Today I was asked to take over the responsibilities of Chief Technology Officer for the Huffington Post Media Group and I can tell I am extremely excited for this opportunity. This new set of responsibilities will be in addition to my current role as Senior Vice President of Technology at AOL where I have responsibility for the Operations and Day to Day Delivery of all AOL products and services. What is extremely interesting is that the Huffington Post is like no other platform or agency of its kind. In fact, I am not sure there really is a ‘kind’ to apply.
In observing and participating in the daily Operation of the Huffington Post since its integration into AOL and experiencing first hand how that organization functions from an editorial flow perspective it is singly unique to any other organization I have ever witnessed.
First the integration between the Editorial, Design, and Technology components of the company are truly three equal and dependent legs in the overall delivery of the service. Unlike many media companies where Technology plays a secondary role, at the Huffington Post its an essential and core part of the overall product and delivery strategy. Technology literally iterates on a daily basis.
In conversations with Arianna Huffington and Tim Armstrong, I have come to truly appreciate the longer term vision and expansion of this product and how important a role Technology will represent. My background of rapidly scaling out infrastructure and development capabilities will I hope lend some considerable capabilities to these goals for the future.
Some people familiar with this type of industry may think its nothing more than a simplified website with a custom CMS. I can tell you that the back end systems, custom CMS, widget interfaces and overall flexibility that these systems operate on and develop to are part of the reason for the platforms overall success. In a world where ‘Internet time’ generally means an aggressively accelerated rate of time, the Huffington Post Platform operates at a Faster than Internet time rate. Its an incredible challenge and one I cant wait to sink my teeth into.