After first hearing rumors about AOL acquiring TechCrunch by Malik Om, it looks like the former internet giant has indeed purchased Michael Arrington’s blog network for an undisclosed sum. Update: see details below for rumored acquisition price.
AOL Inc. [NYSE: AOL] today announced that it has agreed to acquire TechCrunch, Inc., the company that owns and operates TechCrunch and its network of websites dedicated to technology news, information and analysis. TechCrunch and its associated properties and conferences will join the AOL Technology Network while retaining their editorial independence, further bolstering AOL’s position as one of the world’s leading providers of high-quality, tech-oriented content. The announcement will be made on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, CA. (TechCrunch)
Although advertising rates for TechCrunch will probably go up, AOL has not yet indicated whether they will move the entire TechCrunch network upon Blogsmith (a platform AOL purchased in 2006) or allow them to remain upon Automattic’s servers (via WordPress VIP).
While Automattic would probably prefer to keep a high profile site like TechCrunch on their servers, it would not be surprising if AOL decided to migrate TechCrunch away from WordPress (although AOL will probably maintain their embrace of Disqus comments).
Update:Business Insider (via Gizmodo) is reporting AOL purchased TechCrunch for at least $25 million (although it could have been as high as $40 million).
While rumors surfaced in 2007 about a public launch beyond AOL’s official network (which would open up Blogsmith to the masses), nothing much has emerged regarding Blogsmith which thus far remains a “gated community.”
However with AOL facing financial woes (as they struggle to regain their former glory), we may see AOL re-enter the blogosphere again later on this year by opening up Blogsmith to the masses (at least for a price). read more
Pingdom took a look at the Technorati Top 100 blogs to see what blogging platform was the most widely used one. I can’t say I’m the least surprised to see that WordPress finished at the top. Looking at the self-hosted blogs, 27 (ie 27%) run WordPress, 12 rolls on Movable Type, 8 are custom made, and 4 use Drupal. Looking at hosted blog platform, TypePad finishes at the top with 16 blogs, Blogsmith rolls 14, WordPress.com only has 5, and 3 use Blogger. Worth noting is that Gawker Media blogs has their own platform, and it isn’t listed, whereas AOL Weblogs Inc, use Blogsmith.
For even more number crunching and graphs, check out the excellent run-through at the Royal Pingdom blog, including a full list.
Jason Calacanis has moved his blog, which he still isn’t updating (despite a few Mahalo update linkdump), to WordPress. Why would Jason do this? I shot him an e-mail about it, but chances are, the reason is that he don’t want to be on the old Weblogs Inc, blog platform, known as Blogsmith, anymore. Matt Mullenweg graciously offered his help should Jason feel at loss with WordPress…