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Old 03-27-2009, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Rockport Texas from El Paso
2,601 posts, read 8,109,232 times
Reputation: 1603

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When I first got on AOL in 1995 it was fascinating - fun people lots of features. Sure the technology has gotten better but not so much at AOL.
Their browser is much slower and crashes.

Many of their customers have gone - by 2001 or so it was the trailer trash of the internet. Many of them have left too.

They fill you with junk mail or junk messages. One can report an email as spam but they offer that feature so you will feel good. In reality they do nothing.

It used to fun to look at people's profiles - now you have to sign into a complex site that doesn't work well.

For those who date- they used to have Love@Aol and other fun sometimes a bit kinky features. All gone or farmed out to pay sites.


Its pretty sad- they had so much potential - and they blew it.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
20,991 posts, read 21,370,581 times
Reputation: 12483
I saw that they were doomed when every other ISP was using IP and they were still proxying their internet communications through IPX (mid-late 90s).

The people using them now are long time members or non-technical users. My mom is one of them, and fits both those descriptions. She accesses it through her DSL connection, though - she dropped their dialup service years ago.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:58 AM
 
11,715 posts, read 38,484,661 times
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I only used AOL's 10 free hours to access the Internet and fine a local dialup ISP back in about 1994 maybe? As I tell people, AOL is the worst way to do anything. It has no reason to exist. I wish they'd either go out of business or get bought by someone for a few dollars and effectively merged out of existence.
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:08 AM
 
Location: sowf jawja
1,941 posts, read 8,843,611 times
Reputation: 1061
i used AOL for years. I thought their software was junk, but they had the best connection in my area. I would get online, minimize their program, and open IE. The only downside was that their program used a lot of resources and would slow down my machine.
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
20,991 posts, read 21,370,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeCalifornia View Post
I wish they'd either go out of business or get bought by someone for a few dollars and effectively merged out of existence.
AOL merged with Time Warner back in 2000. There was a lot of potential in that combo at that point, but they blew it. They could have owned the 'net.

Time Warner was trying to sell off AOL last year, but I don't know if they ever actually got it sold.
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:52 PM
 
Location: kcmo
712 posts, read 2,058,169 times
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I never saw potential in the merger.. what I saw was the dumbest merger in history.. a 10-20 year old company getting together with a 100+ year old one.. and the 10-20 year old company was somehow considered of same or better value than the 100+ beyond dumb if you ask me..

Aol was doomed from the start.. anyone who had knowledge about broadband saw the writing on the wall early on.. today I do still see some customers with aol many using it through their cable/dsl connections just for the email.. once in a rarity I run into poor bastards that have their resold high ms dsl service..
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:06 PM
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Location: Ohio
17,104 posts, read 35,999,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swagger View Post
AOL merged with Time Warner back in 2000. There was a lot of potential in that combo at that point, but they blew it. They could have owned the 'net.
I disagree.

Old media companies back then had the notion that whoever had the best content inside their walled garden would win. It turned out that the mass quantities of free content NOT inside walled gardens trumped everything they tried to wall off. AOL-TW built their walled gardens, but almost no one came to see them.

The newspaper and magazine layoffs we're seeing today are the downside of so much content being outside the walls and free. Companies may have to go back to those walled garden notions of 10 years ago to keep content providers in business and to keep writing and journalism viable as a profession.
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:25 AM
 
Location: Black Hammock Island
4,620 posts, read 14,104,828 times
Reputation: 4603
Quote:
Originally Posted by swagger View Post
The people using them now are long time members or non-technical users. My mom is one of them, and fits both those descriptions. She accesses it through her DSL connection, though - she dropped their dialup service years ago.
That also describes us in a nutshell.

In the days before highspeed and wireless, we could travel anywhere and dial into a local AOL number. Earthlink, NetZero, and others had local numbers in many, many places, but AOL was the leader of the band hands down.

When we left dialup for highspeed (and I am embarrassed to say it was just two years ago), we stayed with AOL as our email provider because we like the sheer simplicity of using it. Please don't tell me that gmail, yahoo, comcast etc etc are easy to use - I just don't find them easy, and I have tried. AOL is simple, in-your-face, and takes far fewer clicks to read, write, organize mail.

AOL is a system hog - no doubt - but we're not heavy computer users other than simple web surfing and such, so our resources aren't overly taxed.

I will not use AOL's version of Internet Explorer nor access the web through AOL because it stinks. However, no big deal. I switch back and forth between AOL and my ISPs browser simply by clicking whichever one I want on the bottom task bar.

But I do agree that AOL missed the boat along the way for many of the reasons other posters have described. They did not have a good understanding of how the internet-user-world was evolving and didn't change with it. And I don't think they understand why some of us long-time users are still here. AOL 10 is one of their bigger mistakes and I had to struggle to try and undo the upgrade to return to AOL 9.

I hope AOL does not go away. It's my wish that they just improve/fix what they have without trying to reinvent the wheel. There is a ton of crap inside their "walled garden" (love that phrase Bowie!) that they could definitely do without and in the process not alienate us long-time users. One of the parts that's the biggest resource hog is a program running in the background that will automatically reestablish the connection should you get booted - there is absolutely no need for that at all.

All-n-all, although their content is not unique, I feel their presentation is, and that's what I enjoy about AOL.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:36 AM
 
11,715 posts, read 38,484,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mawipafl View Post
we stayed with AOL as our email provider because we like the sheer simplicity of using it. Please don't tell me that gmail, yahoo, comcast etc etc are easy to use - I just don't find them easy, and I have tried. AOL is simple, in-your-face, and takes far fewer clicks to read, write, organize mail.
It's also the only mail client to routinely butcher attachments beyond all recognition. 99% of the time when someone complains to me about a problem exchanging mail, either the sender or receiver is using AOL.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:38 AM
 
Location: "The Sunshine State"
4,334 posts, read 13,085,685 times
Reputation: 3045
I have had aol for 14 years and love the customability of it. I have Mick Jagger saying hello and goodbye, love my smileys, love my email background choices and my screen name icon and buddy list accessories! Can save things to favorite places, etc. No one else offers all these things. I can put a privacy on also, so no one can bother me when online doing research. Plus it is user friendly. I will never get rid of my aol!
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