AOL 1.1, Not 2.0 Yet

June 2, 2009 ran “AOL 2.0: Is There a Future as a Solo Act?” here. The headline carried the same type of numbering problem I noted with a Yahoo 2.0 article. The “new” AOL, like the “new” Yahoo, is not too far from its 1.0 roots in my opinion. Christopher Lochhead begged to differ, insisting on the 2.0 designation. He wrote:

AOL should become more than a portal or search engine. It needs to aggregate everything you and I use on the Web into one central place. The truth is that the Web is still too hard to use and it takes too long. If they were able to become a personalized, uber-portal that manages everything we do on the Web in one simple front-end, new users would flock to them. It appears that Google may be taking a stab at this with its new Wave communication offering. Creating a new user experience needs to be done in the context of the social computing revolution. AOL must find a way to combine social networking, user-generated content, email/messaging and traditional media content so that we are compelled to use their services.

There are other remarkable assertions in this CBS story. You can wade through them, but let me cut to the end of the chase when the fox is panting and ready for the taxidermist: AOL after changes will still be AOL. The addled goose believes that a remarkable turn of events will be needed. Technology, people, luck, money, and innovation must come together. Then I will agree to an AOL 1.5 designation.

Stephen Arnold, June 3, 2009


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