“Look at Yahoo or Google or CNN, [and] take away the branding and just look at the headlines, and they’re very similar. But if you take away the branding of The Huffington Post and the signage, you’d probably still recognize us.” — Huffington Post editor Roy Sekoff says in a 3.31 N.Y. Times profile of the site and its co-founder Arianna Huffington, by Brian Stelter. “We’ve always wanted to be part of the national conversation,” Sekoff also says.
This is pretty much what every successful site does — provide a distinctive attitude-personality and a community vibe, offer a scan of the daily happenings, and start and fuel a conversation about the topics that matter (or about angles on topics that are unique to the site).