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AOL Revenues Drops 26% Year Over Year

AOL reported its Q2 earnings today, not quite living up to analysts’ expectations. Rather than just spit all of the numbers at you, I’ll just post the charts that AOL was kind enough to include in its announcement.

AOL Offers Former Google Offices To Startups
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AOL’s managed to tempt a number of employees away from Google over the past couple of years, with the list including names like Tim Armstrong, Caroline Campbell, Tim Castelli, Erin Clift, David Eun, Kristin Kovner, Jeff Levick, Jeff Reynar, and Maureen Sullivan.  Now, it looks like AOL will – with Google’s approval – take some office space, too.

Court Ruling Raises Fair Use Questions Around DRM
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Elecronista reports that a new court ruling could set a legal precedent to allow the bypassing of DRM for fair use purposes. "The decision could impact the media industry as it may allow breaking DRM for music, movies and other formats as long as the material isn’t pirated," says Electronista.

Google, Apple, Yahoo, AOL, Dell, HP, RIM, McAfee, Symantec, Siemens Sued Over Spam Filtering
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A few days ago, a Texas-based company called InNova Patent Licensing filed an infringement lawsuit against 36 well-known companies. The company claims to hold the patent on spam filtering, and appears to be resting on the notion that any company using spam filtering owes them.

Among the companies being sued are Google, Apple, AOL, Dell, HP, RIM, Yahoo, McAfee, Symantec, and Siemens. The list doesn’t stop at tech companies though. It also contains names like Frito Lay, Cinemark, J.C. Penney, Rent-A-Center, and Dr. Pepper.

AOL Launches New Mobile Portal and Android Apps
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AOL has launched a new smartphone portal at m.aol.com and 2 new Android apps. In fact, AOL specifically says that it’s increasing its focus on Android.

The smartphone portal is for HTML5-supporting smartphones, providing a touch-driven interface that allows for easy scrolling through articles and content, as well as location-based services for weather, movies, traffic, etc. There is also an app directory for users to find mobile apps, and it supports video content.

AOL Launches Advertising Hub For Politics
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AOL has launched AOL Advertising Politics hub aimed at campaigns, advocacy groups and companies looking to target audiences online.

Online display advertising has become a key factor for political campaigns. With the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year lifting the restrictions on political ad spending from corporations, companies can now join campaign and issue advocacy groups in influencing voters online. AOL hopes to capitalize on the upcoming November elections.

MapQuest Rolls Out New Look

AOL’s MapQuest has introduced a new look and feel that goes beyond maps and driving directions and focuses more on local search.

Starting today users can opt in via a link to try out the new MapQuest. The new redesign will replace the old version of MapQuest in about a month.

AOL Sells Market Research Firm DMS Insights to uSamp

Market research company uSamp has acquired DMS Insights (Digital Marketing Services) from AOL.

uSamp says it will combine with DMS to offer "best-in-class" online sample and panel management solutions, with the combined global panel reaching 2.7 million. The company notes that this includes an extensive Hispanic panel of over 100,000.

AOL and Mediabrands Partner on Retail Advertising

AOL and Interpublic Group’s Mediabrands (one of the largest buyers of retail advertising in the U.S. ) have announced a digital retail advertising partnership. The two companies plan to align their collective resources and announce a Retail Advisory Board in the coming weeks.

AOL Has Reportedly Found a Buyer for Bebo

Update 2: PaidContent reports confirmation:

Per Wednesday’s speculation, LA private equity firm Criterion Capital Partners has confirmed it’s buying social network Bebo from AOL.

Truveo Launches Video Search App On Facebook

AOL’s video search engine Truveo has launched a new discovery application on Facebook.

The new Truveo Facebook app allows users to search a database of videos and channels directly within the social network as well as share videos with others. The app also allows users to find content via a friend’s recommendations based on their interests.

AOL CEO Discusses Google, Search Deals

AOL’s current search deal with Google will expire in six and a half months, and although it looks like AOL’s CEO, Tim Armstrong, would prefer to stick with the search giant, his options are supposedly not limited.  Armstrong talked today about how things could go in several directions.

AOL Names Microsoft Exec As CTO

AOL said today it has hired Alexander Gounares as its Chief Technology Officer and as a member of its Global Executive Operating Committee.

Gounares will lead AOL’s technology strategy, platform development and external technology partnerships, as a well as play a key role in the overall strategy and directions of the company. He will report to AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong and will be based at AOL’s Dulles, Virginia campus.

Microsoft Advertising Exec To Leave For AOL
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A longtime Microsoft employee who plays an important role in the company’s advertising department is leaving the organization, according to a new report.  Then here’s the detail that may make his departure especially embarrassing for other execs in Redmond: Alex Gounares is heading to AOL.

AOL Launches Self-Serve Ad Platform

AOL has launched a beta version of Advertising.com Ad Desk, a new self-serve display ad platform targeted at medium- sized advertisers.

AOL’s Ad Desk will allow advertisers to have more control of their online ad campaigns. Ad Desk will allow advertisers to access demographic information and audience size across AOL’s various properties.

AOL Prepared To Unload Bebo
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Less than a week ago, the former president of Bebo joined Facebook, and now, AOL’s admitted that the social network it bought for $850 million has been beaten by Mark Zuckerberg’s leviathan.  AOL intends to either sell or shut down Bebo in the near future.

Why MapQuest Should Be Considered in Your Local Marketing Mix
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I don’t think too many people will dispute the fact that location is buzz topic of 2010 so far within the online marketing industry. Big players in this space include Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, Facebook (soon), and of course Google.

As reported earlier this week, Google noted that a third of its searches via the mobile web pertain to some aspect of the searcher’s local environment, and that they think of location as a "hugely important signal".

AOL Launches Patch.org To Fund Hyperlocal News

AOL said today it is launching Patch.org, a charitable foundation to support access to local news and information in underserved communities.

Patch.org will partner with community foundations and other organizations to launch sites and bring local news and information to communities that lack adequate news media and online local information.

Driving Traffic with MapQuest and its New Search Engine
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Local business search is becoming more of an area of great focus by search providers as time goes on. Google, especially, has been working overtime on providing new features that can help users find local businesses of interest. AOL’s MapQuest has been working on improving its own business search functionality, which we talked to the company a little about.

AOL Adds Facebook To AIM
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AOL has integrated Facebook Connect with its Instant Messenger to allow users to chat with their Facebook friends directly from AIM.

AOL said in a blog post it is adding its Lifestream application to AIM allowing users to receive updates from social networking sites including Digg, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube.

AOL Vet Returns from Google to Lead Media/Studios Division
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AOL has named David Eun as its new President of AOL Media and Studios. Until 2006, Eun was Vice President, Operations for the Media & Communications Group at Time Warner, where he helped oversee AOL. During that time, he contributed to providing operational oversight and development of new businesses in digital distribution and broadband content.