffic.
I also don't believe the unpaid HuffPo bloggers deserve a financial settlement. "Implied contracts" aren't worth the paper they're printed on. Mathew Ingram said it best in Blogging for HuffPo Is Like Writing Open-Source Code. The only settlement Arianna Huffington will face on this front is with karma.