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AOL Consolidates Content; Lemondrop Dissolves, No More Asylum

AOL (NYSE: AOL) is rearranging one of the vestiges of its early content strategy and is now focused on creating virtual “towns” to hold its various blogs and webpages, MixedMedia reports. The content reorg will essentially mean the end for men’s site Asylum and the women’s site Lemondrop. Since AOL has other female-focused content properties, Lemondrop will be spread around. That won’t be the case for Asylum; since AOL doesn’t have any other male-specific sites, that site will no longer be published once this latest reorg is complete.

The “Towns” concept will be established for different verticals, as well as for the teams that work on them. Examples include “News Town” and “Finance Town.” The neater, more orderly arrangement differs greatly from AOL’s approach since it acquired the Weblogs network in 2005. While that gave AOL the popular tech blog Engadget, it also came with a number that didn’t score so highly with users. AOL later built dozens more blogs on top of the Weblogs franchise.

For years, it made sense, as display advertising from remnant ad sales took off. Plus, AOL was able to rack up millions of unique users through its internet access system. With the access system waning, AOL has sought to promote more premium content, through purchases such as Techcrunch, and premium display placements, which is currently still in progress with the rolling out of Project Devil, its large display ad effort. Furthermore, AOL has a lot more content now with the 700 Patch sites that have been added rapidly over the past several months. With all those changes, AOL needed to further refine its content system, and this seems to be another step in that direction.