It seems that nobody is safe from email hacking lately. An unknown hacker has gained access to CIA Director John Brennan’s personal AOL email address. The Secret Service and FBI are investigating Brennan’s email breach.
It’s April fools day otherwise known as the day when you disregard all news on the Internet and check back the next day to see if it’s real. Playing on the silly side, Google, AOL and a few others have put up their elaborate and humorous April Fool’s Day pranks.
The New York Times has faced some retaliation from readers and Bloggers over erecting a paywall. While the publisher has tried to make good by allowing incoming links from social channels to sidestep the wall, backlash hasn’t eased.
Recognizing the opportunity to poke fun and mock the New York Times was AOL/HuffPo’s own pay wall. This pay wall is exclusive for New York Time’s Employees and mocks the restrictions placed on article viewing.
The $315 Million acquisition of Huffington Post is part of a new path for AOL. In the past few months, Tim Armstrong released an internal company document detailing the new content direction AOL would be taking. The document came under fire for exploiting popular trends and churning out knee-jerk Blog posts in favor of increased traffic and revenue.
Huffington Post, which is powering AOL’s new content revamp has folded or absorbed 30 AOL brands. In the aftermath, 900+ AOL employees have been laid off and more face the axe. Freelancers employed by AOL are left wondering what their fate in the new company is.
The Huffington Post Media Group, now part of AOL Inc., announced that Biz Stone, Twitter’s co-founder, is joining the company to serve as Strategic Adviser for Social Impact. Stone will be advising both Huffington Post and AOL on cause-based initiatives and on developing a platform to facilitate people doing service in their communities. He is also expected to rally other companies to invest in and deploy best corporate practices, as well as create and develop a video series spotlighting leading companies and executives at the forefront of philanthropy and corporate responsibility.
Meanwhile, Huffington Post and AOL’s is intensifying its commitment to give back to the community, starting with encouraging its employees to volunteer in their communities, from preparing food for families and individuals in need at the LA Food Bank to dancing with elderly residents of nursing homes in New York City. As for Arianna Huffington (President of Huffington Post) and Tim Armstrong CEO of AOL), the duo is teaching a class at the Urban Academy of Arts and Letters in Brooklyn. They will also donate $50,000 to provide after-school activities for middle-school children in undeserved communities.
Any efforts like this from organizations that are doing well, is a welcome development. Besides, it seems that anywhere we look at now, including recent developments from all over, is a call for all of us to give back.
AOL is pushing hard in the news sector, first by purchasing Huffington Post for $315 million and now by adding a new company to their Patch blog network roster, this time a startup called Outside.in.
Backed by the likes of CNN, Milestone Venture Partners, Betaworks and Union Square Ventures, Outside.in is a local news aggregator which will be added to Patch’s network of more than 800 local blogs.
It’s still unclear how AOL will choose to use Outside.in. The company could be used to feed local news to already existing blogs or it could remain as a hyper-local geographically based properly of it’s own. Then again with the number of “talent buys” these days, the move could be viewed as a more strategic means of bringing in top aggregation talent. [Read more…]