The last installment of the AOL/Huffington Post story was the lawsuit of $105 million that angry unpaid Huffington Post bloggers filed against Arianna Huffington after AOL paid $315 million for her publication.
But Huffington seems not particularly concerned about it, according to Jeff Bercovici, as Patch, AOL's network of hyperlocal news sites, announced its intention to recruit 8,000 more bloggers in the next few days.
Bercovici reported a Patch's internal memo by editor-in-chief Brian Farnham, in which he told editors to start recruiting volunteer bloggers in view of the launch of Patch's blog platform on May 4.
"The introduction of blogging on our sites is far more than just the release of a new feature," wrote Farnham, according to Bercovici, "It is a full-on course correction heading Patch in the direction we want to go".
Patch is a network of community news blogs with 800 live sites. AOL also has recently purchased, with the declared intention to merge it with Patch, the local news aggregator Outside.In that provides links to local bloggers, journalists and mainstream media through a search by address, neighbourhood or city.
As paidContent reported, Farnham said in the memo that the company wants each of its 800 sites to sign up 10 community members to participate before the launch.
The article also reported Farnham said in an interview that this doesn't mean that Patch's strategy, which to date has involved paying one full-time staff member to create original content for each of its sites, is changing.
"Local editors will reach out to community members, including frequent commenters, to get them to contribute their views and there will also be a way for people to suggest their own articles", paidContent wrote. As the community members won't be paid, their contributions, their contributions will be distinguished from Patch's editors' articles by different graphics.
After the cloud of dust raised by the unpaid Huffington Post bloggers and the ensuing debate, will 8,000 bloggers agree to contribute without being paid?