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April 11, 2013
10:08 // 1 year ago
February 8, 2013

aatombomb: What the hell is AOL? 

The common refrain this morning on AOL’s good day was that advertising is leading the company back. This is true, kind of. It is true that revenue at AOL sites (like HuffPo, AOL.com, and Moviefone) is up, but profit for AOL’s online brands is actually down for the year by 34 percent. The new profit engine, not only for the quarter but also the year, has been advertising on AOL’s third-party network, the company’s ad market for other online publishers.

But it’s the old profit engine that is still driving the company. AOL’s subscription business (the evolution of that gargling symphony of squeaks and whistles from the 1990s) is still more profitable than AOL as a company

This is good news and bad news, as Henry Blodget observes. It’s good news because the profits from subscription services can be used to smooth AOL’s transition to a modern media and advertising company, and subscription cancellations are slowing down. But it’s also bad news because any company that relies on the inertia of septuagenarians who haven’t figured out how to get Internet without paying AOL for the privilege does not sound like a magnet for the sort of talent that drives long-term growth.

“What exactly is AOL?” you might ask yourself. As a consumer product, it’s a bunch of websites. As a business strategy, it’s an ad company. As a growth business, it’s a third-party digital advertising network. And as a profitable business, it’s mostly none of those things but rather, overwhelmingly, an anachronistic online membership service. Great stock. Weird company.

Basically, AOL is a key example of a company that’s changed its focus more than a few times. So as a result, they have a lot of legacy. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Even though Apple hitched its wagon on the Mac in 1984, it still sold Apple ][ models until 1992. The legacy gave way to the new business. Smaller companies do the same thing. They’re called pivots. Big companies have the benefit of being able to pivot while keeping the legacy business active. That’s why AOL can sell memberships to a service nobody has actually used earnestly since 2003.

(via aatombomb)

15:08 // 1 year ago
December 21, 2012
ilovecharts:

To Live And Die In America

HuffPo with a powerful statement on its front page. The NRA’s reaction to Newtown is below the “fold.”

ilovecharts:

To Live And Die In America

HuffPo with a powerful statement on its front page. The NRA’s reaction to Newtown is below the “fold.”

(via current)

21:53 // 1 year ago
November 5, 2012
dceiver:

The office. One day to go. (photo by @aterkel)

Note to self for bucket list: Get hired, and then work at the Huffington Post just long enough so I can say I worked next to whomever is wearing that horse mask.

dceiver:

The office. One day to go. (photo by @aterkel)

Note to self for bucket list: Get hired, and then work at the Huffington Post just long enough so I can say I worked next to whomever is wearing that horse mask.

19:27 // 1 year ago
October 29, 2012

Major Media ISP Goes Down

buzzfeed:

Datagram, the ISP whose Manhattan servers host BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Gawker, and other sites, has lost power, an official there told us via text this evening.

“Basement flooded, fuel pump off line - we got people working on it now. 5 feet of water now,” the official wrote.

BuzzFeed’s site and story page are back online, thanks to a Content Delivery Network, Akamai, which hosts the content at servers distributed around the world.

FIVE FEET OF WATER took down three of the biggest new-media sites on the internet. At the same time. Think about how crazy that is.

21:12 // 1 year ago
July 13, 2012
One year ago, journalist Jose Antonio Vargas revealed to the world that he was an undocumented immigrant — building his entire career, which included time at The Washington Post and The Huffington Post, on a lie. Vargas looks back at the past year in an interview with BuzzFeed, where he considers the weirdness of becoming an activist, his friends lost (many in the news industry), and his friends gained (Mark Zuckerberg, Aaron Sorkin). Great piece.

One year ago, journalist Jose Antonio Vargas revealed to the world that he was an undocumented immigrant — building his entire career, which included time at The Washington Post and The Huffington Post, on a lie. Vargas looks back at the past year in an interview with BuzzFeed, where he considers the weirdness of becoming an activist, his friends lost (many in the news industry), and his friends gained (Mark Zuckerberg, Aaron Sorkin). Great piece.

9:02 // 2 years ago
June 14, 2012

On HuffPo and the legitimacy of a news outlet

musingsbymattheous says: Can you please stop acting like The Huffington Post is a legitimate news source? They’re worst than Fox News.

» SFB says: FWIW, they have more Pulitzers than Fox News does. (One.) While we have our disagreements with HuffPo’s style of aggregation and approach at times, they are a legitimate news source and they do their own original reporting. If they do something questionable (which happens from time to time), we’ll call them out on it, just like we do with Fox News or any other outlet. Just because you don’t like something doesn’t make them illegitimate; it just puts them up for more scrutiny. — Ernie @ SFB

13:32 // 2 years ago
HuffPo’s new weekly iPad magazine, ”Huffington.”, just launched today. It’s a free download, though issues cost 99 cents a piece. Check it out if you ever wondered what HuffPo would be like with more in-depth stories and better design.

HuffPo’s new weekly iPad magazine, ”Huffington.”, just launched today. It’s a free download, though issues cost 99 cents a piece. Check it out if you ever wondered what HuffPo would be like with more in-depth stories and better design.

13:05 // 2 years ago
May 9, 2012
TechCrunch’s history since AOL bought it in 2010 has been as turbulent as the private roller coasters many Facebook employees will likely install in their Silicon Valley mansions post-IPO.
Gawker’s Adrian Chen • Commenting on AOL’s reported plans to sell TechCrunch, Engadget and most of its other tech-related properties in a single package. One amazing line really says it all.
12:53 // 2 years ago
April 16, 2012
Pulitzer roundup: A year full of changing ground and big surprises
HuffPo won a Pulitzer! And so did Politico! 2011 may become a watershed year for online journalism, as for-profit online news organizations finally took a bite out of the news industry’s most prestigious prize. The Huffington Post, known as the kings of aggregation, won for a fairly traditional piece for them — reporter David Wood’s ten-part story discussing the struggles of returning veterans. (Wood is shown above, trying to open up a Nattie Light, which clearly is the only beer HuffPo had on hand to celebrate his feat.) Politico, on the other hand, won for Matt Wuerker’s mad editorial cartooning skillz. The wins tell the journalism world what many already knew — the folks on the Web are at the same level as traditional newspapers. Anyway, here’s a round-up of a few newspaper winners of note:
one At age 24 and just out of college, the Harrisburg Patriot-News’ Sara Ganim won a Pulitzer for local reporting — she was the first to report details on the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State.
two The Stranger, a snarky Seattle weekly known for advice columnist Dan Savage, won a Pulitzer for Eli Sanders’ story about a woman who survived a brutal rape.
three Despite a tough time for the paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer won a public service Pulitzer for its “Assault on Learning" series, which tackled school violence.
four The Tuscaloosa News kept readers informed online, despite a tornado which stopped their presses and destroyed homes. For that, they won a Breaking News Pulitzer. source
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HuffPo won a Pulitzer! And so did Politico! 2011 may become a watershed year for online journalism, as for-profit online news organizations finally took a bite out of the news industry’s most prestigious prize. The Huffington Post, known as the kings of aggregation, won for a fairly traditional piece for them — reporter David Wood’s ten-part story discussing the struggles of returning veterans. (Wood is shown above, trying to open up a Nattie Light, which clearly is the only beer HuffPo had on hand to celebrate his feat.) Politico, on the other hand, won for Matt Wuerker’s mad editorial cartooning skillz. The wins tell the journalism world what many already knew — the folks on the Web are at the same level as traditional newspapers. Anyway, here’s a round-up of a few newspaper winners of note:

  • one At age 24 and just out of college, the Harrisburg Patriot-News’ Sara Ganim won a Pulitzer for local reporting — she was the first to report details on the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State.
  • two The Stranger, a snarky Seattle weekly known for advice columnist Dan Savage, won a Pulitzer for Eli Sanders’ story about a woman who survived a brutal rape.
  • three Despite a tough time for the paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer won a public service Pulitzer for its “Assault on Learning" series, which tackled school violence.
  • four The Tuscaloosa News kept readers informed online, despite a tornado which stopped their presses and destroyed homes. For that, they won a Breaking News Pulitzer. source

Follow ShortFormBlog: Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook

20:58 // 2 years ago