Online Giants’ Ad Growth Halts

TechCrunch mashed together the online advertising revenues of the big 4, being Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL, for the third quarter. The result? Just 0.6% growth, which is still some $50 million increase, but pale in comparison. Read Erick Schonfeld’s post for graphs and more. Also, don’t miss the blog networks roundtable for some more bloggish thoughts on the current financial situation.

Weblogs, Inc is Doing Well Under AOL

Weblogs, Inc

Weblogs, IncWeblogs, Inc, the blog network founded by Jason “I’m not blogging anymore” Calacanis, is doing well under AOL’s ownership. In a presentation, published by TechCrunch on Docstoc, they show massive growth since 2005. Just to illustrate, in 2005 Weblogs, Inc had a estimated revenue of $6 million and 4 employees. In 2008, the same numbers are $30 million and 26 employees. Add a massive traffic increase, with a unique visitor growth of 994% between October 2005 and August 2008, and the success story that is Weblogs, Inc just seems all the more impressive.

Of course, the growth is possibly due to the fact that the blogosphere by itself have had a massive growth during this period as well, with blogs going mainstream and getting the recognition they deserve (and sometimes don’t), but numbers are numbers, and they generally don’t lie.

Check out the full presentation for more number crunching. It’s just 10 pages and mostly pictures, so it’s very accessible. It also shows how much larger Weblogs, Inc is when compared to both Gawker Media’s network, and b5media.

AOL launches Digital City: “a new approach to geo-blogging”

AOL has announced the official launch of its Digital City site, which it claims offers a new approach to geo-blogging: “showcasing original content with a local slant, but global appeal”.

It covers fairly wide topic remit (as you’d expect from a huge media player) including arts, fashion, comedy, shopping, politics, media, celebrity news/gossip, sports, and bizarre stuff.

Geo-blogging is really just a bit of jargon to suggest that AOL has found a bunch of bloggers from various cities (US ones at present, it seems) to write on local issues. While that may have global appeal, I’d be more excited if at least some of the content was geo-targeted, in the same way as many of the ads are sure to be. [Read more…]

Videoblogger Brigitte Dale heads to ABC Family

Brigitte Dale, a videoblogger who got her start with a regular show on PopCrunch, has landed a new gig with ABC Family.

TV Week has the official news:

ABC Family is bringing Internet personality Brigitte Dale’s video blog to its Web site. Ms. Dale’s blog, which covers news, pop culture and twenty-something issues, will be featured on starting this month.

Ms. Dale will continue to write, produce and edit the video blog, which will be produced in partnership with Stage 9 Digital Media.

Brigitte is a highly entertaining videoblogger who will likely bring a unique and interesting perspective in her new gig with ABC Family.

AOL Acquires Socialthing!

It’s been confirmed that AOL has purchased lifestreaming aggregator SocialThing! for an undisclosed amount, according to this post on TechCrunch:

AOL says that the Socialthing! team will report to SVP of AOL and GM of People Networks David Liu, and will be incorporated into its People Networks division. Socialthing’s lifestreaming will be integrated into a number of AOL’s community properties, including its social network Bebo and AIM, its popular chat service.

The acquisition comes during a tough time for AOL, which has recently been forced to institute a number of budget cuts. Despite its setbacks, AOL is still keen on keeping its valuable social properties healthy, and likely saw Socialthing! as a relatively cheap investment (the aquistion price was not released, but it was probably fairly small).

SocialThing! launched only five months ago…

AOL Launches Spanish-Language Sports Blog

The guys at work are always going nuts about football. Honestly, I have no clue what they are talking about. The same way I have no idea what Fánaticos is talking about. Perhaps that’s because my Spanish-speaking education ended in the eighth grade.

AOL has launched a new blog under their AOL Latino division. The
Spanish-language blog covers football/soccer, baseball and boxing from the United States, Mexico, Latin America and Spain.

Nine sports bloggers comprise the editorial launch team.

Interestingly enough, the ads served are in English, while all of the content is in Spanish. Even more interesting is the fact that AOL is launching a new blog after shutting down some other venues due to ‘budget cuts.’ I wonder if these new bloggers are working for free?

AOL Feels Pressure. Halts Some Blogs.

The Washington Post has obtained an internal memo from Weblogs Inc, part of the AOL Group. The notice asks bloggers at, The Unofficial Apple Weblog, and DownloadSquad to cease blogging due to budget overages.

1) That’s kind of scary that they can’t afford to publish a week’s worth of posts.

2) On second thought, how much are these folks making per post?!

Here’s the memo:

“Hi Teams. I’ve spoken to your respective leads about some budget concerns, but wanted to pass along one more last-minute (and unfortunate) effort: we must halt any new posting on the blogs through next Thursday, July 31. There may be some exceptions, and not all blogs will be paused in the same manner.”

The goal is to safeguard against further budget overages, thus protecting our business and hopefully continuing as usual (though maybe a little restrained) in August. Going forward we will remain slightly leaner, but my hope is that by the end of the year we’ll continue to ramp up as we have historically.

You may see posts get rescheduled to account for the change, and if you have larger features those should not be published until August. Sorry about that, and very sorry about the unintended shortfall of income for all of you. Again, the long view is to return to normal as we re-align with our original budget estimates.

I’m here all day for questions and concerns, on this lists or off. Again, I know this is difficult and will cause some worry.

As of now the only blog to be put on hiatus after this month is DIY Life, effective August 1 (DIY Life could be resurrected at some point, but that is out of my hands). Everyone else should make plans for a resumption in a week. DLS bloggers should immediately press pause on new content. TUAW can continue with 1 or 2 App Store posts a day.

Thanks in advance everyone, we’ll get through this an emerge stronger, I know it.”

AOL Cuts Blog Budgets, Signs of Things to Come?


aol.gifTechCrunch reports that AOL has been making big budget cuts across its blogs. We’re not talking small stuff here, serious cuts up to 25%, which will almost certainly effect the writers the most.

The cuts range up to 25% of each properties total budget, which falls mostly on personnel costs – bloggers are simply being told to take a couple of weeks off for now, and there may or may not be work for them later in August.

The tech blogs, with Engadget being the most prominent one, is not affected, the sources say.

While this should be treated as a rumor for now, it is something that will and should rattle the blogosphere.
[Read more…]

AOL to provide ad management services to online video giant

Remember the News Corp. and NBC Universal alliance that would result into an online video distribution giant company? AOL’s announced that it will be providing advertising management services partner for the company. Under the agreement, will provide comprehensive display and video advertising management and fulfillment for the new video site and for the dedicated video player embedded on that site as well as across its distribution partners. will leverage its Lightningcast video ad serving platform to deliver and manage advertising to support the thousands of hours of full-length programming, movies and clips that will be available across the network.

George Kliavkoff, NBC Universal Chief Digital Officer and interim leader of the newly announced strategic alliance, said, “The cross-platform nature and expansive reach of this new alliance make the right candidate to provide ad management services.”

We’re pleased to assist this groundbreaking new alliance with advertising fulfillment and inventory monetization,” said Lynda Clarizio, president of “Not only will this new video network offer consumers access to an unprecedented catalog of top-notch programming, it will also provide advertisers with an online opportunity on par with the best in television and movie advertising.”

It seems that the giant is growing each day. I can’t wait to see when it starts to go after each other’s throat against you-know-who.