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October 8th, 2001

As If You Needed Another Reason…

America Online has announced that it will soon track users’ surfing habits. It’s not being done in order to improve the service (you can’t improve perfection, duh!) or make response time faster, or provide more dialup numbers, no. It’s being done to better target advertisements.

Realistically, what are the reasons people use AOL? The only one I can think of offhand is ease-of-use. While setting up a computer to access the Internet is not hard, AOL is happy to tell people that it is – and people are happy to listen. And subscribe.

But beyond that, I can’t imagine any advantage to using AOL. The net access is crippled. The advertisements are plentiful. The user interface is horrendously awful. The software is poorly written. Can one talk with friends on AOL, elsewhere? Sure – just grab AIM. Plus, it’s more expensive than most monthly dialup access.

I’m curious, then, why anyone would want to use AOL. -pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

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