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AOL Wants to Be Free
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msg:363107
 5:41 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

America Online is paying the price for falling behind in the Internet revolution. According to this morning's Wall Street Journal, AOL is considering forgoing billions in subscription revenue by allowing households with their own broadband connections to access the service for free.

AOL Wants to Be Free [news.moneycentral.msn.com]

 

paulanthony




msg:3000928
 10:37 am on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is there really no market for this kind of network anymore? I wouldn't be so sure. I personally feel that the silver surfer should be catered for with an easy to use AOL type of application - serving to "train" them slowly on being comfortable online, and gradually release further levels of complexity to them. There was always something nice about the safe environment that AOL provided. Even if the majority of us here are comfortable using firefox / IE and the concept of browsing comes as second nature, having the content you need and email all under one umbrella IMO still has its appeal to amateurs.

monkeythumpa




msg:3001437
 4:57 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Being a graphic designer and direct marketer, I always was fascinated in AOL's creative ways of delivering CDs in the mail. They had some really elaborate packaging designs. The packaging and postage must have cost 100 times as much as the CD inside.

Hats off on that part of their org.

gibbergibber




msg:3001826
 9:52 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

-- Is there really no market for this kind of network anymore? I wouldn't be so sure. I personally feel that the silver surfer should be catered for with an easy to use AOL type of application - serving to "train" them slowly on being comfortable online, and gradually release further levels of complexity to them.--

Absolutely, but perhaps that kind of thing should be done as an application, a sort of super-browser, but not an entire network.

It could let people train on tasks the app itself presents at a learning curve determined by the user, then move onto specially designed websites created by the app's designers (a sort of "training wheels" phase), before finally allowing people out onto the real internet.

europeforvisitors




msg:3002026
 2:25 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Even if the majority of us here are comfortable using firefox / IE and the concept of browsing comes as second nature, having the content you need and email all under one umbrella IMO still has its appeal to amateurs.

Even if that's true (and I'm not at all sure that it is), why AOL? Why not Yahoo or MSN or some other portal? What's special about AOL these days? Why shouldn't we expect the AOL to brand fade away like Excite and other Internet brands that have been consigned to The Wayback Machine?

Users don't have to be Web-savvy to use browsers and find their way around the Web. One of the biggest cruising sites, for example, made its debut on AOL in 1995 and expanded to the Web in 2000. I don't know how much (if any) of its traffic originates on AOL these days, but its Web site has a huge and active community of cruisers, most of whom are of the grey-haired or no-haired generation.

Times change. AOL is the Polaroid, Sunbeam, or LIFE Magazine of the online world. It had a good run, but pretty soon it will just be one of yesterday's brands that lives on in a new and diminished incarnation.

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