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AOL biggest corporate loss in US history


8:26 pm on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Time Warner AOL, the biggest loss ever recorded in American history. The figures announced escape me, but it was in the region of $billions.
So how come?
OK their search queries "were" crappy, their aggressive marketing was off-putting.
Their service to subscribers was err....none existant.

So you may think, well they got what they deserved!

But, my first ever client (just about a year ago) told me he spent just over 40 grand in a six month period in ads with AOL, he managed to keep losses to 5 grand.

He was lucky.

My own experience with AOL when a newbie 3/4 years ago, subscribe then cannot unsubscribe, they kept charging my credit card monthly even after several emails, phone calls etc.
I was lucky, my credit card expired, then they even had the cheek to tell me they would take legal action if my monthly payments were not met.

So judging by my own experiences they should be rolling in it.

So I just wondered if google got paid upfront for providing aol with results generated by google. But according to google "be wary of upfront payments" from SEO's

In effect google are SEO's for aol

Oh well, all is fair in love and war, get the money and dash google, just like a "SEO" whom you so despise.

11:35 pm on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Why, you ask? Greed. Gobs and gobs of greed that didn't pay off. Not that I mind. I'm sick of their ads. If they'd just take the phrase: "AOL keyword 'blah, blah' off everything it's plastered on, I'd be a much happier camper. :)

Yes, I know they are a SERP thing, but darn, does the rest of the World need to be inundated with it day after day? I've always felt it gave the wrong impression, as in "AOL must be the only ones who have Keywords." Might be a good place for the novice to start out, but the Real World is the Real World and AOL ain't real.

One can only hope that future business/corporate conglomerate trends will move back towards smaller, more efficient business models.


11:39 pm on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The only company to gain anything from aol where the comapny they employed to produce their cd roms :)
11:43 pm on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The only company to gain anything from aol where the comapny they employed to produce their cd roms

LOL. Ain't that the truth. :)



2:46 am on Jan 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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They lost $99 billion I believe!

See [news.com.com...]


2:36 pm on Feb 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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$99 Billion. That's more than the GDP for alot of countries.

I hope they deduct the $99 Billion from TED's salary :)

8:47 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Why did it happen? IMHO, having watched the technology industry for 40+ years, the fundamental causes are systemic ones that repeat: first there is new technology and the (accurate) perception that it offers benefits. Then there are business people who (to a degree appropriately) architect business strategies based on capturing profits from offering customers the benefits of this new technology. As these strategies get talked up (i.e., "sold")in the business community, the media, etc., to attract investors, etc., an exaggerated perception grows about the rate of adoption and growth of the new technology. This has a self-reinforcing effect as investors notice the "bandwagon," want a share in the profits that they suppose will occur, and join in. In the case of AOL, what was exaggerated was 1) the growth in the installed base of networkable PCs, and 2) the rate of convergence of tradition media (film, TV, radio, etc.) with the new digital medium. In the first case, the rate of growth in the installed base had to slow as the developed countries became saturated with PCs. In the second case, (and this error is committed frequently) the rate of adoption of the new technology was overestimated. People are resistant to change, even if it offers benefits. When this cycle starts to unwind, investors become fearful of losing money and withdraw, forcing large declines in market values.


9:12 pm on Feb 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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1) People who are just starting out on the internet normally get one piece of advice: DON'T sign up with AOL - they won't let you cancel.

2) They send out millions of CDs. And I get about 10 delivered to our house every quarter.