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You Got Stale! (AOL Reboots Itself)
March 23, 2011 12:44 PM   Subscribe

In February, AOL acquired the Huffington Post for $315 million. (Previously) The formation of The Huffington Post Media Group was announced, to integrate content for a new combined, claimed audience of "117 Million Americans and 270 Million Globally." Then, AOL fired 200 US employees (leaving many sites without editorial staff) and began restructuring. Today, they announced that 30 brands, including popular site Slashfood, will be closed or folded into existing Huffington Post sections. posted by zarq (54 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
So, how does one wrap fish in cds?
posted by Old'n'Busted at 12:48 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


"We cant replace professional journalism with an adhoc blogging arrangement….we don’t want to confuse professional journalists with bloggers."

Well that's nice, since I don't want to confuse professional journalism with HuffPo.
posted by Mikey-San at 12:51 PM on March 23, 2011 [18 favorites]


Fantastic! They've consolidated a huge list of sites I never read into one site I never read.
posted by unSane at 12:51 PM on March 23, 2011 [33 favorites]


Fantastic! They've consolidated a huge list of sites I never read into one site I never read.

All the news thats fit to ignore.
posted by Fizz at 12:52 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Slash who?
posted by phaedon at 12:52 PM on March 23, 2011


popular site Slashfood

Now you're just making shit up.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:54 PM on March 23, 2011 [22 favorites]


Finally, AOL shows some taste in content.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:54 PM on March 23, 2011




phaedon: "Slash who?"

Interestingly enough, in researching this post I found out that content from Slashfood has been covered 17 times in FPP's on MetaFilter.
posted by zarq at 12:57 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


yo guys I made a leet proggie in visual basic that drops ASCII macros of thousand dollar bills in huffpo comments section so their more lowly writers can at least feel like they're getting paid
posted by defenestration at 12:58 PM on March 23, 2011


Slashfood?

Now you're just making shit up.


They have a great recipe for kirkonspockerducken.
posted by mhoye at 12:59 PM on March 23, 2011 [28 favorites]


Fantastic! They've consolidated a huge list of sites I never read into one site I never read.

My thoughts exactly. Just like Walmart conveniently carrying all of the consumer goods I don't want or need to buy. Now if those two places could combine... (not that they haven't tried before)
posted by J.W. at 1:03 PM on March 23, 2011


Metafilter: They've consolidated a huge list of sites I never read into one site I never read.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:06 PM on March 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


With a single drop of bloggery, the entire AOLosphere was Huffingtonized. Homeopathy works!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:07 PM on March 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


NEW YORK (CNNfn) -

In a stunning development, America Online Inc. announced plans to acquire Time Warner Inc. for roughly $182 billion in stock and debt Monday, creating a digital media powerhouse with the potential to reach every American in one form or another.

With dominating positions in the music, publishing, news, entertainment, cable and Internet industries, the combined company, called AOL Time Warner, will boast unrivaled assets among other media and online companies...


The Merger.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:08 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I smell a Waffle House merger in the future.







Nope, I'm just hungry.
posted by defenestration at 1:11 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


popular site Slashfood

Now you're just making shit up.


It was featured in TIME's best 25 blogs of 2009, along with a lot of other sites people have never heard of.
posted by dhartung at 1:11 PM on March 23, 2011


Does this mean my new mail address has become:

Postroad@huffington.com?
used to be Postroad@aol.com

Is that change as classy or classier than the AOL name? Is AOL related to AWOL, or did that too merge with something?
posted by Postroad at 1:14 PM on March 23, 2011


Part of me really wants to know just how much money AOL made through the years as a dialup service. Buying Time Warner at the height of dot com, okay, but the fact that they still had $300 million in cash just sitting around in 2011... swooosh.
posted by cavalier at 1:21 PM on March 23, 2011


no, now you're HuffingtonPostroad@aol.com
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:25 PM on March 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


$300 million cash on hand is not that much for a major company. That wouldn't even put them in the top 100 amongst technology companies. Microsoft has $40 billion, for example. Even McAfee has over $1B.
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:27 PM on March 23, 2011


but the fact that they still had $300 million in cash just sitting around in 2011...

Other than possible supply issues, maintaining banks of dialup modems isn't all that expensive.
posted by tommasz at 1:29 PM on March 23, 2011


It's like watching the marriage of two really stupid, obnoxious people. You're happy that they're out of the dating pool, but sad that they're in the gene pool.
posted by Pants McCracky at 1:29 PM on March 23, 2011 [16 favorites]


How is AOL still a company? What have they been doing to survive the past three yearsor whatever it's been since they split with Time Warner. Are they producing services of some sort? Who the fuck is consuming these services?
posted by Caduceus at 1:29 PM on March 23, 2011


Website-network reorganization can be devastating for a freelancer. I started reconsidering my occasional freelance contributions to msnbc.com when they moved all my 'entertainment reporting' stuff into todayshow.com... I mean, I got a kick out of people asking me if I knew Keith Olbermann, but asking me if I know Al Roker or Kathie Lee Gifford? Not cool.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:31 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


What have they been doing to survive the past three years

This New Yorker article mentioned that 80% of their profits come from subscribers, many of whom don't realize they're paying for it unnecessarily on top of their broadband.
posted by bendybendy at 1:33 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Colbuffington Re-Post
posted by Burhanistan at 1:35 PM on March 23, 2011


I'd just like to let AOL know that I have never paid anyone to write blog posts, yet there are people across literally tens of thousands of different sites creating blog content every day! I'd be willing to sell my whole set-up to you for a mere $215 million.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 1:39 PM on March 23, 2011


How is AOL still a company? Are they producing services of some sort? Who the fuck is consuming these services?

40% of AOL’s Revenue Still Comes from Dial-Up Subscriptions

Where did you think the people who vote up memes on Reddit and make Twitter Trending Topics come from?
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:40 PM on March 23, 2011


40%! Holy shit!

I realize that $300M is not a lot for a technology company; my point was that AOL for better or worse should have been stone cold deadby now. It was the fact that they still had that as spending money on top of whatever else they have in the bank that made me go O.O.

Also, we can slag HuffPo all we want, but every day I get more and more links forwarded to me that start from that domain...
posted by cavalier at 1:46 PM on March 23, 2011


I made two resolutions last week:

1) To treat all links to HuffPo as if they were links to WorldNetDaily
2) Never ever every again take on a client with an AOL email address.

Thank you for showing me just how right I am.
posted by munchingzombie at 1:54 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Never ever every again

Neologism alert!
posted by telstar at 2:09 PM on March 23, 2011


Also, we can slag HuffPo all we want, but every day I get more and more links forwarded to me that start from that domain...

Time to get better friends.
posted by doctor_negative at 2:10 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah I have a friend, who is a relatively bright kid, going for his masters in film, plays all the latest video games, has an iPhone and he still thinks that Aol is the only way to access the internet and that you have to pay for Firefox, Chrome and even IE. Ive tried telling him otherwise but at this point Ive given up.

Another one of my friends dads has two computers a new laptop that connects wireless to his FIOS and an old beige desktop thats hooked up to dial up and still runs Aol and he still pays something like $12 a month for Aol dial up while he also has FIOS. The world can be a very scary place.
posted by lilkeith07 at 2:23 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Also, we can slag HuffPo all we want, but every day I get more and more links forwarded to me that start from that domain..

That's mainly because they just repost all kinds of links. They're very good at that, which is why Colbert called them the Huffington Re-Post. There's very little content generated there.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:25 PM on March 23, 2011


Wow, that's impressive. AOL managed to completely trash anything good about HuffPo in record time.

I figured it would take at least a few more months!
posted by misha at 2:39 PM on March 23, 2011


$300 million cash on hand is not that much for a major company. That wouldn't even put them in the top 100 amongst technology companies. Microsoft has $40 billion, for example. Even McAfee has over $1B.
Yeah but it's a lot for a blog.
I realize that $300M is not a lot for a technology company; my point was that AOL for better or worse should have been stone cold deadby now. It was the fact that they still had that as spending money on top of whatever else they have in the bank that made me go O.O.
yeah most of those subscribers actually have broadband internet, it's that their old and don't realize that they don't need to pay for AOL separately.
posted by delmoi at 2:40 PM on March 23, 2011


The HuffPo deal is getting all the press, but AOL already did the same thing to their sports section.

AOL Fanhouse was that rare AOL property that actually created quality content that smart people consistently read. They hired smart bloggers for every sport you can think of, and became a destination for sports conversation. The quality of their staff shines through here (warning: Gawker property but quality reporting) where the editorial staff rebelled against sexist content on the site.

Of course, AOL decided to fire everyone in this fantastic property that they'd built from the ground up and enter into one of these "content sharing" agreements with The Sporting News. AOL gets to stop paying great writers, and I get to stop clicking on AOL links. I guess it's a win-win!
posted by auto-correct at 2:46 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't wait for Aaron's Sorkin's 'The Blog Network' starting newcomer Zac Efron as the feisty George Huffington, the man with a plan to revolutionize how people waste time. Music by Safe-Tee Razor.
posted by oxford blue at 3:00 PM on March 23, 2011


AOL...gah. Huffington Post...blarrgh with food bits left on the porcelain. I'm sorry, I can't get Eva Gabor out of my head when I hear that voice.
posted by nj_subgenius at 3:11 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, and Steve Case is a bag of used condoms.
posted by nj_subgenius at 3:13 PM on March 23, 2011


Where did you think the people who vote up memes on Reddit and make Twitter Trending Topics come from?

Not AOL dial-up--Twitter wouldn't load in any sort of useful time. My dad is one of those people--he's smart enough to realise he doesn't need broadband because he doesn't use the internet at home much, not for anything but email and the odd plane ticket, but not smart enough to realise there are far cheaper options than AOL. I'm not sure what it says about my life that I find staying with him kind of relaxing because I don't go on the internet there and his television doesn't really receive, either.
posted by hoyland at 3:24 PM on March 23, 2011


So, AOL's new media strategy is to take the name AOL off everything while putting it in HuffPo brand clothing? That sounds about right.
posted by GilloD at 3:25 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Old'n'Busted: "So, how does one wrap fish in cds"

Grind them up finely and use an egg wash first.

What? Too soon for recipes?
posted by Splunge at 3:39 PM on March 23, 2011


I sense a sting in here?

1. get what is basically a link farm
2. disguise its nature with some above average content done by a little army of writers
3. build enough brouhahah about it
4. sell it (primarily the brand) for a profit to a bunch of fools
5. get rid of all the people who could now ask for money, knowing money has arrived

I guess some schemes never ever change, except now they're also on the net.

The data: if you enjoy a work too much, you're more likely to do it for the mere enjoyment and remove the fact you are overexposing yourself with deferred compensation.

The lesson: in doing a job you like, make sure you are presently getting at least enough compensation to actually cover your costs and, if possible, actualized loss of future revenues if you get dropped off. Don't blindly believe in a better bright future, for the future is now.
posted by elpapacito at 4:15 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meet AOL's next CEO
posted by TrialByMedia at 4:24 PM on March 23, 2011


Oh god, I can't even. Journalism is on its way to extinction, and a million plagiarists and SEO farmers who perpetrate cut-and-paste "facts" (for free) are taking over because there's more to reporting that correct spelling and grammar.

Journalists don't even MAKE a decent living. Seriously. Raise your hand if you're a working freelancer who gets paid more than $1 a word who lives anywhere but NYC or LA and isn't a celebrity. (I'm being generous here.)

Churnalism is apparently the future, fact-checking and ethic standards are dead, and now we're all being sentenced to the gAOL.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 5:50 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Journalism is on its way to extinction, and a million plagiarists and SEO farmers who perpetrate cut-and-paste "facts" (for free) are taking over because there's more to reporting that correct spelling and grammar.

Just wait until the fun part, when the idiots have exhausted mining all of the great works for ideas, exhausted all the flash-in-the-pan geniuses for memes and eyeballs, until there's nothing left but a vast hollow echo chamber. Only a few more generations until our society is completely unable to think for itself.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:44 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, something about a lawn. I forget.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:44 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of expecting the Huffington Post to start farming out their content creation to Amazon's Mechanical Turk for a penny a word.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:14 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Civil_Disobedient, you're welcome to be on my lawn anytime. Would you like to mow it?

Although the kid down the street does it for free because I let him put a sign in front of my house advertising his services, so, you know... I'd actually be doing you a FAVOR letting you mow it on weekends, when the neighbors can see you doing it.

I mean, I'd be happy to hand out your card to anyone who rings my doorbell and asks about you! I promise I won't move away or anything.

(Pay no attention to that guy who just pulled up with a truck full of Astro Turf.)
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:24 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know anything about most of the list, but I checked Autoblog Green almost daily. I'll miss it.
posted by Popular Ethics at 7:38 PM on March 23, 2011


Yawn.
posted by spitefulcrow at 7:53 PM on March 23, 2011


Raise your hand if you're a working freelancer who gets paid more than $1 a word who lives anywhere but NYC or LA and isn't a celebrity.

Sure, I wish. 65c per here. Not risking getting rich any time soon.
posted by Wolof at 11:32 PM on March 23, 2011


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