On Monday morning at 10am, Arianna Huffington and Roy Sekoff, the Huffington Post’s founding editor, launched HuffPost Live – a stream of daily video content, live 12 hours per day.
HuffPost Live is set up as a contemporary current affairs program with discussions on issues emanating from content on the Huffington Post.
The interface allows users to look ahead to upcoming programming, watch live or catch up on segments they may have missed. They are also encouraged to get involved with discussions live on air.
A regular segment ‘Hot on HuffPost’ invites the publication’s editors to talk about what is trending in their particular section, from Tech to politics to lifestyle subjects.
Another segment, ‘Defend your comment’ invites commenters to explain their controversial opinions on the site. Sekoff says:
“One of the first ideas that I ever had was the segment called Defend Your Comment. What if we got a commenter who said something really strong on site and got them on air to defend their comment? We did our inaugural one this morning. I did allow myself a few minutes to watch, and it was great!”
Not all commenters have made such a smooth transition from text to live video. A number of the more controversial and opinionated commenters have been surprisingly meek when asked to defend their views live on air.
With a new staff of over 100, including 10 presenters, Huffington Post is investing heavily in the new venture. Sekoff says his ambition is that HuffPost Live should “talk with you, not at you.”
This is achieved through various different types of social participation. Users can interject throughout the broadcast, wither directly through signing up to Google+ Hangout and joining the discussions by video feed or by participating in in the corresponding live tweet and comment stream.
Forbes labeled the new venture “courageous, flawed and promising.” Others, such as the Columbia Journalism Review, have speculated whether after the initial excitement has worn off HuffPost live will be able to sustain 12 hours of programming, five days a week with nightly hiughlights packages.
According to Sekoff that will be achieved through the Huffington Post’s capacity for adaptability.
“It’s a commitment of mine that we look different on day 50 than we do on day one,” he said. “I’ll be so bold as to say that I hope we look different on day 10 than we do on day one. That’s going to be my job for the next five, 10 years.”