AOL continues its slide

AOL continues its slide
Pardon me if I beat up on a business when it’s down, but AOL deserves a little slap. Time Warner dumped it from the corporate name, and now they’re cutting prices in what observers are saying is a very dark sign. Wired reports that AOL will begin offering a $10 monthly service under its Netscape Brand for those “who want only bare-bones Internet access.” Well, hi, how do you do! By controlling everything about a user’s experience, AOL set itself up for failure on two fronts. One, it ignored a basic tenet of Postmodernism, that the freedom to experience is higher on the food chain than packaged information, regardless of the quality of the package. Two, it relied on dail-up modems to provide the conduit for that control. I’ve always felt AOL was training wheels for the Internet anyway, and I especially loathed the software’s seizure of everything on my hard drive. And perhaps now we’ll be relieved of those ubiquitous “free” CDs.

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