“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
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" [...]
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 [...]
Netiquette! This is how to use someone's video. And yes, this is how to get busted for stealing someone's video.
No it's not an April Fool's-apparently AOL really did buy TechCrunch. The comments on their post are something to see.
"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,' [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
"It’s a slow-motion train wreck and will end in disaster." —Gosh, how do you really feel about the AOL HuffPo buy?
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 [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]
"Arianna Huffington has, for the second time in her career, found a big payout at the end of an implausible-seeming relationship." —Oh gosh.
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! [...]
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!
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.