Tim Armstrong has a lot to do if he really wants to fix Aol, but he needs to start by hiring a chief talent officer. His executive suite — with all props and deference to those recently hired — has grown and become an enviable suite, but the big investment should be in Posters, original web content creators, not suits. Creative people, writers, videographers, style queens, humorists, and the politically angry. Aol must become more relevant to Teens, Tweens, Millenniums, Gen This & That, Boomers…and it has to start this quarter.
Start the content strategy today. Hire Ochocinco. Hire Robert Scoble. Hire Kandee Johnson. Fab Five Freddy. Melting Mama. People with content game. Hire punk rockers before they’re famous. People burning with a point of view. People on their way up. A great talent officer will help today, but more importantly, will allow Aol to ride the ascent of future talent before it becomes expensive. As George Steinbrenner did when building the world’s most famous sports franchise, invest every penny in the players. This is not a markobabble post about teamwork, this rant is about players. Talent. Content. The right Posters will give you the inspiration to reinvent what content is. Don’t rely on an “innovation team” sitting in a San Diego corporate resort.
With the right web talent, ad sales will come. Ding dong, money at the door. Lined up around the block.
Get you first piece of talent this week. Celebrate it and start to build Aol momentum. Content is not an algorithm, it’s talented people expressing themselves through words, song, poesy and art. Peace it up!