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|Area served||United States|
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|Launched||December 2007; 13 years ago|
Patch.com is an American local news and information platform, primarily owned by Hale Global. As of June 2019, Patch operated some 1,227 hyperlocal news and information websites in 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.
Patch Media Corporation is the operator of the service.
- Update: AOL says implications that Patch is closing down are inaccurate. A New York Times article stated that AOL is reportedly planning to 'dismantle Patch or perhaps sell it off to various.
- Learn how to download and install Origin, update the client, and make sure your computer meets the system requirements.
Downloads for in-support versions of Windows can be found in the Microsoft Security Response Center. Customers who use an in-support version of Windows and have automatic updates enabled are automatically protected. Old versions of AOL Desktop. AOL Desktop 9.8 released: 15 Sep 2015 - 5 years ago old Versions. AOL Desktop 9.7 released: 29 Jan 2013 - 8 years ago.
Patch was founded by Tim Armstrong, Warren Webster and Jon Brod in 2007 after Armstrong said he found a dearth of online information on his home-neighborhood of Riverside, Connecticut. The company was acquired by AOL in 2009 shortly after Armstrong became AOL's CEO. Armstrong told AOL staffers that he recused himself from negotiations to acquire the company and did not directly profit from his seed investment.
The acquisition occurred on June 11, 2009. AOL paid an estimated $7 million in cash for the news platform as part of its effort to reinvent itself as a content provider beyond its legacy dial-up Internet business. AOL, which split from Time Warner in late 2009, announced in 2010 it would be investing $50 million or more into the startup of the Patch.com network. As part of the acquisition Brod became President of AOL Ventures, Local & Mapping, and Warren Webster became president of Patch.
On August 9, 2013, AOL announced it would be laying off staff at all levels. On an all-staff conference call, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong announced that the number of staffed Patch sites would be reduced from 900 to 600. Creative Director Abel Lenz was also publicly fired by Tim Armstrong at that time.
On January 15, 2014, AOL spun off Patch and sold majority ownership to Hale Global. With the sale's closure, AOL laid off several hundred more staffers before turning control of Patch over to Hale. In May 2014, the company announced the first profitable quarter in its history. In 2014, Warren St. John became CEO and Executive Editor of Patch.
Prior to its 2014 sale, Patch Media came under scrutiny from individuals and the media. Articles in the Los Angeles Times,Business Insider,Forbes and online bloggers pointed out apparent flaws in its previous business model. According to several sources that were published from 2010 to 2012, some of which quoted former employees, working conditions within the organization deteriorated and the company entered a period of consolidation. The sites also faced increased competition from independent blogs. Nonetheless, Tim Armstrong told the Columbia Journalism Review in March 2012 that he still believed in the company. When Editor-in-Chief Brian Farnham resigned in April 2012, Farnham said: 'I've never worked for a company that has been as scrutinized, criticized, and coal-raked as this one .. You’d think we were creating toxic waste, instead of, you know, free useful information.'
In February 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that Patch had 23 million users, was profitable and expanding into new territories. In 2018, Patch completed is third profitable year in a row, attracting an average of 23.5 million unique visitors monthly. Patch employs nearly 150 people, including 110 full-time reporters, many from the nation's leading newsrooms.
Alison Bernstein was named CEO in September 2019, and later transitioned to the company's board. Rob Cain, formerly of Adept Technology, became Patch's CEO in November 2020. Charles Hale informed Recode in 2019 that his network of 1,200-plus hyperlocal sites was generating more than $20 million in annual ad revenue, without a paywall.
Patch.com sites contain news and human interest stories reported locally. Each site contains a mixture of local and national advertising. The latter includes a self-serve ad platform allowing users to communicate directly with targeted audiences.
- ^ abKaufman, Leslie (January 15, 2014). 'AOL Finds a Partner to Run Its Troubled Patch Division'. New York Times.
- ^Keith, Tamara (17 August 2010). 'AOL Aims High With Hyperlocal Journalism Project'. NPR.com. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
- ^Hardy, Quentin (17 August 2010). 'AOL's plan to own your neighborhood'. Forbes.com. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
- ^Chandler, Michele (9 December 2010). 'Local News Becomes Web's New Boom'. NetNewsCheck. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- ^'All Patch Locations by State Patch'. USA Patch. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
- ^Cain Miller, Claire; Stone, Brad (April 12, 2009). ''Hyperlocal' web sites deliver news without newspapers'. The New York Times.
- ^Schonfeld, Erick (June 11, 2009). 'AOL Buys Local Startups Going And Patch (And CEO Tim Armstrong Brings an Investment In-House)'. TechCrunch.
- ^'About Us'. Patch. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- ^Savarese, Chris (June 11, 2009). 'AOL Acquires Two Local Services, Patch and Going'. AOL.com. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
- ^McCarthy, Caroline (June 11, 2009). 'AOL thinks local, acquires Patch and Going'. CNET.com. Archived from the original on August 4, 2009. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
- ^'AOL's Patch plans 500 local sites by end of 2010'. Associated Press. August 16, 2010.
- ^'Jon Brod'. AOL.com. May 12, 2010. Archived from the original on June 1, 2010. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
- ^'AOL To 'Impact' Hundreds Of Patch Employees Friday In A Bid For Hyper Local Profits'. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- ^Nicholas Carlson, provided by (2013-08-09). 'AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Fired Patch's Creative Director In Front Of 1,000 Coworkers (AOL)'. SFGate. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- ^'Opinion: AOL boss blew it in public firing'. CNN.com. 13 August 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- ^Burns, Matt. 'Patch Hit With Sweeping Layoffs As New Owner Hale Global Restructures'. TechCrunch. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- ^Kaufman, Leslie (May 18, 2014). 'Patch Sites Turn Corner After Sale and Big Cuts'. The New York Times. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- ^Rainey, James (24 April 2010). 'On the Media: Trying to Patch into the hyper-local news market: The AOL franchise comes to Manhattan Beach. Can it succeed?'. Los Angeles Times.
- ^Carlson, Nicholas (23 September 2011). ''A Bridge Too Far': AOL Requires Patch Editors To Drum Up Ad Sales Leads'. Business Insider. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012.
- ^Carlson, Nicholas (23 February 2012). 'Leaked Documents Reveal Exactly How Much Ads Cost On Patch'. Business Insider.
- ^Bercovici, Jeff (6 October 2011). 'Is AOL Trimming Its Patch? Year-End Goal Now In Doubt'. Forbes. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
- ^Gaffin, Adam (16 April 2010). 'Thank God Needham is a three-site town'. Universal Hub.
- ^Safran, Steve (May 21, 2010). 'Is the Patch revenue model sustainable?'. Lost Remote. Archived from the original on April 20, 2012.
- ^Hirschman, David (19 April 2011). 'Baristanet's Debra Galant: How Patch Is Like Wal-Mart (interview)'. Street Fight: Inside the Business of Hyperlocal.
- ^Kennedy, Dan (August 5, 2010). 'Hard times working the Patch'. Media Nation.
- ^Del Rey, Jason (9 December 2011). 'AOL's Patch Gets a Little Less Hyper-Local: Consolidates Sites in New Jersey, California'. Ad Age.
- ^Roach, Sean (March–April 2012). 'The Constant Gardener: My two years tending AOL's hyperlocal experiment'. Columbia Journalism Review.
- ^Kennedy, Dan (May 13, 2011). 'Indies fight back against Patch'. Media Nation.
- ^'Tim Armstrong Still Believes: The AOL CEO tells why he's still betting on Patch'. Columbia Journalism Review. March–April 2012.
- ^Faircloth, Kelly (April 12, 2012). 'AOL's Patch Editor-In-Chief Leaves, Does Not Go Scorched Earth'. Shakeups. Betabeat. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
- ^Marshall, Jack (2016-02-02). 'Patch Rebounds After Split From AOL'. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- ^''Patch' Celebrates Profitability, Explores AI'. www.mediapost.com. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
- ^'An Update From Patch'. Across America, US Patch. 2019-09-16. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
- ^'About Patch'. Patch. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
- ^Kafka, Peter (2019-02-11). 'The alternative to your dying local paper is written by one person, a robot, and you'. Vox. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
- ^Moses, Lucia (2018-10-16). 'How profitable Patch is automating ad buying'. Digiday. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
- ^'How 'hyperlocal' news app Patch is trying to regain trust in media'. The Daily Dot. 2018-12-26. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
- 'Patch'. Encyclo: an Encyclopedia of the Future of News. Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.
Helping people with computers.. one answer at a time.
Update notifications come at various times and in various ways. I'll look at how to best determine which are legit, and what to do if you suspect not.
by Leo A. Notenboom, © 2010
I am constantly being asked to download updates from the likes of HP, ADOBE, QUICKTIME, in fact just about any software on my machine. Question, how do i know if these are genuine or not somebody with mal intent.
A very good question. We see people being infected with malwareregularly because they get a pop-up notice that they're infected, when they'renot. What's to say that the same scenario won't work when it comes to softwareupdates?
In short: well, nothing really.
Nothing, that is, except understanding what to expect, what looks fishy, andwhat is clearly and obviously bogus.
I wish there were a blanket rule I could quote, or even more consistencyacross different update mechanisms, but sadly I have neither.
Email: The Immediately Suspicious
Update notices via email are nothing new. I know I regularly getnotification from various software vendors promoting the latest version oftheir software. Those may well be legitimate.
But I still won't click their link.
Email is simply too easily forged. That link you think came from a vendoryou purchased software from may be completely bogus. It may take you to a sitethat even looks like the vendor's site, but you really have no idea what you'redownloading.
Forget the link. Go to the vendor's site yourself.
Here are a few other rules of thumb when it comes to emailed updatenotifications:
If it's for software you don't have, it's bogus.
If it's an attachment, it's bogus. Vendors learned long ago that attachmentssimply don't work because so many viruses used them.
If it's for Microsoft, Hotmail, MSN or any other Microsoft-related property,it's almost certainly bogus. Windows Update and Microsoft Update handle what'son your machine, and web sites like Hotmail don't have updates that you wouldinstall.
If it's for Apple, Adobe and other software for which you normally getupdates via software already installed on your machine, the email's probablybogus. Like Windows Update, the updating software on your machine for thesetools is the way updates are distributed.
Check On Run
Over time it's important to simply become familiar with the various wayssoftware updates itself on your machine, and which software packages use whattechniques.
My favorite is 'check on run' - meaning that when you run a particularprogram it checks and tells you right then if there's an update available. Iwish that more applications used this technique.
If you run iTunes, and iTunes immediately tells you that there's a newversion of iTunes available, that's almost certainly legitimate. Similarly ifiTunes tells you that there's a new version of QuickTime available, that'salmost certainly legitimate as well, since iTunes uses QuickTime.
I use iTunes and Apple as a scenario that annoys me as well, since when yourun iTunes you're also likely to be told that there's a new version of Safariavailable. Safari's Apple's web browser and unrelated to iTunes. It turns outto be legitimate, but it's not something you need to take unless you do,indeed, run Safari on your machine.
That definitely makes things more confusing.
But ultimately update checks when you first run a program for it, or forservices that are related to it, tend to be legitimate and something that overtime you'll come to quickly recognize.
Harder to recognize are random popups.001f‹00030003
Some software, often software that's more or less continually running onyour system or not really an application that you'd use but a service thatother applications might use, check 'every so often' for updates. When thecheck happens and an update is available you're presented with a popup.Fortunately, I'm not seeing these as much as I once was, simply becausemanufacturers realize that theses could be easily mimicked by purveyors ofmalware.
The only real advice I have to offer here is that over time you'll becomefamiliar with what these popups look like and how they behave. Anything outsideof what you're familiar with should be treated with suspicion; typically thatmeans visiting the software manufacturer's website or support offerings andlooking for something that confirms an update is expected.
Less Random Popups
What a number of vendors are doing these days is checking for updates whenyou login. The latest Flash updates from Adobe seem to be in this category(though it's also possible that Flash may check with you first run yourbrowser).
While it slows down startup somewhat, it makes a certain amount of sense - atleast you're not getting interrupted in the middle of your work for some randomupdate.
Once again, though, this is an area where malware could interfere - thoughit's less likely since in order to have something like this happen at startupyou likely would already have to be infected, and hence there'd be no real needto fool you again.
Depending on your settings, Windows, of course, will provide you with ataskbar notification when new updates are available. Then if they're notalready installed you can initiate Windows Update - either via the applicationon your system or by visiting the Windows Update web site.
Other applications do similar. Firefox, for example, has a very passivenotification window that appears telling you that updates are available andthen quietly goes away; the next time you start Firefox you get a moreprominent message.
The Answer? Familiarity and Vigilance
Yes, it does sometimes seem that there's almost always an update of somesort we're being told about. I view this as a good thing in general, sincevendors are actively fixing potential vulnerabilities and other problems intheir software - I want the latest versions.
Over time you'll learn what to expect from the various vendors for thesoftware on your machine. The key is never to accept what you don't expect. Ata minimum if you get a popup or notification that you're not sure of, don'taccept it. Updates are rarely, if ever, mandatory. You always have the optionof declining the update, and doing some research before electing to accept itthe next time it comes around.
And of course always make sure that your machine is up to date with thelatest system patches and anti-malware tools and databases.
Yes, that is somewhat ironic, since some of the very update notices we'vebeen discussing might relate to those very programs.
That's why it's important to have some familiarity and know what toexpect.
I do expect that malware creators will attempt to fool you by exploitingthese paths more in the future.
Article C4482 - October 9, 2010 «»
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Did I really get a critical update notification for Outlook Express in my email? Battlefield 1 sound files. Emails that look like a critical update from Microsoft are scams. We'll look at exactly what makes the scam obvious.
How do I make sure that Windows is up-to-date? You can make sure that Windows is up-to-date by either enabling Automatic Updates or by visiting the Windows Update web site.
Are automatic updates a good thing? Unless you're willing to pay a lot of attention on a very regular basis, automatic updates are an important part of keeping your machine safe.
October 9, 2010 10:18 PM
I've found that Secunia PSI is a fairly reliable way to keep track of updates. You can let it run in the background or do on-demand scans to check programs and plug-ins.Les Meyers
October 12, 2010 10:48 AM
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I agree with Mary's comment. In addition, Secunia PSI allows me to eliminate or turn off all the services which programs lunch at startup to look for updates. This decreases the memory load on the computer's memory, freeing that memory for programs.Saetana
October 12, 2010 6:09 PM
Secunia is an excellent piece of free software for keeping track of major application updates. It runs in real-time (this is not essential if you have an old machine and can remember to run it once a week yourself) and lets you know immediately an update is available for applications such as Adobe. More than that thought it provides a button you can click which links straight to the appropriate download. Its an easy way for people to update their applications, its concern is security as updates often are fixing security issues that have come to light amongst other things. I have been using it for 3 years now without any problems and it is highly recommended by all my computing magazines.Bob Hill
December 13, 2011 7:38 PM
I consider Secunia PSI my trusted source for all updates. Anything else that prompts me for an update is suspect.New to Mac
February 9, 2012 9:11 AM
I know that you are a PC person, but I have a question that pertains to security for my Mac.
Recently I bought my first Mac. I've installed Norton Internet Security for the Mac, but was unable to install Malwarebytes on it. Is there an equivalent of Malwarebytes and Secunia for the Mac? If not, can you please recommend security software that I should consider?
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