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Jul 19th 2013

Feeding the Curiosity Monster

One of AOL's core values is embracing change and we're encouraged to have "a DNA of curiosity," to think big and take chances. It's a great topic of conversation, and as one of AOL's cultural ambassadors I love learning how others keep their curiosity monster well-fed. Last week I attended AOL Advertising's new speaker series, Masters of Advertising, where David Shing, a thought leader and member of senior management presented his telescopic view of creativity and how brands can differentiate themselves in the bustling digital marketplace. Here are a few things I learned:

  • Attention is the new currency. David mentioned that most users download over 40 apps to their smartphone or tablet and actively use a core set of about five. It is a brand marketer's challenge to retool how they approach securing that mindshare in order to successfully gain market share.
  • Exercise your right brain every day. The daily grind of the work week is inherently tethered to our left brain guru. I don't know about you, but I find myself keeping more tabs on my to do lists and project plans than stretching my right brain beyond its comfort zone. David encouraged the audience to start channeling their individual creativity by stepping away from the spreadsheets and exercising the other parts of the brain.
  • Ideas are everywhere. There is a wealth of content available not only for consumption, but also for inspiration. "Contagious videos" are a growing portion of that content, they tell the brand story from a human experience. David shared the following thought-provoking examples during his presentation: Driving Dogs, Metro Train PSA, Fallen Angels (UK).

For more on David Shing's take on creativity in the digital space, click here.

Learn more about AOL and how you can embrace your DNA of curiosity by visiting the AOL Careers site for a list of exciting opportunities. Also keep up-to-date on all things AOL Advertising by following them on Twitter.

Jul 1st 2013

Day 2: AOL Live's Anchor Quest Concludes.. For Now


If you thought the first round of AOL Live auditions were impressive - the second round was even more entertaining. Starting Friday morning at 6AM ET, the line outside our New York City headquarters was already down the block and the talent assembled was as strong as the crowd size. Thousands also watched live on AOL.com and shared their favorites with hashtag #AOLAnchorQuest.

Here are some highlights: We'd like to thank everyone who took the time to watch and audition! Stay tuned for more information about future auditions and AOL Live!

Jun 27th 2013

Day 1: AOL Live's Anchor Quest

Update: Thank you everyone for watching and auditioning! This round of auditions has ended, but we are looking at future opportunities for additional talent searches. Stay tuned to this blog for details!
Today, AOL held the first round of auditions for our AOL Live anchor search and let's just say- the talent really brought it! Entertainment enthusiasts, tech geeks, health aficionados and every-day personalities took to the screen to showcase their talents, quirks and everything in between.

AOL.com streamed the auditions live so those who couldn't make it to our open audition could still be a part of the rare experience. The stream garnered over two and a half million views and two hundred fifty thousand concurrent views in just 4 hours.

That was only part 1 of our quest for the next major star, part 2 kicks off tomorrow morning. If you're in New York and would like to audition, come by 770 Broadway between 5AM and 10AM ET for your shot at stardom. To give everyone across the globe a voice in this process, we will also be polling our Twitter audience to learn who are fan favorites and those that stuck out amongst the rest.

Check out more of the highlights from today's auditions below and click here for more information on this opportunity. Join the conversation on Twitter at #AOLAnchorQuest.

Jun 26th 2013

AOL Wants to Know: Are You the Next World Famous Online Anchor?

Update: Thank you everyone for watching and auditioning! This round of auditions has ended, but we are looking at future opportunities for additional talent searches. Stay tuned to this blog for details!

Starting tomorrow, AOL will be rolling out live programming on AOL.com...and we want you to be front and center!

AOL is holding open auditions for people who are destined to inform and entertain the world and do it in their own unique way.

We want the most talented and passionate news, sports, weather, entertainment, and Internet-y storytellers in the world to help us launch AOL Live this summer. If you have dreamed of being on-air, live in front of millions of people, AOL could make your wish come true.

Auditions start at 5 a.m. this Thursday and Friday at AOL headquarters in New York. Come one, come all to 770 Broadway in Manhattan.

Want to stand out and make a huge impact? Here's the trick:

  • Dress for success: We want people to be stylish, interesting, and appealing. We want sports people to be sporty, music fans to sing, business types who can show us the money, weather people to be warm and sunny. If you are into the world of marketing, get pumped to read ad copy. You get the idea.

  • Bring Passion: We only hire passionate people who love what they do. If you are passionate about news, prove it.

  • Stand out: We aren't going to tell you how. You know what to do. Can you prove that you are better than any anchor on TV today?

And guess what? You aren't just showcasing your skills for a bunch of executives in suits (actually we don't wear suits at AOL). Your best stuff will be streamed LIVE on AOL.com. Soon, our viewers will have a chance to weigh in and tell us which anchor we should choose.

AOL is a fun, fast-paced environment where passion rules. We want fresh faces to join our team. Spread the word. Bring some friends. Bring your family. We'll see you bright and early on Thursday and Friday morning. We'll provide the bagels and coffee. You bring the talent.

Here are the details:

  • Thursday, June 27 and Friday, June 28
  • 5AM Casting Call opens
  • 10AM Casting Call closes
  • Props encouraged!
  • Please bring a headshot and resume
  • AOL viewers will help decide if you make it as our next AOL Live anchor!
  • *Please note: must be 18 and older to try out.

Jun 24th 2013

Announcing AOL Reader

For the last few weeks, we've been hard at work building what we believe will be the best RSS reader on the market. And today, we're excited to announce the launch of AOL Reader.

A Unique Perspective

At AOL, we have a unique perspective on RSS readers and content aggregation apps because we are a publisher of content as well. Our goal is to create the best possible experience for users who want to read the best content on their phone, tablet, or desktop computer, whenever and wherever they want.
Current RSS readers do reasonably well at aggregating content, but sometimes can cause information overload (only 995 unread articles today!) and present a tradeoff between user experience and revenue for the publisher (full text feeds vs. snippets of content that make you link out to read the full story). We're interested in helping adopt new ways to ensure that publishers -- both big and small -- continue to produce great content well into the future and simultaneously provide a better experience for our users.

AOL Reader Version 1

The first version of AOL Reader provides an outstanding reading experience across devices. It is a perfect upgrade for those of you who have been using Google Reader or other reader products.
We're committed to keeping the core RSS reading functionality free for our users. Other advanced features (e.g. search) may be available for a fee as we evolve the Reader.

Current features in version 1 include:

  • Seamless transition from Google Reader
  • Beautiful and intuitive user interface
  • Subscribe to any RSS feed
  • Works across Desktop, Tablet, and Mobile (HTML5, no plugins required)
  • Sharing with Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Email
  • Save articles for later
  • Organize feeds by category or tag
  • API for developers and third party apps (available today, free during beta)
  • Sign in with your AOL, Google, Facebook, or Twitter account

Coming soon:

  • Native iOS and Android Apps
  • Export feeds to OPML
  • Sharing within AOL Reader and with other AOL Reader users
  • Integration with additional third party services
  • Search
  • Notifications
  • And a few secrets...
Version 1 of AOL Reader is all about getting the core functionality right, but there is a lot more to come in the near future. We can't wait to show you what we're up to. You can follow the latest product updates on the AOL Reader blog at http://blog.reader.aol.com.

Try out AOL Reader today at http://reader.aol.com.

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