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Andrea Preziotti's posts

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.

Jun 8th 2012

Hatch Day Incubates Ideas for AOL


Developers, coders, hackers, creative-thinkers and innovators from all over AOL huddled together all day Wednesday to develop and implement cool ideas during our Hatch Day hackathon. The goal of the event: Come up with ideas to make MapQuest the ultimate destination for trip planning.

Hosted from Patch's New York headquarters, the event pulled together AOLers from Denver, Dulles, Dublin, Lancaster, New York and several remote offices. "What makes Hatch Days so great is that teams from all over the company assemble to help make a product, in this case, MapQuest, better," said CTO Curtis Brown. "The diversity of new ideas, community building and best-practice sharing makes Hatch Day events an invaluable part of our engineering and product culture."

When I first heard about Hatch Day and its purpose I was immediately inspired to participate. I don't know the first thing about coding, but loved the idea of being part of the product development process from inception, even if it was just as an observer. The real fun began as teams came together to flush out details of their projects, collaborating and sharing snippets of code and app keys via AIM Blast, and posting offers for assistance based on their level of expertise. I especially enjoyed listening in to the Pictela team brainstorm as they built out a new concept for the Portrait/Devil ad unit.

The day flew and before long it was time for the pitch presentations. Eighteen projects were presented covering everything from plotting itineraries to a topographic hiking map to the integration of the MapQuest API to 3G-enabled Kindles. Overall, I found Hatch Day to be eye-opening by seeing the results of several teams' efforts to innovate technology for our products and revitalize the culture of innovation at AOL. There are so many ways we can cross-collaborate as a company, but the projects that were created on this day, and Hatch Days to come, prove what can happen when we communicate openly and source internal talent.

To learn more about joining the AOL Team click here.

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