Search engine portal, AOL.com is the first major portal to take the culture of blogging and adopt it into its core News website. The new website utilizes tagging features. AOL News’ blog posts can be added to popular social bookmarking websites such as Digg, Reddit, Newsvine, Technorati, etc. Each news story blog post also encourages users to vote on certain topics. One of the more exciting features is that the videos that are embedded within the news blog posts can be shared and embedded into anyone elses’ blogs or websites. The programming code is provided in each video.
“News habits have changed, and AOL News is the first site designed from the ground up to appeal to todayâ??s online news consumer,” stated Lewis Dâ??Vorkin, the SVP of AOL News & Sports. “Unlike other news portal sites, AOL News leverages the increasingly popular blog format, drawing on a wide range of news sources to provide consumers quick access to the top stories and related pictures, videos, polls. We believe that AOL News will set the standard for other major online news sites.”
Some of AOL News’ features include a three column format. The center column has blog-style news articles, the left column contains user message boards and stories that have been made popular on Netscape, and the right column has aggregated news headlines from major news sources. The right column also contains links to blog posts written by a roster of News Bloggers. Dinesh Dâ??Souza, author of What’s So Great About America and former Comedy Central’s Daily Show With Jon Stewart correspondent, Mo Rocca are two of AOL’s News Bloggers.
AOL owns a large network of blogs called Weblogs Inc. which is the parent company of websites like Download Squad, Engadget, and Luxist. I was curious as to whether this influenced AOL News’ look & feel to change into a more blog-like website so I reached out to LaToya Drake of AOL Corporate Communications.
“The decision was largely influenced by the change in news consumption habits, meaning consumers want their news to be more interactive, immediate, and engaging, and they want it from multiple sources – trusted professionals, bloggers and user-generated content. A blogging format offers that experience. We also know that news consumers want a single-screen experience, not a kitchen sink experience. A lot of news sites offer multiple links which we call the kitchen-sink experience with little interactivity and engagement. The new AOL News model lets news consumers read, watch, vote and listen, all in one page,” stated Drake.
Lewis Dâ??Vorkin also helped put together TMZ.com, one of AOL’s most renowned blog subsidiaries. I definitely venerate AOL for adopting blog culture into their News homepage.
AOL News is available at: http://news.aol.com
 AOL News