AOL’s Culture Clash…And Tim, Where Do You Think This Work Is Coming From?

AOL’s going to have/is already having a culture clash problem with all the ex-Google employees it’s brought on, reports Econsultancy.

CEO Tim Armstrong, a former Google employee himself, has been bringing in staffers from Google to bulk up the ranks of AOL’s staff.

The problem?

“AOL was so used to losing that they didn’t know what winning was,” Armstrong said.

Googlers are “used to giving someone a task and receiving work better than they expected,” writes Econsultancy. “At an established corporation like the old AOL, employees are used to having their work checked over….Which means that longtime AOLers may not make the cut if they don’t get with the program.”

So if you’re content-side AOL right now and you’ve been with the company a while, look sharp.

Second issue: Armstrong isn’t happy with the quality of work his team of content creators is churning out.

“I went onto the SxSW site and I was horrified,” he said of the website that was supposed to have collected Seed interviews of all 2,000 bands playing at South by Southwest. Aol employees worked overnight to get the site up to snuff.

And with healthcare being a big f*cking issue last week, he said he expected better of the health editors and writers: “We didn’t have the best coverage. It was opinions and scraping.” He said the Word and Aol employees worked to get up a breakdown of the bill pegged to location and legislator.

But dude, where do you think this work is coming from? If AOL wants to have a big content operation that isn’t “opinions and scraping,” then yes, you need to change the culture, but you have to hire a bunch more people.

Yes, Aol is going through a huge hiring boom right now, but remember that they have 87 sites to manage. That’s a lot, so if Armstrong wants instant changes, he may need to hire even more people. Which is good news for web journalists.

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