First of all, I'm at the Heritage Partners annual meeting, wirelessly connected and using Database 2.0 live, our new monitoring software that Jeff the Intern and I created. This is truly the bleeding edge of the GM PMI group's technology usage. There is one bizzare bug that I'm sure Jeff will fix... for some reason you can't type in apostrophes in any of the comments. I use a lot of contractions, so its an issue.
Anyway, I was reading this article on AOL and also MSN's agreement to continue using Yahoo for ad placement. Yahoo, MSN, and Google are quickly dividing up the net, and its just amazing to me how far AOL has fallen and how many missteps they've made along the way. They realy need to just blow the whole thing up and start all over again... pitching this clunky and glitchy software for a fee that doesn't justify its value. Basically, they failed to call the future. They failed to catch the broadband wave, and worse, they failed to understand how their users used the net. Subscribers are fleeing in large numbers and AOLs response is to keep throwing new versions of its software at them. Now security is the big selling point... I guess when your software slows end users' computers and crashes all the time, its hard to keep pushing the "making the web easier" pitch.
One big misstep was failing to capitalize on their stickiest asset... AOL IM. AOL still has the most widely used instant messenger by far, but a lot of good its doing them as people drop the service and switch screenames for a free one.
Guarantee you, though... my dad will be the last paying dialup customer.