Apr 13th 2016

AOL Nominated for Four Webby Awards

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Nominations for the 20th Annual Webby Awards honoring the best of the Web were announced by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and AOL racked up four nominations and three honorees. AOL is honored to be recognized for bringing to life some of the year's best content and experiences.

  • AOL: Candidly Nicole in Online Film & Video - General Film: Reality
  • The Huffington Post: Bernie Sanders Playing the Bongos in Online Film & Video - General Film: Video Remixes/Mashups
  • The Huffington Post: Now What with Ryan Duffy in Online Film & Video - General Film/News & Politics: Individual Episode
  • MapQuest: #Avoid Trump in Social/Humor

  • AOL: 2 Point Lead in Online Video - Channels & Networks: Sports category
  • AOL Mail: Alto in Mobile: Best User Experience category
  • TechCrunch: Crunch Report in Online Video - General Film: Technology category

Two winners are chosen in each category – one is selected by the Academy and the other is determined through public voting in the Webby People's Voice Awards.. Voting is now open and YOU CAN VOTE!

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Apr 13th 2016

What to Spend Your Tax Refund On

It's that time of year once again, when Americans hope for—and sometimes actually get—a nice chunk of change back from Uncle Sam. If you've got a tax refund coming your way, you could always do something responsible like put it in the bank, but let's be honest: that's boring. Whether you're expecting a modest return or a hefty windfall, we've got some fun ways to spend your newfound money.

Virtual Reality
The virtual revolution is coming, with a slew of new products and applications hitting the market this year. If you want to be the first on your block to sport the latest in VR tech and you're getting a decent sum back from the IRS, you could get yourself a high end headset. Can't decide between the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive? Our friends at Engadget can help you pick.

Anxious to use your tax refund to get the newest wearable? There is no shortage of ways to burn through cash on wearable tech, from designer straps for your Apple watch, glasses that can improve your posture and even an umbrella that can tell you when it's going to rain. Or if you simply want tech that will help you stay in shape, you have plenty of options that cost under $150.

Do Something Meaningful
Sometimes it feels good to buy yourself something nice, and sometimes it feels better to give your money to a deserving cause. AOL takes giving back seriously, and we are always looking for ways to support women, girls and youth. For ideas on organizations to support, follow Citizen AOL's Twitter account here. And even if you owe the government money, you could still spend $1.29 to help the Let Girls Learn initiative and get yourself an empowering song at the same time.

Apr 12th 2016

Equal Pay Day

Today marks the 20th anniversary of National Equal Pay Day, which originated as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men's and women's wages. The day falls on a Tuesday each year to represent how far into the next work week women must work in order to earn what men earned the previous week.

Census statistics for the latest wage figures show that women earn 21% less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most women of color, and the wage gap persists even for women with the highest levels of education not just in the United States, but all around the globe.

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At AOL we are proud to support our brands that help drive equality and promote opportunity for all, such as MAKERS, #BUILTBYGIRLS, and Black Girls Code. MAKERS is well-known for supporting efforts and inspiring women's leadership through its annual conference, partnerships with girls education such as Let Girls Learn, and public figures who support these ideals. This video from MAKERS shares thoughts from women leaders on the pay gap.

P.S. The Bucharest offices of MRM/McCann recently partnered with French-style bakery chain Paul to bring attention to this issue by using real desserts that double as pie charts outlining the problem. We love this!!

Apr 8th 2016

March Goes Out Like a Lion

They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. But at AOL, the entire month of March roared like a lion.

In March, we hosted our first showcase dedicated to Virtual Reality with industry leaders and live demonstrations.

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Tessa Chung, an awesome designer on the Alpha team, built a VR app in just 14 days. You can read her blog post about the process here.

Meanwhile, MAKERS celebrated Women's History Month in a big way. In collaboration with First Lady Michelle Obama, MAKERS co-produced "This is For My Girls," a song written by Diane Warren and sung by power voices Kelly Clarkson, Missy Elliott, Zendaya, Janelle Monáe and others. The track hit Number 1 on the Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 Chart.

The team also launched the new MAKERS Stories app in the App Store and Google Play. Now, everyone is empowered to share their own story, or the stories of MAKERS in their lives.

At the end of the month, Citizen AOL hosted a powerhouse Women's History Month "Community Connectors" panel with Step Up. The event brought together over 100 guests, including AOL and Verizon employees, clients and 10 #BUILTBYGIRLS program alums.

Of course, big things don't just happen in March at AOL. Follow @AOL_Inc. and @MAKERSwomen all year long to stay in the know.

Apr 6th 2016

Staying Healthy With Tech

Happy National Walking Day, everyone! In honor of this quasi-holiday, we're taking a look at how mobile, technology and apps can keep us active and healthy. There are currently an estimated 40 million wearable devices in the U.S., and that number is expected to double by 2018. Thanks to these wearables, consumers can now track their every movement and closely monitor their progress in reaching fitness goals. If you need more motivation in your quest to stay healthy, check out some of our favorite apps.

If you enjoy spending quality time walking your dog, check out Walk for A Dog by WoofTrax. The app keeps track of your mileage and donates to an animal shelter of your choice based on how far you walk.

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CharityMiles works similarly—the more you walk or run, the more money is raised for your choice of charity.

StickK motivates users by encouraging them to put their money where their mouths are. If someone fails to achieve his or her goals, the app charges the user's credit card—people are encouraged to select a charity that will receive the funds.

If you need more inspiration to get moving, our friends at TechCrunch made their picks for the top fitness apps available on the Apple watch.

Quasi-holiday or not, we hope this National Walking Day motivates you to be more active. And for more insights on everything mobile, follow @AOLAdvertising and @AOLPlatforms on Twitter.

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