As a person who was born in the mid 80s and grew up in the 90s, I’ve been intensely fascinated by the restructuring of AOL. As a kid, I was one of the millions of people who used its dial-up access, and I can’t shake those memories as I watch it shift towards being a media company that hinges on advertising. It’s essentially a completely different company, but I can’t put away with those memories of the days when I had to deal with their shitty access and customer service. The brand of AOL has since left a bad taste in my mouth.
Many have noted that all media roads lead to New York, and now AOL is no different. They’ve recently opened new offices in the city. As is hinted at in the article, the organization is much too heavily staffed to be an internet media company. They need to shave down on staff levels and run a lean ship, especially since online advertising dollars are still relatively weak compared to other media outlets.
Will the shift be successful? What does AOL have that Gawker Media — with a much smaller staff and therefore lower overhead costs– doesn’t?