Posts Tagged ‘culture#8217;


To succeed in the content business you need a set of powerful platforms and websites that distillates its ‘own mojo’ outside the crass commercial imperatives. This explains the success of high profile blogging sites such as TechCrunch and news and opinions websites such as Huffington Post. The role of the personality of the leader and a distinctive culture are the most important ingredients of such websites.

TechCrunch has built its distinctiveness around the image of Michael Arrington and his exclusives about first-of-the-class start-ups. Arianna Huffington and her politicking –in the liberal wing- have attracted to her Huffington Post a network of high-profile 6.000 bloggers who post their journalism pieces for no money and feel rewarded by a sort of brand association.

When a big on-line company but weak competitor like US media business AOL shakes the media market with the buyout of TechCrunch  in November 2010 and Huffington Post this very week of February of 2011, one can not but wonder what is really that they are valuing for the price tag, a powerful platform or a powerful culture?  The buyout of Huffington Post by AOL for $315m is especially interesting as the venture initiated by Arianna Huffington is one of the favourite examples in the future of journalism and content in the Internet 2.0 era.

For a content business like AOL the priority is to produce content with scale that is besides commercial. That is very much platform-centred. The problem of this is that their ‘mojo’ seems to be missing. In fact it has been missing for a long time. And the story of AOL in pursuit of it is a dramatic and soaring one: web browser Netscape in the early 2000´s, Time Warner news channels and magazines (finally sold in 2009), and vibrant social network Bebo (also sold in 2010 after two years).

On the upside of AOL is their current CEO Tim Armstrong who joined the company from Google being himself a piece of vibrant culture to the out-of-date corporation of the firm. The problem is that unless platforms, cultures are far more difficult to integrate.

Often the commercial interests rule…

We use both our own and third-party cookies to enhance our services and to offer you the content that most suits your preferences by analysing your browsing habits. Your continued use of the site means that you accept these cookies. You may change your settings and obtain more information here. Accept