AOL Is Yesterday

AOL had no choice but to try to remake itself completely when changing internet access patterns forced it to give up its once lucrative subscriber revenue model. The company was a great early entry into the use and possibilities of the internet. It was filled with people (I knew them all in the early days) who were filled with the excitement of breaking ground and leading a seismic shift in communications and information. But things have changed rapidly, and AOL is yesterday.

AOL had no choice but to try to remake itself completely when changing internet access patterns forced it to give up its once lucrative subscriber revenue model.  The company was a great early entry into the use and possibilities of the internet.  It was filled with people (I knew them all in the early days) who were filled with the excitement of breaking ground and leading a seismic shift in communications and information.  But things have changed rapidly, and AOL is yesterday.

AOL is counting on ad revenues to lift it up again.  This isn't happening, nor is it likely to happen.  Advertisers are chasing the small and niche sites over the mass portals.  But whether it can drive ads to its sites, it is missing the point of what is and has happened in the short time since it pioneered the way.  Not only have revenue models changed significantly, but so have the size, number, scope and nature of high-interest sites.  AOL is simply too all-purpose and too rigid to survive in today's web world.

And they have an image problem.  I don't know about you, but if I get an email with an AOL address, I immediately type the person as a Luddite and as unsophisticated in the world of the internet.  And, that more than anything else will be their downfall.  I think it is time to thank them for their contributions and to help them find the door.

Reviews

  • JoeNPhilly

    October 16, 2007

    I don't think it was that recent.

  • ChristySchien

    August 24, 2007

    Someone gave me an AOL email address the other day, and I am sure that I giggled. I just couldn't help it.

  • Ralph Smith

    August 21, 2007

    Try the day before yesterday. AOL was based on a walled garden approach that failed, and Time Warner lacks the creativity to try anything else.

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