Hindsight is admittedly 20/20. But looking back on the evolution of AOL’s Patch, it’s hard not to wonder where the network might be today if the original focus had been on rolling out around 80 nationwide hubs rather than shooting for a ridiculous, illogical 2010 year-end target of 800+.

The fallout from that misguided tactic remains clear and present across the hyper-local news network to this day. It also framed a May 8 earnings conference call with AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong. As reported by streetfightmag.com deputy editor Steven Jacobs, Patch is going to take “all means possible” and consider “other revenue products” to make the operation profitable by the fourth quarter of 2013.

As is now standard for any such Patch-related news article, the reader comments include a smattering from former company employees that paint a hyper-dreadful picture. Here in SoCal, the rollout of the new Patch beta site design is just about to start. This morning for example, San Juan Capistrano Patch let readers know the new look will be turned on there next week.

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