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10 Jun 10

But the biggest change is the swell in AOL staff numbers. Eun has stated the aim is to make AOL the "world's largest producer of high-quality content" and he'll be augmenting those extra "hundreds" of permanent staff with potentially thousands more freelancers, augmenting the 40,000-odd freelancers already on their books. To tailor the content these folk produce, AOL will be putting an assessment system in place, to measure the "value" of any piece of content by seeing how many readers click-through to it, how long they dwell there, and how much ad revenue spins from the piece.

To many media people this news will send a cold chill down their spines--reminiscent as it is of Nick Denton's controversial and game-challenging "pay-per-click" system applied throughout his Gawker network of blogs. And to the casual man in the street who's appreciative of the existing norms of publishing, it'll sound very worrisome. Where are the guarantees of quality? Where is the promise to stand by, or at least bear in mind journalistic norms and best-practices? Will this content be truly valuable, or will the pay-per-content system result in a spiral into reams of AOL-branded trashy chaff, produced to titillate rather than illuminate? Given AOL's checkered history in terms of providing quality products, and accusations that it's already heavily littered the world with millions of CDs to promote its old ISP service, these worries may be well-founded. Words like these, from AOL's president of global advertising Jeff Levick don't help: "We have insights into our audience, and can produce content they want, which leads to engagement, which leads to what advertisers want." Content that ultimately snares the consumer, by hook or by crook, for the benefit of the advertisers? Doesn't sound like journalism to us.

02 Dec 09

Following a meeting with AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, JP Morgan analyst Imran Khan says he now believes AOL will stop selling its own premium advertising through its ad network Ad.com.

This would mean means marketers could only buy AOL ads through AOL sales, and not through its ad network.

30 Nov 09

Tonight, AOL revealed its master plan for cheap content creation: automated assignment editors.

AOL told the Wall Street Journal it is developing an algorithm that will assign freelance writers stories based on user Web searches and the sites AOL ISP subscribers visit.

30 Sep 09

What's AOL going to be worth once Time Warner spins it off? Today, two Wall Street analysts -- JP Morgan's Imran Khan and Pali's Rich Greenfield -- figured that the new AOL's valuation would be around $4 billion, assuming no net debt.

21 Aug 09

But AOL is not alone in its online journalism initiatives. In fact, a number of former AOL executives are pursuing similar pursuits. In the last year or so, three ex-AOLers, including former vice chairman Ted Leonsis, have launched new sites devoted to online distribution of original non-fiction content.

31 Jul 09

...because it's only the name that's causing revenue hemorrage

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AOL announced Friday that its sprawling ad unit -- encompassing premium ad sales on its owned-and-operated properties, its Advertising.com third-party ad network and its ADTECH ad-serving operations -- will be renamed AOL Advertising come September. "In talking to advertisers, marketers and agencies, we heard time and again that the AOL brand matters greatly in this space," said AOL's President of Global Advertising and Strategy, Jeff Levick.

06 Jul 09

AOL HAS BEEN 'upgrading' the free accounts of its former employees and then trying to charge them.

The outfit's antics have been outed by former Time Warner employee Jason Zweig, who unfortunately for AOL now works for the Wall Street Journal.

11 Jun 09

Adding the final leg of its new strategy to reinvigorate AOL, the Time Warner online unit said it was buying two small local start-ups, Patch Media and Going.

Each acquisition–which focuses on hyperlocal community news (Patch) and events (Going)–is small, about $10 million.

27 May 09

Last month Time Warner announced that it would likely spin off its AOL assets into a new company, followed by an IPO (10Q SEC filing is here). Little detail was given about the transaction, other than the fact that Google’s 5% stake in AOL would be repurchased. But exactly when the transaction would occur, and what assets it would include, were left unstated. New CEO Tim Armstrong will lead the independent company.

Sources close to AOL tell us that the board of directors will make a final decision on the AOL spinoff at a board meeting this Thursday, May 28, possibly undoing the $147 billion 2001 merger of the two companies. Sources characterize the decision as “a done deal.”

26 May 09

According to an internal memo obtained by BoomTown, Joanna Shields, who came to AOL via its troubled acquisition of the Bebo social-networking site, will be returning to London to spend more time with her family and to “pursue entrepreneurial interests.”

19 May 09

the real news here is that someone actually thought "emoze" would be a good brand name for... pretty much anything

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More than 10 million email users can now go mobile, thanks to the latest emoze data source release for AOL subscribers. People with an AOL email address can now get their messages and more pushed to their mobile phone, with real-time, secure synchronisation from emoze.

15 May 09

More ripple effects from Tim Armstrong’s departure from Google to run AOL for Time Warner (TWX): Tom Phillips, Google’s director of search and analytics, is out.

14 May 09

My name is Greg Mills and I oversee the AOL Games business including GameDaily BIZ. Each year, our team evaluates our overall strategy and direction. Earlier this year, I made the decision to focus all of our efforts on the consumer side of our GameDaily video game editorial business. GameDaily BIZ has always been our business to business play in the video game industry. On May 31st, we will no longer offer the GameDaily BIZ newsletter. For clarification, the www.gamedaily.com consumer site will continue as it is today.

The good news is that the newsletter will continue with the same great writers at IndustryGamers, which is being produced by James Brightman in partnership with Hammersuit LLC. I have had the pleasure to work with James Brightman and David Radd for many years. I have read and subscribed to GameDaily BIZ for many years including those years before AOL acquired GameDaily. I know the quality of the industry newsletter will continue to be high and I plan to continue to subscribe to their new newsletter which will start on June 1st. In order to receive their newsletter, one has to sign up for it at this link: http://industrygamers.com.

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