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Getting ready for second grade

Today is my son’s last day of first grade. He was so excited at the prospect of entering second grade, he practically jumped out of bed this morning.

He is growing so quickly, it is difficult to keep up.

In the last few weeks, we’ve been watching new media grow up, one mouse click at a time. First, the Huffington Post announced that as it turns 5, it is attracting 13 million unique viewers a month. Some of you weren’t sure those numbers warranted a passing grade, however. Next, the New York Times announced that in its quickly maturing effort to cover all levels of news, it was adding a popular political blogger to its repertoire.

Today, it’s AOL’s turn to announce a milestone.

David Eun, the new head of AOL’s Media and Studios division, recently declared that AOL intends to hire hundreds of journalists around the country to supplement the efforts of the hundreds it already employs.

“AOL’s ‘Make Or Break’ Bid To Become A Content Network,” is the headline on Gavin O’Malley’s post in the newsletter Online Media Daily.

The plan is to “galvanize and build content networks of scale that can win,” Eun told O’Malley. “I don’t think it’s a secret to say that the turnaround of AOL is hinged on content ... It’s going to make or break [the company.]”

Eun also referred to mergers and media partnerships as being “crucial” to AOL’s future success as a new content provider.

Once written off as slow Internet portal with no future, AOL is growing to become another major player among the nation’s media. Remember, AOL already owns Patch.com, a fast growing hyper-local website that depends on thousands of freelancers to file community news posts.

Yes, first grade is over. I wonder what the summer will bring.

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