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A Tale of Two AOLs — New York and Silicon Valley

Ever since Tim Armstrong became its CEO in April 2009, AOL has been going through a makeover. The company hired a large number of experienced journalists and bloggers, expanded through Patch into localities all over the country, and made some high-profile acquisitions, including HuffPo and TechCrunch.

But if the company is going to deliver on what SVP Marty Moe described to me in mid-2009 as a business model built on "high-quality content to scale," it is going to take a lot more than just good writing, a network of hyperlocal hubs and absorbing other media properties.

What it will take will be technological innovation of the sort driving the boom-without-a-name currently sweeping through San Francisco and the Valley. Armstrong, Moe and team know that and that's why they've opened an office in Palo Alto, filling it with developers, as well as a gaggle of startup tenants, and an executive team experienced in the ways of the Valley.

Collapse: New Play at Aurora Theatre

“‘I'm supposed to make partner by this time. I'm going to have a baby at this time.' It's what Oprah has trained us all to do: You obtain your goals. You control your destiny. I'm not saying I don't believe that, but sometimes there are things out of your control."

Hannah’s life is crumbling around her ears, thanks to infertility, a depressed husband, and looming layoffs. In Collapse, Allison Moore’s new play about how life sometimes skids completely off the rails, a husband and wife react to tragedy by occupying different ends of the same pole. Hannah starts trying to control everything and David sinks into defeat and decides he can’t control anything.

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