CEO Tim Armstrong responds to the reports that with ad revenues down AOL will be off 20% this year from projections by affirming his desire to recenter the AOL brand around user-created content like that found on the recently acquired Huffington Post. This has led to speculation that Arianna Huffington may take a larger role in the company since her former blog aggregator is supposedly the cornerstone of CEO Armstrong’s plans for the ancient former-internet service giant. Armstrong has redoubled his efforts into turning AOL into something similar to AOL’s former merger partner Time-Warner, namely as a provider of original media content. He’s aggressively expanded the Huffington Post’s offerings and even hired 300 journalists to generate original content for the blog. The transformation of the Huffington Post from a blog aggregator to original content generator is why Arianna Huffington has such an important position within the company. The shifting sands of big media have prompted a rethinking of how to approach content delivery, given the ease with which things can simply be stolen from others sites and reposted. I don’t know if this is symptomatic of a problem with blog culture or blog culture in and of itself. I usually always read blogs to find interesting stories linked elsewhere as well as enjoying the fairly unrestrained commentary and opinions one can find on blogs. I hope AOL sticks around for the long-haul, mainly because of the fond memories but also for the promise of its original content.

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