This article in Media Buyer/Planner goes into more detail about AOL’s plan to differentiate itself with original content. With a staff of 3,000 journalists, AOL could differentiate itself simply by assigning them beats and cutting them loose to go report on stuff. It would be, by far, the largest deployment of journalists from a single U.S. media source.
But I don’t have much faith in the ability of algorithms to deliver pleasant surprises. By shackling its journalists to algorithmic results, I can’t help believing that they only thing we’re going to get from AOL is more of the same that it’s TMZ.com website is already producing. And heaven knows, nobody is sitting around wishing we had more of that.