Saul Hansell, the former New York Times tech reporter who made a big splash moving to AOL last year, has a new gig inside the dial-up funded empire.
He’ll be resigning his post as boss of all things Seed, AOL’s freelancer platform, to become “Big News editor” for the Huffington Post.
That means he’ll supervise the creation and curation of HuffPo pages on big news topics.
Seed will live under the AOL Advertising banner, along with its video counter-part, StudioNow.
It’s actually not such a huge change, Hansell points out in a blog post announcing the switch:
When I first talked to Tim Armstrong about the possibility of joining AOL, he described a vision of having a page about everything in the world that people are interested in, every prescription drug, every make of watch, ever college campus. It’s an audacious goal, one that flows from Tim’s experience at Google. But Tim, unlike Larry and Sergey, doesn’t see this as a task just for engineers. He understands how a human being–with insight, curiosity and skill—can make any page more interesting and more useful than if it was just made by a machine. From the start, Seed was not a cynical attempt to cash in on the dark arts of search engine optimization. Our goal was to deploy many thousands of people to help create the smartest page on everything people care about.
As big news editor, I’m devoted to exactly the same mission. The mix of topics of topics will shift to include more politics, national affairs and breaking news. And we are very interested in finding ways for the Huffington Post’s vast community of commenters and bloggers to contribute their passion and expertise to the pages we build. We will also use both our growing stable of talented journalists and our portfolio of very interesting search and text analysis technology to enhance the pages. And any time we can serve our audience best by using a freelance writer, we’ve got the Seed network at our disposal as well.
Now, even more than that night in February, I am convinced that the big news about the combination of AOL and the Huffington Post is how we have all the pieces needed to thrive and innovate even in the very harsh environment of Internet news.
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