All the news that's fit to blog
News was in the news with Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) AOL announcing a blog-friendly makeover to its news portal website. Hoping to stand out from its larger news-aggregating rivals, AOL is turning to blogs, videos, and viewer ratings to create a more dynamic interface.

AOL knows that there's no point in competing head-on against the,, and sites that have the inside branding track through their television network broadcasts. Fellow aggregators such as Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) have AOL beat in traffic, too.

Standing out is the right call, even though giving bloggers too big a stage can backfire. Bloggers love to speculate and voice their opinions. That's what makes blogs so refreshing sometimes, but it also means that credibility is often suspect. Biased slants and a lack of source-checking? Let's hope it doesn't backfire. AOL's new site still favors delivering breaking news the old-fashioned way, but letting the bloggers creep on to the main page is a gutsy call.

AOL already does this in other aspects of its business. Guest bloggers from its Blogging Stocks roster appear on the ticker-symbol feeds of its stock listings. If business news can be opinionated, it's easy to see why AOL is trying to give its mainstream news a little more personality. Now it's up to readers to decide whether AOL's gamble is worth it.

Elsewhere in the world of business news ...
It's the summer slowdown, but that doesn't stop the financial headlines from making waves.

  • The multiplex is starting to show signs of wear and tear. Despite a strong start and a slate of blockbusters, recent releases such as Evan Almighty are coming up short and not feeling all that omnipotent.

  • Enterprise-software giant Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) reported. Even though the big news may be that the acquisitive company hasn't bought a smaller rival over the past few seconds, it's still a cocky company that isn't afraid to gloat at the expense of its competition.

  • Selling axes of the six-string kind, Guitar Center (NASDAQ:GTRC) announced that it's being taken private in a $2.1 billion deal. I don't know whether the crowd is cheering or jeering at this point, given the untapped potential. Then again, even while you're playing Guitar Hero, it's hard to tell the difference.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Yahoo! and Time Warner are Stock Advisor recommendations. Find out why with a free 30-day trial subscription. Microsoft is an Inside Value selection.

Longtime Fool contributorRick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.