In its 14th international edition, the Huffington Post is launching HuffPost Arabi, which will “span the entire Arab world — comprised of 377 million people living in 22 countries, stretching from Mauritania in the northwest corner of Africa to Oman on the eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula — and the Arab diasporas everywhere from Brazil to Japan.”
That’s HuffPost founder and namesake Arianna Huffington’s breathless (and breathtaking) description of the new HuffPost Arabi enterprise. Opening day features items like video of Queen Rania of Jordan talking about the importance of increasing the Arab presence online. But the top-down chitchat of a queen is not what Huffington expects will drive HuffPost Arabi’s success. HuffPost Arabi expects user-contributed content to be the secret sauce. It’s the blog platform (video, text, image) with which “anyone with something to say… can share their perspective” that excites Huffington. That’s 377 million stories from all over the globe. It’s certainly a good step for the world’s progress to give more voice and platform to a perhaps underrepresented world population. It’s also a good business move.