Poor old AOL. It really doesn’t get a particularly good press, does it?
The latest murmurings of discontent at Engadget – the tech news site it acquired in 2005 – again suggest things are not entirely positive over at the company that feels to me like the grandfather of the internet!
According to reports, Joshua Topolsky, Engadget’s editor will depart the company, weeks after he engaged in a public war of words with Michael Arrington, the editor of AOL’s newly acquired blog, TechCrunch. Nilay Patel, Engadget’s managing editor, also is leaving.
AOL has not been backwards in coming forwards recently and, in addition to the TechCrunch acquisition, also snapped up leading US political blog The Huffington Post. A snip at $315m!
Making all these blogs – so used to operating on their own and led by powerful, outspoken individuals like Topolsky, Arrington and Huffington – work together and pull in the same direction was never going to be easy. AOL seems to be experiencing this.
And it is perhaps not surprising that these individuals – entrepreneurs in their own right – will inevitably look elsewhere to go and start something new rather than committing to their new institutionalised paymasters.
Can Biz save the day?
And then today we read news that Twitter co-founder Biz Stone is to come to the aid of the ailing giant to act as social impact strategic adviser!
His remit will be wide ranging but, in his own words, he aims to “rally companies to think about new ways of doing business.”
That could be music to AOL’s (and its employees’) ears.