We had our annual AOL Holiday Party earlier today.   It certainly wasn’t like the old days when we had over-top-top parties and rented out venues like Union Station, Westfields, Marriott Wardman Park, etc.  But, with the downturn in economy and focus on reducing expenses, the parties were instead held at the respective regional offices.

I thought today’s party was terrific … it was great to have a couple of thousand people together on our Dulles campus.   Yes, it was more mellow than the past, but there was a good, quality feel about today’s party.

I’m in my 14th year at AOL … and I’ve seen many ups and downs over the years.   Back in the mid to late 90’s, we were the “hot” company, but things go in cycles.   Now, Google is the hot company and maybe Facebook is next.

But, I’m still very proud to work for AOL.   There are still lots of excellent, hard-working, high-quality people who are busting their humps.  Despite all of the negative stuff that’s spread around in the blogs, we’re still one of the four major global players in internet space.   Our monthly reach is still over 110 million users.

Yes, lots of my friends have left AOL, but many of those people are still friends and a good number of them will be friends for the rest of my life.   For that, I’m grateful.

I’m sick of all of the naysayers and negative people that are constantly trying to bash AOL.   Lots of people like to take shots at others and make themselves feel good about it.   Well, they can take that negativity and stuff it.   I’m proud of what we built at AOL over the years and I’m very proud of the people I work with now — I’m surrounded by wonderful,talented and caring people.   Happy holidays.