AOL is on the verge of launching a “shiny new video chat product dubbed ‘AV’”. And it actually looks pretty good. It’s video chat, but super-simple. You don’t need an account to use it. You don’t need anything (besides, sadly, Flash installed on your computer). You hit the homepage, start a chat, get a link, and send that to friends. Up to four people can chat at once.
AOL has relevant ideas? Go Ariana, go.
Are HuffPo bloggers being exploited?: Arianna Huffington spent last week axing many of AOL’s paid writers, and this week she heard from a few of the unpaid ones in the form of a class-action lawsuit filed by Huffington Post bloggers, led by longtime HuffPo blogger Jonathan Tasini. The Washington Post explained Tasini’s claims that HuffPo had breached its contract with bloggers by failing to come through the “implied promise” of compensation, and that it was “unjustly enriched” by the unpaid bloggers’ contributions. PaidContent, meanwhile, said this suit isn’t much like Tasini’s earlier suit against The New York Times.
Arianna Huffington is like a “slave owner on a plantation of bloggers,” according to the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit that seeks more than $100 million in damages on behalf of 9,000 unpaid bloggers who, he argues, should be paid for helping build the Huffington Post into the valuable media property AOL bought for $315 million.
The lawsuit, led by well-known New York labor activist and Huffington Post blogger Jonathan Tasini, alleges that thousands of writers and other contributors have been wrongly denied any compensation for the value they created for the Huffington Post.
Arianna Huffington, is plunging into a campaign to rescue AOL Inc.. As the new editor in chief of AOL’s 56 content sites, a job she began after AOL’s $315 million acquisition of the Huffington Post closed last month, Ms. Huffington is installing her employees, pushing coverage of her pet topics and gutting aspects of AOL’s existing system to do so.
She’s removing “The AOL way”! 3 cheers, Arianna.
You know who won the Super Bowl? Arianna Huffington. This afternoon our parent company Aol bought Huffington Post for $315 million according to a press release. Gah.
To all of you making HuffingtonCrunch and Crunchington Post jokes, Huffington’s official title will be Editor In Chief in charge of all Aol properties, including Engadget, Urlesque and yes us. Welcome to the family, Arianna.
Looks like AOL still has some life left in it.
AOL’s secret internal plan to ramp up its online content business was leaked today to New York business blog Business Insider and people are saying it’s got “content farm” written all over it. In-house writers are expected to write 5 to 10 blog posts per day and those stories are expected to go from an average of 1500 pageviews per post today to an amazing 7000 views per post in the future. How will stories be selected? The only thing that will matter, apparently, is search engine friendliness and monetization potential. That might sound terrible to outsiders, but having been there I want to say: Good luck AOL, I hope that strategy works wonderfully for you. I genuinely do.
I’m not sure why this surprises anyone. AOL was long ago bought out and gutted by ruthless corporate interests. SEO and low-hurdle content farm writing are the natural end-game moves of a struggling corporate behemoth that doesn’t really understand its market. The sad fact is there is a weird “beige market” created for this crap that no one wants, but still exists to farm mislabeled clicks and deceptive titles into pennies per transaction – yet pennies which, in scale, make billions.
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