Is AOL destroying journalism for page views?

Is AOL destroying journalism for page views?

In a Sherlock worthy snag, Business Insider editors have gotten their paws on “The AOL Way,” a full on 58-page long company plan to turn AOL into a media empire.

AOL CEO, Tim Armstrong wants AOL editorial, which includes TechCrunch, whom they purchased last fall, to become an e-pulp mill ceaselessly churning out stories that are optimized for search engines and profitability above all else.

He wants to increase its stories per day from 2,000 to 15,000; bump pageviews per story to jump from 1,500 to 7,000; increase video stories to go from being 4% of all stories produced to 70%.

As BI reports, Armstrong’s “lieutenants are making their way through the company’s many editorial divisions, training them on The AOL Way.”

The AOL Way includes guidelines such as when the story calls for it, editors should be willing to boost traffic by 5 to 10% with search ads and other ‘paid media’ and editors should decide whether to produce content based on ‘the profitability consideration.'”

Needless to say, writers are not happy… and who’s to blame them? AOL’s money-mongering ways will be its journalistic demise.

We will update with more details as we have them.

Recommended pages of The AOL Way include:

  • AOL’s goals.
  • How AOL Media is structured and responsibilities are divided
  • The daily, weekly, and monthly schedule for AOL sites.
  • AOL’s traffic sources by type.
  • A chart showing how AOL sites depend too much on the homepage
  • The four types of “content generation processes.”
  • The “content generation process.”
  • AOL’s tools for editors for “identifying high demand topics.”
  • AOL’s content distribution channels, by type.
  • What kind of content AOL wants on its homepage and how to get it there.
  • A screenshot of AOL’s metrics page for editors.
  • How AOL builds cheap, Demand Media-like pages around search-friendly topics.
  • AOL’s requirements for third-party traffic exchange partners
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