AOL has appointed New York Times tech journalist Saul Hansell as the first programming director for Seed.com, its new data-driven content management platform.
Hansell's hire will lend editorial credibility to AOL's new endeavor and should help it address concerns the project will spawn a wave of poor content. Those concerns are based in Seed's similarity to Demand Media and Associated Content, companies that pay contributors upfront fees that are often under $20 per content item.
Like those companies, AOL's Seed platform will assign articles and other content based on data about user behavior and ad prices. Unlike them, Seed will distribute its content to other sites and platforms in AOL's network. That's where Hansell's job comes in. As programming director reporting to AOL Entertainment SVP Mike Rich, he'll see to it that content from Seed shows up appropriately across the company's whole network, the company said.
Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.