HuffPost Works the Twitter Crowd — Literally

In what its founder called an “experiment,” the popular liberal blog Huffington Post put out a call Thursday on Twitter for readers to suggest headlines.

Blog founder Arianna Huffington explains:

The HuffPost community has been growing by leaps and bounds. Last month, we attracted close to 2 million comments. Yesterday delivered a one-day high, with 94,215 comments.

So we decided to see if we could get our users even more involved in the editorial process by using Twitter to crowdsource headline suggestions.

Josh Young, our new Social Networking Editor, sent out a tweet with a link to our story on Obama heckler Rep. Joe Wilson, asking followers to reply back with their headline suggestions.

We got a lot of smart, sharp, creative responses… and ended up using a headline tweeted in by Benjamin Lowe.

Here’s Lowe’s winning headline:
2009-09-11-joe_wilson_splash.jpg

Shortly after its publication, Lowe gushed on Twitter: “My #headlinehelp won — it’s the headline at huffingtonpost.com!”

His excitement appears genuine, but as I look at the headline I detect a subtle but brilliant double meaning: One easily can interpret “I’m sorry…send me money” as Lowe’s polite demand to be paid for his editorial services.

I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that check, Ben.