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07 Sep 2011 00:06


Tech: Michael Arrington to AOL: You guys said editorial independence!

  • cause Facing an editorial crisis caused by the announcement of something called the CrunchFund, AOL forced Michael Arrington to step away from his baby, TechCrunch, in an attempt to ease up on an apparent conflict of interest that gave Arianna Huffington fits.
  • reaction Arrington isn’t having that. Earlier today, he reiterated the editorial independence AOL was supposed to give him. He gave them three options: Keep TechCrunch editorially independent, sell the site back to the shareholders, or he walks. Boom.  source

02 Sep 2011 13:13


Tech: Michael Arrington, TechCrunch another example of incestuous tech ethics

  • As we wait to see just how involved Arrington will remain, as a media company that should supposedly hold up some sort of journalistic ethics, AOL is coming out looking quite sleazy.
  • The Atlantic Wire’s Rebecca Greenfield • Offering her take on the debacle revolving around Michael Arrington and TechCrunch. Here’s the issue we see, as outsiders: Michael Arrington has always been as much of a player in Silicon Valley as he’s been a journalist, so there’s always been a small conflict of interest there. But by making the “player” element a bigger part of his job title by creating a venture capital fund, he makes himself a target. But wait. Tech journalism is already incestuous and ethically broken. A few examples: Business Insider’s Henry Blodget was once a financial analyst barred from the securities market for fraud. The WSJ’s Kara Swisher is married to a female Google exec (which she discloses). And Gizmodo parent Gawker Media pays for stories that can draw millions of eyeballs to their sites. The difference is that AOL, which bought TechCrunch a year ago, is a big company that knows better. Or should. And the end result is that it makes AOL look really bad. source

16 Aug 2011 11:05


Politics: Huffington Post stirs up controversy with design crowdsourcing idea

  • When a company like Huffington Post or GAP employs crowdsourcing to get proprietary design work done for free, the result is almost always negative. To many designers, it’s the same as asking a plumber to do some work on the pipes and in lieu of a paycheck, they’ll just put up a sign in the bathroom acknowledging all of the plumber’s hard work. But as with any fight (or tango), it takes two. Huffington Post shouldn’t have asked for free work, and up-in-arms designers should understand that their own willingness to accept work on spec is what keeps this practice around.
  • Good Magazine senior editorial designer Dylan C. Lathrop • Taking both designers and The Huffington Post to task after HuffPo held a contest to have people redesign its logo for its politics section. Now, HuffPo isn’t the only publication to ever do this — but the problem is, they’re a very successful company that can afford to pay a designer to do this, and let’s face it — the pig needs a top-down coat of paint. The Gap tried something similar when people decided that they hated their logo redesign, and they felt the pain too. Fact of matter: If you’re a company that makes millions of dollars a year and has an audience larger than a couple of people, you can afford to pay your writers pay someone to design your logos. source

17 Jun 2011 17:20


Biz: AOL Employee: My experience with them really freaking sucked

  • Errors didn’t matter. Grammatical errors — be they major or minor — didn’t matter. The brainless peons who read the website simply wouldn’t notice. What mattered was getting the ‘product’ published.
  • Former AOL TV writer Oliver Miller • Describing his experience with writing for the online megacorp in the pre-HuffPo days. Miller, who says that he was overworked and had to plow through dozens of stories each week, lost his job in an interesting way: He made a stupid aside about Alec Baldwin that the actor saw, then wrote a tirade about … on HuffPo. (Miller didn’t name the actor, but the story was well-circulated. We even wrote about it a long time ago.) After that point, he claims, editors intentionally put errors in his pieces. Miller lost his job five months ago, roughly around the time the AOL-HuffPo merger was announced. (Disclosure: I used to do freelance for AOL News pre-merger, and my experience wasn’t like this at all. It was stressful, but that’s only because I was writing a daily news blog and also working a full-time job at the time.) source

07 Feb 2011 15:49


Tech: AOL staking their livelihood on HuffPost accquisition

  • 40% of AOL’s money used to buy The Huffington Post source

07 Feb 2011 00:23


Biz, Tech: Three things to know about AOL’s Huffington Post merger

  • one The buyout fits perfectly in with AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s content strategy. It’s a strategy that led him to buy TechCrunch last year.
  • two The merger of the two companies has the potential to draw in 100 million viewers to a single Web conglomerate with many tentacles.
  • three Arianna Huffington will now be in charge of all of AOL’s editorial content – including such notable things as Moviefone and Mapquest.  source

07 Feb 2011 00:10


Biz, Tech: Huffington Post, AOL getting married, having lots of little articles

  • By combining HuffPost with AOL’s network of sites, thriving video initiative, local focus, and international reach, we know we’ll be creating a company that can have an enormous impact, reaching a global audience on every imaginable platform.
  • Arianna Huffington • Revealing to her readers that, holy crap, AOL JUST BOUGHT THE HUFFINGTON POST FOR $315 MILLION! THIS IS HUGE. LIKE BIG HUGE. This would be the largest deal AOL’s ever been involved in if not for that pesky Time Warner thing that ended up in tears for all involved – especially stockholders. source

09 Dec 2010 22:07


Tech: AOL’s “You’ve Got News”: The reason you should switch to Chrome

  • In case you’re wondering what the coolest app on the Chrome Web Store is, it’s AOL’s semi-belated entry into the tablet-esque news reader app market. You’ve Got News, a riff on their legacy branding, has a really slick feel and reminds you exactly how much content AOL has on its many news sites. Why isn’t this on the iPad yet, guys? It’s amazing. source

06 Dec 2010 10:02


Biz, Tech: Speaking of buyouts, AOL has some crazy plans for itself

  • first AOL, which has been working on its content lately, is thinking of splitting up its content business from its legacy (and still-profitable) dial-up Internet business.
  • then The company is considering selling off its dial-up business to a company more suited to it, like Earthlink or United Online. (No, they don’t get TMZ, guys.)
  • finallyAOL would then merge the rest of its parts with Yahoo!, creating a massive content-generating echo chamber the likes of which the world has never seen. source

13 Oct 2010 21:49


Biz, Tech: Rumor mill: AOL interested in buying fellow giant also-ran Yahoo

  • Good freaking god, could you imagine? Yahoo and AOL together would be like Scott Baio and Tony Danza doing a sitcom together. It’d be diminishing returns all around. It’d be a sitcom on ABC Family instead of ABC, trying its best to win a smaller audience than either star once had, and the jokes will almost certainly feel old and worn by the time they make ’em. On the other hand, we really like AOL’s current editorial-leaning direction, but Yahoo has not done anything of note since around 2000. AOL would strip Yahoo of most of the extra crap and turn it into a big advertising company. How would this work? And why is AOL acquiring so much stuff right now? And would Tim Armstrong boot out Carol Bartz? We wanna know what Alec Baldwin thinks of all this. source