AOL has bought out Sphere, a blog and news contextual display service, for an undisclosed amount. The startup operates in a crowded contextual content display space with competition from the likes of Inform, AggregateKnowledge and many others. Sphere will be part of the company's programming division, under Bill Wilson.
This is interesting in light of AOL having bought Quigo a few months ago. Quigo's technology wasn't bad, but it needed some help at times. But, as attractive as Sphere's geekwork is, I would bet Sphere's accounts was what drove this purchase.
Bringing in experienced hands like the folks at Quigo and Sphere makes me think AOL is getting under the hood of the web and doing the hard work that others can't or will not do. Good luck to them. They've decide to earn their keep.