Last Updated Jul 20, 2009 5:10 PM EDT
But, as all three of the sources above contained information that the others didn't necessarily have, for the purposes of this post I'll be more aggregator than blogger. Here then, some highlights, by publication:
- The four legs of (until now) the rickety AOL table are: content, advertising, local and communications.
- Social networking service Bebo, which was supposed to be a fit with AOL's other communications platforms, such as AIM, is being shuttled off into AOL Ventures, because Armstrong found that even if it sounded good on paper, Bebo and other communications tools weren't necessarily a good fit.
- Moving all of AOL ad inventory through ad network Platform-A was not a good idea. As Armstrong points out, this led to commoditization of display advertising, and a lessening in the value of premium content, which is a problem for many big online publishers.
- The AOL brand doesn't suck in the eyes of consumers as much as the digerati thinks it does.
- AOL's Mediaglow content operation rocks.
- For you tech-heads, the new AOL will have a more robust content management system.
- There is strength in having properties that are AOL-branded and having other AOL-owned properties that are not AOL-branded.
- According to an interview with new global ad chief Alan Levick, there will be a self-service interface, a la Google, which advertisers can use to buy ads.
- Also from the Levick interview: AOL has only one ad unit now on its home page (and has also stripped inventory off of Mapquest).
- Mobile, along with global, is "one of two foundational elements that are going under every strategy area," per Armstrong.
- The official 100-day staff memo!
- Official email of who's who at AOL! And who still needs to be hired.
- In future, AOL's messaging services will be more integrated with its other properties. Said Armstrong: "Historically, the management has looked at messaging as how to drive monetization and it has been a bad experience. I think that it [sic] more important as a recirculation tool."
- AOL will streamline the number of ad products it has -- which currently stands at 100 -- and the number of publishing platforms.
- If AOL renews its search deal with Google, which expires in 2010, expect it to be structured quite differently than how it is today.
UPDATE: The New York Times' Saul Hansell has weighed in with a lengthy feature three days after this post was originally written, and one day before Armstrong addresses an all-hands meeting at the company's Dulles headquarters. If this topic interests you, it's definitely worth a read.
Previous coverage of AOL at BNET Media: