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Tim Armstrong

TechCrunch Wins The Engadget TechCrunch War

TechCrunch CEO Heather Harde now in charge of TechCrunch and Engadget (photo: TechCrunch/Cruncbhase)

A memo this morning from AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong outlined a bunch of major changes within AOL’s advertising structure. AOL’s ad sales boss Jeff Levick is out and one of Armstrong’s confidant’s, Ned Brody is replacing him.

Armstrong, a former Google executive, has been trying to rebuild AOL into a premium content centered organization. Back in January it was reported that AOL still makes 80% of it’s revenue off of subscribers that are either too lazy to cancel their AOL subscriptions or don’t realize you no longer need to pay AOL to keep your AOL email address. Armstrong is hoping through some very lucrative content acquisitions, he can make a huge business out of and AOL owned content sites like The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engadget.

A few months back TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington and Engadget’s Editor In Chief, Joshua Topolsky started throwing internet blows against each other in a widely publicized internal blog war.  When news of The Huffington Post acquisition started to surface Topolsky and most of his Engadget crew started a mass exodus for This Is My Next and now The Verge.  Senior Editor Nilay Patel, immediately followed suit.

More after the break

Paul Miller Falls Victim To The AOL Way

Oh come on don’t deny it you read Engadget every day like most other tech enthusiasts and everyone here at thedroidguy.  We make no bones about it we are more team TC than team Engadget however, I do have a lot of respect for everything Engadget does and has done for the tech community.

Although Engadget was purchased and brought under the Tim Armstrong, AOL umbrella before Tech Crunch, and the Huffington Post and all the other content providers that have moved from their own homes to AOL Towns, the move has taken it’s toll on a first class journalist.

Please don’t misunderstand my post I am not from the school that thinks Engadget, Tech Crunch, or any of the AOL blogs have sold out. There are a lot of big named blogs owned by bigger named corporations and in my opinion its an honor more of a sellout when some company has enough faith in your product to pour millions into it.  If faced with a similar offer me and my team would definitely consider it. We’ve turned down a few offers to fold TDG into another site and then me manage the twitter presence.

But Paul Miller…

From their often sarcastic and somtimes flippant style, especially in live blogging, some might think that the Engadget posse is maybe a little arrogant.. they’re not…

I’ve run into Paul at a few events, shared tables in press rooms with him and gone to some after parties where he’s been in attendance. Not enough to call friends, maybe colleagues but needless to say you can tell by reading he is passionate about tech, writing, freedom of the press and high level pixel density displays.

Miller penned his last post on Engadget on the 18th and this farewell on his personal site shortly after.  On his personal blog he writes

AOL sees content as a commodity it can sell ads against. That might make good business sense (though I doubt it), but it doesn’t promote good journalism or even good entertainment, and it doesn’t allow an ambitious team like the one I know and love at Engadget to thrive.

Miller has always been an open supporter of good journalism and brings it.  His blog says he doesn’t know where he’ll end up but wants to stay in the tech community and I’m sure he will.

It was big news that the Huffington Post was purchased by AOL. No one seems to know exactly what Tim Armstrong’s big plan is for AOL he is building a strong content empire of some of the best individual thinkers in the space however with all these hot content properties 80% of AOL’s revenue still comes from subscribers.  He says that sites like Engadget and Tech Crunch still have their own editorial control, but it seems that’s not the case.  Armstrong comes from a background in Google’s main business search. Search = SEO.

We’re not sure what the future has in store for Future Paul but when another popular, enthusiastic tech journalist and all around good guy Noah Kravitz ventured out to he found his perfect opportunity he did, as will Miller.

Good Luck @futurepaul

Source: Laptopmemo

Not So Fast Tech Crunch & Engadget 80% Of AOL Revenue Is Old & Lazy Subs

For the record Techcrunch is one of my favorite sites… however…

Last week the world was rocked by Mike Arrington, Arrington’s to the point brash style of blogging has been a staple in the tech community for a decade. Through Techcrunch he and his team bring the latest in the VC world, Silicon Valley, Start Ups, and behind the scenes tech news. Their companion crunch sites give us what we look for in gadget reviews, mobile life and more.

Engadget on the other hand is  a staple in the tech comunity for breaking the latest gadget news from all areas in the tech world be it apple, android, pc, odd gadgets and much more.

Both sites came to a head when Arrington called out Engadget for buying Google ads. From there it was a great blog war with many posts and even more comments.  Both sites are part of tech town in AOL’s content division and both sites seem to be the crown jewel of AOL… Not so fast…

A story in the New Yorker today reveals that 80% of their revenue comes from subscribers.  Not just subscribers but people that actually have another form of ISP and are paying AOL every month to keep their email address that they’ve had for a decade or two.

AOL’s current CEO Tim Armstrong is a newspaper and content man having come from a journalism background and then a lofty sales position at Google before coming to AOL.  Under Armstrong’s leadership AOL has beefed up their content properties owning 90 or so blogs and 700 “Patch” local sites devoted to local news, content and of course advertising.  Their collection of blog sites covers everything from tech to mommys and more. So it seems alarming that 80% of their revenue is subscription base.

If someone were to invest in the millions of dollars to put little CD packs at every walmart that say “HOW TO KEEP YOUR AOL ADDRESS AND NOT PAY AOL” it would be doomsday for Armstrong and his current model.

Just how long will AOL depend on the laziness and ignorance of people still paying them every month as if it were 1992?

Source: New Yorker

You Don’t Get To 500 Million Friends Without Winning Some Golden Globes

Tech fans around the world were looking for a new movie, a new movie about life in the tech world, the next Pirates of Sillicon Valley.  When we started hearing rumblings of the “Facebook Movie” we were originally thinking it would be an egotiscitcal diatribe to Mark Zuckerberg.  Mixed reviews were out on the not even 30 year old CEO of the largest social network in the world, let’s see how it looked on the big screen…

We quickly fell in love with the Social Network.  It was as driving as the original Wall Street (Wall Street 2 sucked), it had the drive of Boiler Room or Glen Garry Glen Ross. It had the yelling and screaming of pirates, well not exactly we never saw Zuckerberg walk into the office of the Winklevoss twins to see the twins turn around and say “YOU STOLE FROM US”… but nonetheless Awesomesauce doesn’t even describe the movie.

The only movie that I would anticipate more is “The Towns” The story of AOL’s Tim Armstrong, Tech Crunch’s Michael Arrington and Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky.  (we are kind of seeing that one playout on Business Insider)

But back to the story of the moment. The Social Network opened with a minimum release before going to a lot more theaters, flanked by some of the best billboards we’ve ever seen in New York City. And tonight at the Golden Globes it won Best Picture, Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin), Best Score (Trent Reznor) , and Best Director (David Fincher)

Mark Zuckerberg told 60 minutes that at first he wasn’t going to even see the movie and then at the last minute he took the entire Facebook staff to see it.  We saw it in San Fransico while we were in town for CTIA back in October.  The movie is great if you haven’t seen it go rent it now.