AOL Tightens Belt, Massively Chokes Off SL News?

by Alphaville Herald on 26/07/08 at 5:30 pm

“Massively Staff” blogs for free at AOL properties after gaming writers are told to stop posting

by Idoru Wellman, staff writer

Techcrunch reports that AOL has savagely cut their blogging empire’s staff, chopping personel budgets up to 25% and telling writers to take a few weeks off while they wait and see if they have a job sometime in August. Even more shocking, AOL has apparently decided to discontinue free bagels – a move likely to send shockwaves through the baking industry as bakers struggle to recover from a one-two punch of fewer blog stories and declining corporate bagel sales.

Reliable sources confirmed to the Herald that a budget-induced blogging gag-order is in effect, and a quick visit to one of AOL’s properties – Massively – suggests this is true. The normally steady drizzle of corporate-friendly “news” about Second Life seems to have halted, depriving resident of vital information such as the number of user signups in the last 24 hours – statistics mined from Linden Lab’s web site, then uncritically posted along with seemingly identical graphs and an obligatory screen shot from in-world — a continuation of the proud legacy of the now defunct Second Life Blingsider.

Looking beyond Massively’s Second Life section reveals that “Massively Staff” seems to be nearly ubiquitous as a by-line for stories posted since July 24th. Apparently some formerly AOL-funded bloggers have taken to unpaid writing under a common alt account ironically named Massively Staff. An un-named blogger summed up the dire situation to TechCrunch by saying, “Either they’re selling us, or selling out completely, because they don’t care. If we didn’t have so many people who considered the job a labor of love, all the gaming network blogs would die.”

When asked for comment, Pixeleen Mistral pointed out the difficulties being experienced by a number of corporate-sponsored blogs do not affect the Herald, as most trusted and respected virtual newspaper in the metaverse remains financially strong and independent as ever, and continues to pay freelance writers in L$ spacebux while providing staff with free bagels, cream cheese, and smoked salmon from Barney Greengrass, along with liberal quantities of Perrier Jouët Fleur de Champagne. None of that Moët crap here at the Herald.

2 Responses to “AOL Tightens Belt, Massively Chokes Off SL News?”

  1. G. Wendt

    Jul 26th, 2008

    Will this effect the supply of capers though? that is the big question.

  2. L. Lumley

    Jul 26th, 2008

    Nice to see that the Herald is maintaining its level of class by mocking the woes of other websites.

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