There is strategy and there is execution. A great strategy poorly executed pays naught. I like AOL’s “content is king” strategy; buying the Huffington Post and TechCrunch were nice blockbuster moves. There are two ways for these purchases to go: either the properties will be enhanced by AOL and grow or they’ll be hindered and slide. At the high end, these two purchases are defining moments and should be very interesting to follow.
But let’s look at the lower or middle tier. AOL now needs to find some traffic-building Posters (original content creators) on their way up. Not those owning killer numbers, but those with killer points of view and motivations with big upside. Sports teams make a living off of young over-performers who are killing it before their first big contract. Up and comers are what AOL needs. Some of whom may not even be Posters yet.
Finding potential big time Posters is R&D in the web content world. AOL needs to research what people like online, then find and/or develop the property. Content is not writing. It’s not reporting. It’s not curating or aggregating. These are content tactics. The best Posters (who attract the all-important Pasters) are people with an idea, a passion, a motivation or a love. They are also sharers. AOL is buying media properties and traffic and that’s a good start, albeit a bit old school. It now needs to do some R&D and find ideas that fill voids. In markets and brains. Peace!