Source: AOL's Seed 'Defunct'

Business Insider, Friday, September 30, 2011 12:01 PM
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Is Seed, AOL's souped-up freelancer platform, dead in the water? Business Insider is suggesting so, but based only on the word of a single, low-level source. "We're hearing there's no more work from one freelancer," it writes. AOL has yet to address the claim, which could mean anything. That said, Seed's shuttering wouldn't surprise many Web watchers, considering the company's continuous reorganizing -- which was only accelerated after it acquired Huffington Post this year.

In May, for example, Seed boss and former New York Times tech reporter Saul Hansell was moved over to the Huffington Post as "big news editor." Meanwhile, despite AOL's modestly improving ad business, investors and analysts have continued to criticize the company's local, freelance-driven content strategy as too costly and unstructured.

Along with Seed, many have taken direct aim at Patch, AOL's local news network. According to BI's source, the writing is on the wall for Patch, too. "I noticed that Seed is pretty much defunct," the anonymous freelance tells BI. "No stories to claim. Looks like Patch is going to follow the same path."

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