Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
August 11, 2012 4:30 PM

The Most Amazing Internet Stock Of The Year

What do you think it is?

I'm a huge fan of Business Insider. I can't think of any other media organizations that writes headlines as good as they do (Business Insider, if you're reading this, pay your copywriters handsomely... they're doing everything right). My daily email newsletter from them is always chock full of linkbaity headlines that get me clicking and clicking. This one, from yesterday, was one of them: And The Most Amazing Internet Stock In The Past Year Is... So, who do you think it was? LinkedIn? Apple? eBay? Priceline? Nope... it was AOL.

Called it.

Not really. I didn't call it. I didn't invest in AOL. And, if you click over to the Business Insider article, you can see the nice organic jumps and strides AOL made this year. That being said, I've been a massive fan of AOL since Tim Armstrong took over as CEO and Chairman in 2009. I'm not saying this because I'm a contributor to The Huffington Post (which AOL bought in 2011 for over $300 million) or because I have any kind of personal relationship with Tim Armstrong (I don't). I'm saying this because I believe that Armstrong, Arianna Huffington and everyone else at AOL is building an interesting canopy of online properties that are diverse enough to give them a unique position in the new media landscape.

Breaking the rules.

I don't think that AOL is necessarily breaking any new rules. I think they are, fundamentally, applying a very traditional media strategy to the Internet. They are buying and building properties, creating compelling editorial, building audiences and selling advertising on top of it all. There are sprinkles of newer thinking (like when The Huffington Post launched their GPS For The Soul app) and I'm hopeful that they can leverage everything they have with The Huffington Post coupled with their acquisition of Patch to crack the code on local (and hyper-local) content. There will be challenges in monetizing their current strategy as the world becomes increasingly more smartphone and tablet enabled. Advertising on these devices is still nascent and the formula doesn't seem to be as effective as it is when compared to Internet advertising. So, this will be no cake walk, but - to date - I've been a big fan.

It's what other media properties wished they had done.

You have to figure that The New York Times would love to have been the ones to have these types of properties that AOL now has in their portfolio. And let's not kid ourselves, it's not just The New York Times. Look at any kind of traditional publisher or broadcaster from newspaper, magazine, television and radio (there was a reason that Time Warner merged under the name AOL Time Warner in 2000 - even though that deal went south for a plethora of reasons). AOL now covers a lot of digital space when it comes to content. They've come a long way from the days of inundating your mailbox with CD Roms.

It says something.

It says something about how we see the Internet. I'm sure if you surveyed some of the smartest people in Internet land, few of them would have guessed that AOL had performed this well. We keep our preconceived notions with us. We think that businesses (especially, big businesses) can't change. AOL isn't perfect (I'm quite certain the comments below will be laced with commentary about AOL and their mishaps). I'm sure AOL is no golden child. AOL still has a ways to go until they have a war-chest of cash like Apple. The point is that it's quickly becoming an interesting company (again) - especially in a world where we hold quality content in such high regard.

It's one to watch...whether you own the stock or not.

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Rian
    Mitch Joel

    Hi Mitch,

    Long time reader, first time commenter :)

    I was surprised to read the sentence "I'm a huge fan of Business Insider". In fact, at first I thought it was sarcasm. I feel very differently about the site, so I'm very intrigued by your point of view, and would love to find out more.

    For one, you are the first person I have ever encountered who uses the word "linkbait" in a positive context. Beyond that, BI's horrible link policy and their practice of using "slideshows" for no other reason than to generade ad page views have given them quite a bad name in publishing - see, for example, http://www.marco.org/2011/09/23/business-insider.

    I'm not bringing this up to start an argument on the Internet, I am genuinely interested in your opinion on this, and thought the topic of ad-centered vs. user-centered content production might make for an interesting topic to write about.


    Rian

    Reply
  • Posted by John Carlson
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch,

    I'm also a noob to the blog. I have to begin by complimenting these great insights you've made. I feel that AOL, in my mind at least, has this stigma that prevents them from being taken seriously at all in a post Google world (maybe just in my ecology of the web 2.0, I dunno know). Midst this realization your post has elicited a question in my mind: what other companies maybe in the same mis-represented or stigmatic position? I literally laughed out loud at the cd-rom reference. I used a stack of those CD's (probably 6 months worth) to lift my alarm clock to face level while i was in college. As a tech fan, I had no problem leaving AOL behind in favor of companies I saw as developing much more "important" contributions to the future. You have made me not just re-think AOL, but a handful of companies. A second notion this post left me with was what an interesting position AOL's marketing left them in. It just didn't seem to me that as of, maybe, 2003 anybody under the age of 65 was taking AOL seriously. To see how they move forward may be material for a masters class in marketing bootstrap-pullupsmanship (although I'm sure it won't be called this, it should be). Thanks for a thoughtful post, and please keep up the excellent work on the podcast which I adore.

    John C.

    Reply
  • Posted by Davey Moyers
    Mitch Joel

    I hadn't really thought much about AOL's business model, or their impact on the media, until this post. Come to think of it, I hadn't really thought about AOL as much of an asset in quite some time. I had no idea they were acquiring such a diverse stable of interesting properties. This was an eye-opener. I now realize I've been too focused on the obvious and need to cast a wider net. Or maybe not, since that's your job. You write, I'll read. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Posted by reszta tekstu
    Mitch Joel

    Highly energetic article, I liked that bit. Will there
    be a part 2?

    Reply
  • What's up, its fastidious post concerning media print, we all know media is a enormous source of information.

    Reply
  • Posted by Nereida
    Mitch Joel

    Hello colleagues, its impressive post concerning tutoringand completely defined, keep it upp all the time.

    Reply
  • Posted by Bellaroma
    Mitch Joel

    You should be aware of all the different chords you might need to play
    in any key. Once a student has mastered these areas, they can move on to intermediate and advanced courses which become progressively more
    challenging and exciting. Among the chords that you
    are playing the guitar! So just remember, when qualified mlm leads you see great improvement in your guitar playing that will give you personal attention and respond to
    your specific needs.

    Reply
  • Essentially we would use either or both of these methods to cover
    our salad patch, our herb or vegetable garden. By the time you finally pull into your garage it has already began to pour.

    A selection of templates that are more traditionally
    Power - Point are available from here you will find a nice mix of
    baubles, stars and snowflakes with that seems to be a
    selection of images largely created by computer.

    Reply
  • Posted by Confirmit Flex
    Mitch Joel

    My opinion, and this is true, why on earth would you feel ashamed or
    embarrassed to be part of an ATTRACTION MARKETING SYSTEM.

    There are a lot of time, and effort. All you did mobile marketing history was listen to it, and 'No', they didn't
    have to work for half as much as I do. If you do as they say, you mobile marketing history can explain the process entirely in
    one run. Start you search now and begin with your money making journey
    with your chosen internet network marketing program.

    Reply
  • Posted by Earlene
    Mitch Joel

    Hеllо there! Would you mind if I shаre your blog with my twitter group?

    Τhere's a lot of folks that I think would
    really enjoy your content. Please lеt me know.
    Chеers

    Reply
  • Posted by tutaj
    Mitch Joel

    It's amazing in support of me to have a site, which
    is useful in favor of my know-how. thanks admin

    Reply
  • Posted by jeunesse
    Mitch Joel

    Broadly speaking, there is not a very difficult task and rest
    assured that in a very healthy way, and that kind of talent, it also takes learning and practicing to perfect their craft.
    Thus, the true personality and flavor of guitar music.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Varied Roles - Because a contractor is usually fixed to a project
    or a specific time period (e. Sometimes, you can get one with huge modern ideas
    but with many practical faults in the construction, and sometimes you shall find a wonderful builder with minimum odds of defects but with no awareness of the up-to-date drifts for kitchen remodeling.
    The agreement should specify whether the contractor is paid on an hourly or time and materials basis,
    or is paid a project fee based on deliverables.

    Reply
  • Posted by Phyllis
    Mitch Joel

    Traditional products like a 30-year fixed mortgage possess an amortization schedule
    that favours the lender. Getting results from one day to the next is not a problem
    as your nighttime will be daytime in outsourcing countries such as India.
    You can apply for the loan schemes as your total experience is
    not a qualifying criteria for getting the mortgage scheme.

    Reply
  • Real estate has been one of the most preferred forms of investment by Indians for decade.
    Property condition must be acceptable to the NACA lenders.
    This will help you choose your preferred apartment before others do.

    Reply
  • Whether any injuries artist ensued is unrecorded.
    I don't have the intent, not now in any case.

    Reply
  • Finding out referral of a firm and contractor is a smart idea.
    Contractors receive a form 1099 that shows only the gross amount paid to
    the contractor. How to Plan for life as a Government Contractor in A War Zone - Damaged Tank, photo by Charles Buchanan -
    Things you'll need to have prior to deploying:· Passport and several photo copies
    of the identification page.

    Reply
  • Finding out referral of a firm and contractor is a smart idea.
    Sometimes, you can get one with huge modern ideas but with many
    practical faults in the construction, and sometimes you shall find
    a wonderful builder with minimum odds of defects but with
    no awareness of the up-to-date drifts for kitchen remodeling.
    Discuss these scenarios with your agent and make sure you understand clearly who is covered and what is covered.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Do not settle with one hardwood flooring installation contractor.
    Sometimes, you can get one with huge modern
    ideas but with many practical faults in the construction, and sometimes you shall find a
    wonderful builder with minimum odds of defects but with no awareness of the up-to-date drifts for kitchen remodeling.

    Customers trust a contractor because of the quality, which has been created by excellent track record of the
    previous days and the earlier achievements of the contractor.

    Reply
  • Finding out referral of a firm and contractor is a smart idea.
    In evaluating the contractors in your area, keep in mind the following tips:
    . Insurance is necessary for the home repair handyman
    business.

    Reply
  • You will find that you can fill out one application and have it sent to
    several different lenders at one time and you will receive
    information in your email box. Consequently this is
    advantageous to be able to persons who wish to complete his
    or her house loans more quickly. Failure on the part of the borrowers to pay
    back homeloans may cost them the houses he have acquired.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Spend your pregnancy months shoring up the team to help
    you weather the storm that is a new baby.

    You can get great deals on cool baby clothes and crazy baby clothing if you look for them.
    Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus are certainly prime suspects.

    Reply
Add a Comment

Please complete all the fields below, including the spam filter (to prove you're not a robot).

  1. Fill in your email address to have your Gravatar photo included with your comment.
  2. Please type the word pixels here:
TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://www.twistimage.com/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/2955