Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Talks About the New Homepage (And Not–Though I Tried–About Yahoo)

AOL reports its third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, and investors are not expecting much, as its core dial-up business dies and its weak advertising business continues to lag.

In fact, except for all the hubbub about the various–and unfulfilled–scenarios around a possible hook-up with Yahoo, Wall Street still has a big wait-and-see when it has to do with the long-suffering company.

But that has not stopped CEO Tim Armstrong from using his well-practiced jazz hands over and over, in what is a laudable effort to create a credible narrative for AOL’s future as a content hub.

That’s included everything from cost cuts and layoffs, to acquisitions and the shedding of assets, to new advertising initiatives with sassy names such as the recent “Project Devil,” to new management, to–this week–a new homepage to show off the content.

As I wrote Friday, as it rolled out:

“The new version–with a clean and spare design and a rotating logo–prominently features local news, video and content from AOL’s network of sites, such as Engadget.”

Here’s a video interview of Armstrong showing it off with another AOL exec–and please watch to the end, when I ask him about the Yahoo situation and he deftly shimmies out of answering:

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work