Posts Tagged: AOL
15

The Trials of 'Entertainment Weekly': One Magazine's 24 Years of Corporate Torture

Jessica Alba on the cover of Entertainment Weekly in March of 2001, summer of 2006, and again this month.

When I was a young and odd child, one of the oddest things I did was collect Entertainment Weekly. Our family, like so many middle class families, had always had a subscription to Time, and one day Entertainment Weekly began arriving with it. In those early days, it was called entertainment weekly, and in many ways, it resembled many of the entertainment websites (The A.V. Club, Grantland, Vulture) that dominate the field today. There were long, industry-oriented cover stories, buttressed by surprisingly non-banal interviews with stars, producers, directors, [...]

27

Life After Patch.com: A Newspaper Editor Returns To Newsprint

Patch.com was launched in 2007 when Tim Armstrong, the man who turned Google into an advertising company, noticed his very wealthy Connecticut bedroom community lacked a local paper with an events calendar. When Armstrong became head of AOL in 2009 with the mission of transforming the company from a fading dial-up service to a media brand, he sold Patch to his new employers. There are 850 Patch sites, supposedly hyperlocal news operations run by modestly paid newspaper journalists and supposedly supported by neighborhood advertising.

Because the Internet is mostly a garbage factory and AOL produces a great deal of Internet content, it stands to reason that much of AOL's content [...]

21

I'm Permalance No More! "Thank You Very Much for Your Contributions to AOL"

I left the corporate world in 2008 to write about music and entertainment because I wanted to work from bed, only leaving to maybe smoke joints with Kid Cudi while asking him pretentious questions about string arrangements. I don’t ask for much! During this time, my main gig has been permalancing for AOL Music. There, I aggregated content about hip-hop and indie rock, with a stray shot at actual journalism—attempts which were usually trumped by stories about Rihanna deboarding a plane or Jay-Z making funny faces at Madison Square Garden.

And then, in early February, AOL purchased the Huffington Post and handed over its editorial keys to Arianna Huffington. [...]

2

Today's Other AOL-HuffPo Notable Quotable

"Arianna Huffington has, for the second time in her career, found a big payout at the end of an implausible-seeming relationship." —Oh gosh.

22

AOL + HuffPo: What Does It Mean?

AOL's purchase of the Huffington Post for $315 million is fascinating. It comes directly on the heels, for one thing, of a Goldman Sachs assessment issued last week, with a "neutral" rating and the headline "still waiting for the promised turnaround." (It notes that AOL's ad revenue was down 27% and 29% from the previous year in quarters three and four.) You spoke a little soon, Goldman Sachs! Now AOL has inventory to sell! And HuffPo has content from elsewhere to suck in to sell against! What a morning—Arianna Huffington and AOL honcho Tim Armstrong are touching each other! AOL's publicist and Arianna's publicist are integrating! [...]

28

Millennials Rule The Land

The most painful line of the day: "To most everyone, AOL was the company that mailed you all those CDs so you could get on a 56K modem when you were in grade school." Most everyone! Grade school! OMG I'm going back to bed!

28

A Note On Rumors About Our Impending Sale

An item today on Silicon Alley Insider suggesting that this very website is a possible purchase platform for AOL's growing portfolio of blogs has resulted in a flurry of speculation and what can only be characterized as a number of desperate counter-offers* from companies both large and small who have suddenly realized that our demographics and scalability offer an extremely cost-efficient revenue-positive traffic enhancer in an increasingly fragmented marketspace.

1

Maybe Thing From The '90s Will Work As An App

"The automated telephone service — once so popular that it was lampooned on “Seinfeld” — will be disconnected in about a month, before a planned reintroduction of the Moviefone brand by AOL and BermanBraun, a web and television company." [Audio via]

0

The Eternal Pizza Playoff of the Patchless Mind

“We’re going so far, in many of our Patches, to host ‘Pizza Playoffs’ — a tournament-style bracket that pits all the pizza parlors in town into showdowns to attract the most comments and star-ratings. Features like this could go on for weeks at a time, and when one ends, another will begin.” —Forever and ever, amen

7

Moviefone Defends Its Honor

Here is a rather incredible follow-up story, from AOL's Moviefone, about their request of Techcrunch to make a story more friendly. It's bizarre! (The request from Moviefone went like this: "Let me know if you’re able to take another look at it and make any edits.")

And Moviefone says: "The person who wrote that email was not acting in an editorial capacity. That person's job is to act as an intermediary between the studios and editorial… the presence of a person with that role is just one means we have of ensuring editorial integrity on Moviefone." Wha? So people who don't act in an "editorial capacity" [...]

0

Goldman Sachs on AOL-HuffPo: This Means Nothing for '11

For those of you who don't, somehow, do your private banking with Goldman Sachs, you won't see their just-issued report on the AOL purchase of the Huffington Post. For starters, they expect "retention compensation" to offset the Huffington Post's earnings—that the introduction of the Huffington Post will have no impact whatsoever on AOL's projected 2011 earnings. Although: "We view this acquisition as further solidifying AOL’s stance as an owner of valuable focused content channels, similar to cable networks…." Here comes the bonus: trashing Yahoo! "We consider this acquisition strategically valuable from the perspective of (1) brand building; (2) mobile distribution; and (3) differentiated content as it distinguishes AOL’s [...]

5

When Web Giants Steal

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dear @aol, we did not give you permission to rip our video off of YouTube, remove our credit, and put it on aol.comWed Feb 02 20:31:06 via webImprov EverywhereImprovEvery

Netiquette! This is how to use someone's video. And yes, this is how to get busted for stealing someone's video.

4

TechCrunch Commenters Lose Minds Over Site's AOL Sale

No it's not an April Fool's-apparently AOL really did buy TechCrunch. The comments on their post are something to see.

2

Expect To Hear From Your Grandma About How They Messed Up Her Email Soon

"AOL’s email service has become associated with people somewhat out of touch with present-day tech companies. Why would someone have an @aol.com account when we have GMail and iCloud? [AOL CEO Tim] Armstrong was also asked what he planned to do about that brand perception at the UBS conference yesterday. 'I would [pause] that issue is a brand issue and it is a product issue,' Armstrong responded. 'Rehabbing the AOL brand and the AOL products is a very, very important project at the company, and it has my full attention,' [...]

7

If Michael Arrington is Fired, Why is TechCrunch Publishing?

If the ship (or at least the captain of the ship) is going down, if founder Michael Arrington is really fired from AOL, then why is "his" (technically: Arianna Huffington's) site TechCrunch still publishing? The first thing you do when the corporate overlords freak out on your publication is conduct a work stoppage. The conclusion you would draw is: that's a lot of people who could lose their jobs, and they don't feel like Arrington could protect them. (He couldn't, likely. They work for AOL.) So apparently the demands made by Arrington—essentially, "sell me back my site or let me do whatever I want"—are not being met. [...]

6

TechCrunch Awesomely Gives Giant Finger to AOL

This is terrific. It warms my heart! TechCrunch just took a big chomp out of the suits who asked them to "tone down" their coverage. They'd interviewed the makers of The Source Code, and then actually rather insightfully written about how the film was "trying to target" techies and the tech press. But the AOL Moviefone people who'd set up the interview were not happy and came crying to Techcrunch—which is, still fairly newly, owned by AOL—who then promptly told them to f off: "What I didn’t understand when writing my candid opinion about the movie and its marketing strategy was that Summit thought that by inviting [...]

6

Today's AOL-HuffPo Notable Quotable

"It’s a slow-motion train wreck and will end in disaster." Gosh, how do you really feel about the AOL HuffPo buy?

15

Must-Reads: "The AOL Way" (To Create Spam Labor Camps)

If you work on the web, freelance on the web, or have any interest in business on the web, you absolutely must read the astonishing AOL plan and guide to "content" that was obtained by Nicholas Carlson at Business Insider. Obviously, they are increasing pageviews, amount of "content" published, while decreasing the amount paid for content. That's because that's how corporations work. Warning: reading this will be rough going, as it is full of jargon and b.s. and corporate blah blah, but the thing has rewards on every page. (I mean, yes: "Benadryl for Dogs" cost $15!) This is how it all really works! This is the real [...]

2

AOL Fires Everyone

Those expected AOL layoffs? Not 1000! Not 2000! Actually 2500, amounting to 1/3rd of their employees.