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AOL Wants to Be Free

     
5:41 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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]

5:43 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Still overpriced ;)
7:45 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Not a bad strategy as they can theoretically make up the loss in basic access charges to those people that already have a connection via advertising, value add services, and people don't mind paying to filter access for the kids.
8:11 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They'll make up the loss by firing thousands of people from marketing, administration, and IT. Combine that with some aggressive cost-cutting in other areas, and it'll work out in their favor.
8:23 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They'll make up the loss by firing thousands of people from marketing, administration, and IT. Combine that with some aggressive cost-cutting in other areas, and it'll work out in their favor.

It's so sad, their own fault for falling behind with the times.

8:29 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They are about 3 years behind. Traffic from AOL is not even a small fraction of what it used to be.
8:36 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They'll make up the loss by firing thousands of people from marketing, administration, and IT. Combine that with some aggressive cost-cutting in other areas, and it'll work out in their favor.

I see the Internet side of AOL/Time Warner being sold or spun-off shortly.

As Gordon Gecko once said... "it's a dog with fleas".

8:37 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In all honesty, previous to this post, I hadn't been to aol(dot)com for years. Eek...
8:37 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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AOL: todays ISP, tomorrows Myspace competitor?
8:58 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Not to derail the topic, but I wonder just how many AOL subscribers still refer to AOL as "American Online?" Nearly every AOL subscriber I've ever talked to has referred to it as such. "American Online."
9:15 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Anyone remember when AOL started as Quantum Link?
10:59 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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'Not to derail the topic, but I wonder just how many AOL subscribers still refer to AOL as "American Online?"


other terms of hoq people refer to AOL
-America Off line
-AOLame
11:07 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I used to call it America on Hold. along with the World Wide Wait.

Never really used it much, don't see the point.

11:12 pm on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It was so much better than CompuServe. Then I went to college with a T1 line into my dorm room and realized what I was missing by having the Web spoon fed to me.
1:24 am on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It was so much better than CompuServe. Then I went to college

Yeah, those of us on CompuServe used to look down our noses at the 16-year-olds on AOL. :-)

2:26 am on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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AOL: todays ISP, tomorrows Myspace competitor?

No way that could ever happen. AOL is clueless with what kids are doing on the net these days. Aside from that there is all the negative publicity of late including that news snippet of a subscriber who spent 20 minutes trying to cancel his account only to be given the run around.

2:28 am on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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After having to redo bunch of images for a client due to ImageComnpresion on Aol, or was it AOL, it comes to mind that 'A' should be replaced with BID 'L'

EDIT

and BID should be BIG

4:52 am on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We call it A-O-HELL
7:54 am on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi incrediBILL,

I still have my QuantumLink "kit" 5.25" floppy and F-keys cards, somewhere. It came with my 1670 modem...

:)

8:12 am on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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AOL has always been on the verge of criminal activity in my book. They fall in line right behind adware and viruses.

When they first started out, they were busted for having too many hidden charges. Their shadey behavior never stopped, as they continued to ship out millions of unwanted CD junkmailers for "Free Internet Access" and them made it impossible to cancel your account.

AOL is the short yellow bus of the internet, and they are finding out that there just aren't as many idiots as there once was.

2:21 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In all honesty, previous to this post, I hadn't been to aol(dot)com for years. Eek...

I have never been there. What does that make me? ;)

2:36 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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AOL lost one leg years ago when users began realizing that they can use AOL to connect to the web, but open another browser screen to surf.

When broadband started to take hold, the other leg was lost.

2:53 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have never been there. What does that make me? ;

Younger and luckier than the rest of us. :-)

6:51 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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AOL is finally paying for years of poor customer service, overbilling, etc.

I convert one of their customers to another ISP everytime I help someone with a computer problem, etc. - my little way of getting even.

I personally smile everytime I see a negative headline.

7:06 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have never been there too,never used their services but "free" should be a reasonable price :)
9:13 pm on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Nothing is free in this world, specially online where you will probably get pop ups from aol, spam by email or just a bunch of worthless content and afffiliate links...but only dreaming is free...
11:01 am on July 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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-- AOL is finally paying for years of poor customer service, overbilling, etc.--

Even if they'd had excellent service, the product itself is worthless now because content and access have been totally separated from each other in the age of the internet and world wide web.

People might consider paying a website for certain kinds of content, but they'd very rarely consider paying their access provider because the access provider wouldn't be able to compete as it could only sell content to its own subscribers. Websites let people sell content to literally anyone with web access, there's just no point in doing it through proprietary subscription systems any more.

Microsoft found this out pretty quickly when they tried to set up the original MSN, not the website we know today but an AOL/Compuserve-style proprietary network which appeared just as those kinds of networks were going out of style. Another proprietary network which appeared at just the wrong time was the Sierra Network, a games-oriented dial-up community service run by the games publisher Sierra On Line (who ironically enough had never actually done anything online before TSN).

8:42 pm on July 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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death spiral
11:53 pm on July 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have AOl and have used it for 10 years. It would be great if it was free and wouldn't have to pay anymore.

I doubt they would make up the difference in advertising because they would lose billions in revenue.

6:30 am on July 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately, I still am using AOL for my ISP. We have been meaning to change it, but haven't gotten to it. I would much rather do Comcast, but here in the mountains we don't get a cable connection. Lame. AOL is horrible. It is really bad. And its expensive too!
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