Photo: (cc) Wes Browning via Flickr
We’ve heard that AOL has organised many of its content properties into what are internally called “towns.”According to a source, this means that for each “town” — a major content property, along the lines of AOL Entertainment, AOL Health, etc. — content editors, designers, marketing, and sales for each section sit by each other. The general manager of the property is called the “mayor.”
Perhaps this makes sense, to get some camaraderie among all the people who work on the same property, instead of bunching all editorial together, all design together, all sales together, etc., across the whole company.
But it definitely challenges the supposed separation of business and editorial functions that a lot of content companies aim for. (Many old-school journalists — the people AOL was boasting about hiring a while ago — might seriously object to this.) And it’s a little corny.
To the AOLers out there: Anything good or bad to say about the “towns” system?