As it indicated in a leaked memo back in July, AOL (NYSE: TWX) announced (via Wired) the closing of its community blogs, Hometown and Journal. The two will disappear completely by the end of the month. The reasoning behind the shuttering of Journal and Hometown was due to AOL's need to put an end to products and services that continued to lag, as the Time Warner unit had entered a period of financial difficulty this summer. Even still, the old community tools were largely superfluous since AOL acquired social net working tool Socialthing in August and formed the People Networks business unit after its $850 million purchase of Bebo in May. Additionally, AOL has spent the past few months building up its individual stable of blogs, which tend to downplay the AOL brand in favor of giving sites a more distinct identity.
By David Kaplan