The (admittedly short) history of political blogging might be divided into the periods pre- and post-Huffington. The site is among the most quoted on the web and has massive references in many countries.
Before the millionaire socialite Arianna Huffington decided to get in on the act, bloggers operated in a spirit of underdog solidarity.
These bloggers hated the mainstream media - and the feeling was mutual. But that has changed and it changed with the HuffPost. Bloggers were taken seriously then!
To borrow the gold-rush simile beloved of web pioneers, Huffington's success made the first generation of bloggers look like two-bit prospectors panning for nuggets in shallow creeks before the big mining operations moved in.
In the era pre-Huffington, big media companies ignored the web, or feared it; post-Huffington they started to treat it as just another marketplace, open to exploitation. Three years on, Rupert Murdoch owns MySpace, while newbie amateur bloggers have to gather traffic crumbs from under the table of the big-time publishers.