May 23rd 2016

#MeaningfulMondays: Monster Help Day Lead Spotlight: Jason Parmar

Our #MeaningfulMondays series continues as many AOLers are still beaming from last Friday's Monster Help Day - our company-wide day of service, when we get out of the office and give back to our local communities together. From teaching kids to code to helping with career readiness, there were hundreds of projects to choose from. While the day has come and gone, the conversation continues and we are spotlighting the employees who helped bring the day to life. This week, meet Jason Parmar, Social Lead, London.

Tell us about your Monster Help Day project this year.
This year I was fortunate enough to get involved with the Migrant Crisis in Europe, specifically the UK border in Calais, France. Sixteen of us volunteered with
L'auberge des Migrants/Help Refugees. They prepare close to 3,000 meals a day, sort through desperately needed clothing and items to help with the survival of the migrants fleeing Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Why did you sign up to be a volunteer?
I've always loved volunteering, fundraising and getting involved to help others but this organization has a deeper impact on me. It really makes me appreciate everything I take for granted, things like my health, wellbeing and shelter. I know that no matter how small the contribution, we are making a huge difference to thousands of people who have gone through a horrific journey of survival.

What excites you most about Monster Help Day?
The energy and the people. Connecting with fellow AOLers from across the company that was focused on the same cause with the same positive energy was awesome. It reinforced one of my favorite AOL Values,
Do Something Meaningful and AOL being in the business of helping people, period.

How does Monster Help Day impact your perception of AOL as an employer?
With so much support to give back and volunteer it makes me feel incredibly proud to be an AOL employee. To have Leadership that actively encourages us to do more in our community shows AOL's commitment and dedication to Corporate Social Responsibility.

To learn more about the work AOL employees did this Monster Help Day, search the hashtag #AOLGivesBack on Twitter or visit

May 18th 2016

A Look Into Open Source @ AOL

AOL is very active in the open source community across our enterprise-grade ad stack, our brand sites and content management tools (supporting brands like The Huffington Post), and our video services and membership business.

This year at OSCON we have a great session with AOLer John McClean covering a number of recent projects.

Think Java is dying? It's still a workhorse platform and while we are all over some of the newest languages (I'll talk about that later as it relates to our Scala efforts in video), we continue to leverage the ubiquity and portability of Java in a number of areas. John will walk in detail through a new microservices plugin system for Spring and a useful Java 8 library, among other projects.

An area John will touch on but not go deep is IT Security. We are big believers in open source in the security space and expect all new hires to be up on the latest tools. For example, we look for knowledge of ZAP or Metasploit as evidence that an appsec candidate is a "real" hands-on security professional. We are not looking for security folks who just push buttons on expensive enterprise tools. Deep open source knowledge is part of our interview process. By the way ZAP is written in Java!

One of our biggest open source contributions in the security area is Moloch - a scalable packet capture tool. It enables storing and indexing all of your network traffic for fast access and has been a bedrock tool for us, and many others via Github.

Returning to Scala, our go90 video team and the Verizon IPTV team have done extensive work using Scala. Several members of those teams are Scala core language and library contributors and conference speakers. Projects like SacalZ and Lift have significant contributions from the team. AOL and Verizon are building mobile video and the next generation of IPTV platforms on a Scala base, betting on its flexibility and performance. Some of the core libraries are open sourced.

Here's the description for John's talk. If you're at OSCON, please come and check it out:

AOL's return to open source: An overview of Java 8 library cyclops-react
Wednesday, 05/18/2016
Meeting Room 14

AOLer John McClean will speak about open source @AOL with an overview of Java 8 library cyclops-react. He will demonstrate cyclops-react and how it can integrate with other new technologies in the Java 8 eco-system such as Pivotal Reactor, Functional Java and Javaslang.

John will also reference a number of other projects in his talk, including Moloch, cyclops, Microserver, and Adapt Strap.

May 16th 2016

Univision Partners with AOL to Bring Advertisers a Transparent, Data-Driven Approach to Linear Programmatic Ad Buys

Univision Communications Inc. (UCI), the leading media company serving Hispanic America, today announced the selection of AOL to support the company's linear programmatic TV ad buying efforts. Through the ONE by AOL: TV self-serve module, UCI will be able to provide advertisers access to premium TV inventory, including new fall programming, at scale. The data-driven, self-serve approach will be available to advertisers in the fourth quarter of 2016, and will be explored in more depth at the Company's annual Upfront presentation on May 17, 2016.

With just a few clicks, UCI clients will be able to generate a media plan within AOL's open, transparent platform that takes into account real-time audience attributes and campaign learnings beyond traditional TV buying metrics. UCI marketers will also gain a clearer view of valuable audience buying opportunities with complete inventory and pricing transparency, allowing them to better plan, purchase, and measure their TV ad investments. Advertisers will have full control over their own data and be able to leverage AOL's proprietary first-party predictive targeting tools and advanced third-party TV targeting segments. With AOL's automated data exchange, otherwise complex processes are streamlined, time to market is reduced and workflow efficiency is improved.

"We are excited to offer our clients a new self-serve linear TV buying experience that will help make their media dollars work harder – and smarter," said Keith Turner, president of Advertising Sales and Marketing, UCI. "We are constantly looking for innovative ways to help our clients meet and exceed their marketing goals. Our agreement with AOL empowers advertisers to customize data-driven targeting and buying plans, making it easy for clients to execute ad buys and measure results. Programmatic ad buying is the logical next step for UCI and we are enthusiastic about the opportunities that come with precision targeting, deep performance insights and workflow efficiencies."

A partnership with AOL unlocks for marketers the hidden value in UCI's comprehensive inventory. ONE by AOL: TV's proprietary targeting technology, developed by a team with over 100 years of combined TV advertising expertise, finds audiences across UCI's network and exposes the inherent value that might otherwise be missed. The platform enables UCI the ability to activate its proprietary data, advertisers first-party, data and dozens of syndicated data sources. ONE by AOL: TV perfectly complements UCI's existing sales channels, building upon current relationships and pricing strategies while at the same time offering advertisers a safe environment to browse UCI's premium inventory.

Turner added: "Data-driven buying lets clients tap into our engaged, exclusive audience in a more targeted way, leveraging our premium programming and new shows in each content vertical and on all platforms. We already sell our digital inventory programmatically and the ONE by AOL: TV self-serve platform gives linear TV a similarly competitive footing. We are bringing to life a more holistic and simplified view of marketing spend and measurement across all screens – beyond just TV."

"We are thrilled to partner with Univision to help their clients better understand and capitalize on advanced TV ad targeting to extend the value of their media spend across the Univision portfolio of TV networks," said Dan Ackerman, SVP, Programmatic TV at AOL. "Together, we're connecting the power of data-driven insights, analytics, and algorithm-based decisioning to premium TV ad inventory through a self-serve platform. Buyers are empowered to buy and measure their target audiences with greater precision and accountability."

May 16th 2016

#MeaningfulMondays: Monster Help Day Lead Spotlight: Tom Wyland

Our #MeaningfulMondays series is extra meaningful this Monday. This past Friday was Monster Help Day at AOL, our company­-wide day of service, and our projections were right, 2016 was an amazing year for this event helping communities around the globe.

To see great pictures and learn more about the work AOL employees did this Monster Help Day, search the hashtag #AOLGivesBack on Twitter.

See, watch, and

Leading up to Monster Help Day, we've been featuring a site lead, an AOL employee who goes above and beyond to make this day a success. This week, meet Tom Wyland, Volunteer Lead, Loudoun County, VA Bicycle Mapping project.

Q: Tell us more about your Monster Help Day project this year.

I'm working with Loudoun County to enable AOLers to map park amenities and conduct bike parking surveys. Using our mobile phones we are creating crowdsourced map data for partners like the Northern Virginia Park Authority, which manages the Washington and Old Dominion Trail that goes right past the AOL campus. We're mapping more of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail and doing a bike parking survey that shows where bike parking is needed. Our mapping work is used for those who bike commute and use the parks. We're also helping local governments by offsetting costs that would go to this type of data collection work.

Q: Why did you sign up to be a volunteer lead?

If you're a subject matter expert in something outside your AOL job, it's great to introduce others to something that you're passionate about. I deal a lot with bikes and advocacy with local government, so it was important to me to put this project together for Monster Help Day. I'm also an AOL advocate to encourage people to ride their bikes to work as an alternate form of commuting.

Q: What excites you most about Monster Help Day?

That hopefully this isn't a once a year volunteer opportunity and that it encourages others to get involved outside of the office! I see Monster Help Day as a great way to introduce employees to the community so volunteering isn't just once a year.

May 15th 2016

Time to Make a Difference with Australian Non-profit Startups

Making a difference is in our DNA. Nearly every day, we unleash initiatives focused on making the world a better place.

As part of our commitment to giving back, we're proud to announce the launch of our new Australian startup support program #DeskAid. We want to use our talents to make a real difference by helping those who can make the world a better place.

#DeskAid is specifically designed to deliver exactly what early stage non-profit companies in Australia need: access to a community of experienced and well-connected professionals, opportunities to brainstorm and plan with a variety of mentors; and a fun and dynamic office space in Sydney with plenty of perks.

If you want to work in one of the most inspiring office spaces in Sydney, we're giving up to three enthusiastic entrepreneurs in the non-profit sector the opportunity to work alongside our team for six months or more.

There are plenty of other perks, including:

  • Three dedicated desks in AOL's Sydney CBD office with water views.
  • Brainpower from 25 ad tech experts – each will provide one hour a month in the form of ad support, website troubleshooting, insights into what other brands are doing with their marketing or leveraging partnerships to assist.
  • High speed wi-fi and printing supplies.
  • Meeting rooms.
  • Bi-weekly boot camp exercise program run by a team member.
  • Showers and change rooms.
  • Use of ping pong table.
  • Access to bicycles for inner city commuting.
  • Access to a weekly Pilates teacher.

If you're interested, we'd love to hear from you before midnight on 15 July 2016. Learn how to apply.

#DeskAid – a program by Citizen AOL

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