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The Best Is Back: AOL Launches City’s Best 2010 In 25 Cities Across The U.S.


Furthers its local focus through enhanced City’s Best platform with high-quality, city-specific information; Expands Local Community Reach and Interactivity with City’s Best Launch

NEW YORK, NY – – AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) today announced the launch of the 2010 City’s Best program, providing a guide to the best local food, entertainment and lifestyle options in 25 major U.S. cities. With a commitment to providing the highest quality and most relevant information at the local level, City’s Best local editors and writers in each market have visited and selected the best food, entertainment and lifestyle venues in each city creating high-quality directory listings for each. Now, AOL will engage local voters to ultimately determine the “best of the best.”

Beginning today, people from around the country are invited to join the quest for its “City’s Best” by visiting or downloading City’s Best applications for iPhone and Android to vote for their favorite businesses within a variety of food, entertainment and lifestyle categories. The 25 markets selected for AOL’s 2010 City’s Best launch include: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Twin Cities and Washington, DC.

“Simply put, City’s Best is the easiest way to find and engage with what’s best in our cities,” said Jon Brod, President of AOL Ventures, Local and Mapping. “Launching City’s Best is an important step in AOL Local’s goal of providing the highest quality, most relevant and most accessible local information, from hyper-local to major-metro markets. We are tapping into professional editors and writers, in addition to community members through their participation in the voting process to find and share the best in our cities. ”

City’s Best is the most recent platform in AOL’s expanded focus on local communities, following the introduction of Patch, a community-specific news and information platform which recently launched its 251st site and AOL’s flagship brand MapQuest, the #2 mapping site in the U.S.* MapQuest will integrate City’s Best content into its mapping experience, and Patch will promote City’s Best listings for businesses in its communities. City’s Best complements AOL’s suite of local platforms by providing metro-market residents with high quality, original local information as well as opportunities to participate in a dialogue through online voting, mobile applications, sharing tools, tips, opinions and more. In addition to offering people participation through an interactive site design, City’s Best will also engage freelance experts at the local level to enhance the overall content.

Voting Period (October 13 – November 30): City’s Best voting kicks-off today, October 13, and will run through November 30. Individuals will “vote” for their favorite spots from a list of top businesses in such categories ... Burgers, Cheap Eats, After Work Bar, Sports Bar, Romantic Restaurant, Family Friendly Restaurants, Pizza, Movie Theater, Salon, Live Music and more. A winner will be determined for each of the categories in all 25 markets and announced on December 14. These categories were selected based on popularity and general public interest to ensure participation from the greatest number of people. Since City’s Best originally launched in 1999, it has generated more than 10 million user votes.

Resources & Tools for the Businesses Selected in Each Category
Throughout the voting program, the businesses selected in each category will be featured on AOL has developed a number of resources and tools for the businesses to use to promote their business, generate voting and garner visibility. Tools include a downloadable City’s Best logo, and tips and ideas to help businesses encourage their fans and customers to vote online or via their mobile phone. Additionally, the ubiquitous City’s Best window stickers are back. Throughout its history, City’s Best has distributed over 50,000 window stickers to local businesses across the country. The 2010 stickers include QR codes which will allow people to use their smart phones to scan the sticker and then easily vote for the business in real time.

Local businesses in each of the 25 selected markets were chosen based on overall reputation. City’s Best editors and writers selected the businesses based on editorial insight and local opinion. The selection process is fueled by the mission of City’s Best, which is to bring experts and neighbors together to find and share the best in our cities.

*comScore Media Metrix August 2010

About AOL
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a leading global Web services company with an extensive suite of brands and offerings and a substantial worldwide audience. AOL’s business spans online content, products and services that the company offers to consumers, publishers and advertisers. AOL is focused on attracting and engaging consumers and providing valuable online advertising services on both AOL’s owned and operated properties and third-party websites. In addition, AOL operates one of the largest Internet subscription access services in the United States, which serves as a valuable distribution channel for AOL’s consumer offerings.


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