I had a blast reading The Raid on AOL: How Vox Pillaged Engadget And Founded An Empire
by Kevin Lincoln. As a former AOLer who worked closely with Jim Bankoff back in the day, this account rings true on so many levels.
But I was also thrilled to learn that SB Nation, Bankoff’s company, has Oakland, CA roots–turns out SB Nation was a side project started by Markos of Daily Kos and his friend Tyler Bleszinski. Lincoln writes, looking back to the 2003-2005 era:
“Unhappy with how his favorite team, the Oakland A’s, was being covered – and inspired by the cerebral sabermetrics of A’s manager Billy Beane, as chronicled in Michael Lewis’ book “Moneyball” – Bleszinski decided to start Athletics Nation. He corrected what he saw as the mistakes of other baseball writers by doing away with the veil of objectivity, which he believes is a myth in sports media coverage. He proudly displayed his pro-A’s bias and covered the team obsessively, 24/7, and particularly in the offseason.”
And from that..magic–and a growing company that’s launching all sorts of big media-and a terrific, well-researched piece on AOL, Vox and how things came to be,