More on the Economist’s slam job on AOL

Let me start by saying I love(d) the Economist and read it front-to-back on every flight I take. It’s well written and I *assumed* well researched. However, after reading a bizarrely inaccurate story on AOL I posted a response to the facts.

It seems my comments on the Economist’s highly inaccurate, AOL-bashing story have paid off. In the process of correcting the story I’ve uncovered exactly what I suspected: the author spun the facts to slam AOL. Check out this comment, in which the highly-respected Kevin Werbach says the reporter misused his quotes.

Note: One of the reporters on the story, Tamzin Booth, contacted me by email. I’d love to hear her defend the story in the comments below.

Kevin’s comment:

It was interesting to read how that piece came out. I told the reporter I was a contrarian on the topic, and actually thought AOL was well-positioned. He used the one (backward-looking) negative sentence of my 3-paragraph email, and vaguely paraphrased the rest.

Anyway, my point was that “social network” does not equal “Friendster/MySpace”. And that AOL actually has all the hard-to-acquire assets and experience it will take to monetize social software in the broad sense.

As you point out, no one expects much of AOL these days, which is a good place to be. Keep in mind that Yahoo! was seen as a dog 3 years ago, until Semel & Co. turned things around. Good luck….

-k-

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