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AOL Cutting 2000 Additional Jobs

ScuttleMonkey posted about 7 years ago | from the never-saw-the-dialup-collapse-coming dept.

Businesses 139

butterwise writes "AOL plans to cut 2,000 jobs, or 20 percent of its worldwide workforce, as the Internet division focuses on advertising sales to make up for subscriber losses. 'The latest cuts will pare AOL's staff to 8,000, down from about 18,000 employees in 2001, when the company bought New-York based Time Warner for $124 billion. The combination led to $100 billion in losses and a more than 60 percent drop in Time Warner's stock as customers dropped dial-up Web access.'"

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speaking of cutting... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20987897)

A few years ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I
had to take a piss. As I entered the john a big beautiful all-American
football hero type, about twenty-five, came out of one of the booths.
I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he
washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was "straight" and
married - and in any case I was sure I wouldn't have a chance with
him.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated,
hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still
warm from his sturdy young ass. I found not only the smell but the
shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left
behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It
apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat,
stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd
- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as a man's wrist.

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and
wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd
always been a heavy rimmer and had lapped up more than one little
clump of shit, but that had been just an inevitable part of eating ass
and not an end in itself. Of course I'd had jerk-off fantasies of
devouring great loads of it (what rimmer hasn't), but I had never done
it. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound
turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy
and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of the world's
handsomest young stud.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both
hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled
like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the
consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit
without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it
smelled. I've found since then that shit nearly almost does.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into
my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big brown cock,
beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and
bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet
flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had
chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed
I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I
soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd
passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily,
sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My
only regret was the donor of this feast wasn't there to wash it down
with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the
cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more
delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with
the rich bitterness of shit.

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But
then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There
was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished
them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my
briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the
shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever
unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an
unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using
them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my
mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit
trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six
orgasms in the process.

I often think of that lovely young guy dropping solid gold out
of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could,
and at least once did, bring to a grateful shiteater.

Re:speaking of cutting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20988719)

+1, Informative

People still use AOL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20987927)

Why???

Re:People still use AOL? (4, Insightful)

moore.dustin (942289) | about 7 years ago | (#20987987)

They do not know any better, it is as simple as that really. They either do now know other options exist, think the service is the same, or for many they are to lazy to break their ties with AOL thinking they will lose their email, aim, and other things AOL gives them.

I have asked numerous people why they still have AOL over the years and almost all of them said that they have had it for so long that they are uncomfortable changing for whatever reason. AOL does a great job locking its customers into its systems and making it seem counter-intuitive to switch.

Re:People still use AOL? (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 7 years ago | (#20988227)


I have asked numerous people why they still have AOL over the years and almost all of them said that they have had it for so long that they are uncomfortable changing for whatever reason. AOL does a great job locking its customers into its systems and making it seem counter-intuitive to switch.

don't blame AOL for customers being 'comfortable'.

That's the same reason most people give for using Eudora or Pegasus mail clients. Its not that these companies/products have 'locked customers in' or made it counter intuitive to switch, its simply that people have gotten comfortable, and they don't perceive enough value in changing.

(Not that there is anything wrong with Eudora or Pegasus. But most people using it aren't "choosing to use it", its simply the case that they've used it for so long its just what they use, it works, and they don't want any hassles.)

Re:People still use AOL? (1)

Kenshin (43036) | about 7 years ago | (#20989029)

Actually, trying to migrate from Eudora to ANYTHING is a pain in the ass. Users are essentially locked-in because the file format they use for storing messages is so botched that nothing can properly import it.

We have a guy at the office who really wants to switch to Outlook, but we just can't transfer over his messages from Eudora.

Re:People still use AOL? (4, Informative)

Amouth (879122) | about 7 years ago | (#20989165)

hummmm Eudora supports Imap.. he could jsut use that to connect to exchange and then move his messges into the imap storage via Eudora and then open up outlook.. not that hard.. (i assume you have exchange sence he is wanting to move to outlook)

Re:People still use AOL? (1)

piojo (995934) | about 7 years ago | (#20989205)

We have a guy at the office who really wants to switch to Outlook, but we just can't transfer over his messages from Eudora.
When I have problems like this, I use an IMAP account. This type of account stores messages on the server, rather than locally. Copy all the old messages to the IMAP account, kiss Eudora goodbye, set up Outlook and set up your two accounts (your normal e-mail account and the IMAP), and transfer your beloved messages back from the IMAP to Outlook. When I have to do this, I use a local IMAP server (running on the same computer as the e-mail clients), but that might be a bit too much for a lot of people. Perhaps your sysadmin could help, if you don't have easy access to an IMAP e-mail account.

Re:People still use AOL? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 7 years ago | (#20989261)

We have a guy at the office who really wants to switch to Outlook
And is that supposed to be an improvement?

Re:People still use AOL? (1)

Ucklak (755284) | about 7 years ago | (#20989371)

It's funny you mentioned that.

I have a relative that has been comfortable with Windows since 3.1 and finally got fed up with it and went Mac.
Their machine died and they were either going to have to learn Vista which has a bad rep from word of mouth in their community (2 neighbors that upgraded hate it) or go Mac which had a good rep.
Thunderbird (Mozilla mail before that, Netscape before that) and Firefox (Mozilla before that and Netscape before that) work like they expect it to so they really don't notice a difference except that iPhoto is much better than their Windows photo management they used before.

Re:People still use AOL? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 7 years ago | (#20989787)

And even though they bought a Mac, they can be comfortable knowing they can even use AOL on a Mac (well, for however long AOL lasts).

Re:People still use AOL? (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | about 7 years ago | (#20989583)

don't blame AOL for customers being 'comfortable'.

AOL was among the first to profit from the discovery that the future of online services didn't lie with the Geek - and with a half-dozen or more arcane clients for the BBS, FTP, TELNET, USENET, IRC chat, etc.

AOL pioneered flat monthly rates, automatic updates. There were perfectly intelligible reasons why users became comfortable with dial-up AOL and why they remain comfortable with portals like Yahoo now.

Re:People still use AOL? (4, Interesting)

BiggyP (466507) | about 7 years ago | (#20988235)

Yep, people still use AOL for the same reasons that people still use Windows, they'd terrified of change, for these poor souls their entire experience of the Internet is just what AOL and it's massively bloated software suite has presented them with. Hopefully these users will feel suitably alienated and outraged by change in upcoming versions of the AOL software that they'll consider a move to something less proprietary and start to experience the internet the same way everyone else does.

Oddly enough, even when it's quite blatantly obvious, AOL users are often hesitant to blame the AOL browser and crapware for dreadful system performance and are happy to pay through the nose for bandwidth upgrades that they never see any benefit from...

Re:People still use AOL? (2, Informative)

Rycross (836649) | about 7 years ago | (#20988393)

Their software wasn't just bloated, it was terribly buggy as well. Around 2001, I had a job at a help desk at a university. Sometimes we had people come in who had installed AOL's software on their Windows PC (usually 98 se), and then tried to connect to the university dial-up. The AOL software somehow managed to screw up something with Window's networking. Sometimes we had to do a reinstall of the networking components just to get things to work correctly again, even if they had already uninstalled all the AOL stuff.

Re:People still use AOL? (4, Funny)

peragrin (659227) | about 7 years ago | (#20988495)

My boss does. $20 bucks a month we get charged just so she can use the "internet" as she likes too.

When she got a new computer running windows XP, I made sure to "install AOL". In reality I set AOL.com as her IE 7 home page, changed the shortcut icon and name, and locked down bits and pieces of the browser the best I could. Installing the abomination that is AIM completes the illusion. she has had a hard time adapting to the "new"AOL but accepts it as is.

We do still pay $20 bucks a month for AOL though. I can't seem to break that one out. At least the book keeper is helping me.

Re:People still use AOL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20989357)

They do not know any better


This is it completely. Actually, if you talk to many AOL subscribers I think you would find that many of them don't know/understand that AOL != The Internet. I used to be an AOL subscriber many moons ago (yes, I'll admit that - but only as an AC!) and it took me awhile to understand that.

Like the rest of the industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20988365)

They will be hiring elsewhere, probably India.

Re:Like the rest of the industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20988585)

Like all industries. I work for a medical equipment company and we are outsourcing our data entry to India and a chuck of our manufacturing to Ireland.

I imagine (as do most others) that the call center is next.

kci1.com

Re:People still use AOL? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20988991)

Because you can't take your aol email account with you. We need email address portability! Gah thinking about that as an idea makes my head wanna plode.

*pours a 40 over their carcasses* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20987929)

Time warner!!!!!

Why have you forsaken us!!!!

NO!!!!!

Motto (1)

Stanistani (808333) | about 7 years ago | (#20987933)

"AOL - because online discourse is too intelligent."

I'm sure that these are mostly support positions, not the chimps who set policy.

Re:Motto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20989943)

Yes, if only the online discourse could be like /. or another random forum, where there are no idiots or trolls. :)

Obligatory: (4, Funny)

oahazmatt (868057) | about 7 years ago | (#20987957)

Boss to Employees: "Goodbye".

There, now it's out of the way.

Re:Obligatory: (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | about 7 years ago | (#20988085)

You've got a pink slip!

For more information, go to AOL Keyword: Unemployment

Re:Obligatory: (0)

ThePlague (30616) | about 7 years ago | (#20988637)

Me too!

Re:Obligatory: (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 7 years ago | (#20989769)

Except they accidentally deleted the email that said they were fired because it was buried in porn and prescription meds emails.

Re:Obligatory: (2, Insightful)

TheGeneration (228855) | about 7 years ago | (#20988721)

I had a friend who worked for AOL. He had bad story after bad story. Apparently their biggest problem is that the execs in Virginia are in an AOL only universe and have no idea that Silicon Valley (not Virginia) sets the pace for the internet.

I'm willing to bet every single person they lay off is a regular employee and not the management responsible for turning a one-time good service (circa 1996) into a cluster f*ck of bad UI design and pop-up ads.

I recently used a 6 month free trial that came with my computer and only logged in twice in six months. It was so awful. Their core competency is their chat, yet it's antiquated and difficult to use. Instead of spending money on making their cheat more usable for the users they instead spent on "channels" and other "value" features that really have zero value to anybody but advertisers desperate to reach mindless idiots.

In the end when I called to cancel my free trial at the end of the six months they converted me to a "free account." I still haven't logged in, even free AOL doesn't provide a value proposition that is worth accepting their free services. That's how bad their UI has gotten.

Ultimately the responsibility for this cluster f*ck lays with the CEO of Time Warner. Long ago he should have fired all of the Virginia staff and opened more offices in the ultra competitive and internet-centric Silicon Valley. Out in Virginia they miss out on the buzz of what's new and coming, they miss out on the general savy of the entire software engineering and web design community in Silicon Valley. In Virginia the pool of GOOD web designers and engineers must be tiny.

Re:Obligatory: (3, Interesting)

cHiphead (17854) | about 7 years ago | (#20989607)

I used to work at AOL. I agree with every part except the last part. Time Warner related execs should've all been f'ing fired for letting AOL "buy" them with a merger of overvalued stock options in the first place. AOL had its chance to turn things completely around but the pointy hairs in charge wouldn't listen one bit to reason or common sense, the p-o-s aol 'client' was too precious to do away with due to its perceived 'value' to the marketing and advertising data mining. Ah the sweet irony of their crash and burn, just took a few years longer than expected.

Frankly, Silicon Valley can go f*ck itself as far as the rest of us geeks with (somewhat) affordable housing is concerned. ;)

I wish Google would just buy AOL out already, it'd be a real fire sale in terms of the value of the user correlated data mining.

Cheers.

Re:Obligatory: (1)

TheGeneration (228855) | about 7 years ago | (#20989663)

I'm not saying there aren't good software engineers and web developers outside of the bay area. I'm just saying that pool is severely limited. In addition being outside the bay area means you don't have your ear to the ground hearing the far off drum beat of the most promising future techs.

Those are two important ways that Silicon Valley companies have advantages in the tech industry.

Re:Obligatory: (1)

SageMusings (463344) | about 7 years ago | (#20989785)

I'm not saying there aren't good software engineers and web developers outside of the bay area. I'm just saying that pool is severely limited

Now there's a sweeping generalization. How did you arrive at that?

They're totally screwed... (5, Funny)

nick_davison (217681) | about 7 years ago | (#20989121)

AOL's trained its employees too well.

Boss: You're fired!

Employee: Sorry, AOL employees only accept termination notices between the hours of 1:13am and 1:16am, Ugandan time. Please call back at this deliberately inconvenient time. Until then, we will continue to bill you for our services.

Boss [several hours later]: OK, now you're fired!

Employee: Sorry, please hold.

Boss [several hours later]: Look, you're freaking fired!

Employee: OK, I'm going to sign you up for one more month of free employment.

Boss: I don't want a month's free employment, you're freaking fired, you stupid cretins!

Employee: I'm sorry, we accidentally disconnected that call. Please begin the process again.

Management may want to fire them. If the employees have learned anything from their time working there, it'll be next to impossible to make them actually leave. Karma's a bitch.

I feel sorry for the canned individuals (2)

davebarnes (158106) | about 7 years ago | (#20987963)

But, I don't feel sorry for AOL.
So easy to hate them for their horrible business practices.
May they disappear into dust.

Re:I feel sorry for the canned individuals (1)

Dragonshed (206590) | about 7 years ago | (#20988011)

>I feel sorry for the canned individuals

I pity the ones that didn't see this coming.

Re:I feel sorry for the canned individuals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20988907)

But what will people set their icy cold canned beverages on when those free coasters no longer arrive in the mail?

Re:I feel sorry for the canned individuals (2, Insightful)

nwbvt (768631) | about 7 years ago | (#20989527)

"I feel sorry for the canned individuals"

Don't. I'm not trying to sound mean, but there is really no reason to feel sorry for them. They get 2 months of severance pay and get to get out before things really get bad (read, bankruptcy). Plus now that they are no longer working for AOL, maybe their neighbors will be willing to befriend them again. They are the lucky ones.

AOL - TOL (0)

Sub Zero 992 (947972) | about 7 years ago | (#20987973)

A once crap company company now becoming truly crap: trailerpark online

Happy now? (5, Funny)

Scottoest (1081663) | about 7 years ago | (#20988005)

I blame this on all of you Slashdotters. For years you just HAD to casually point out how crummy their service is, and how morally repugnant their business practices are, and now look at what has happened!

Have you no morals? Will you not rest, until every poor person working for an underwhelming ISP has lost their job?

For shame, Slashdot!

- Scott

Re:Happy now? (1)

Nairanvac (912343) | about 7 years ago | (#20988629)

LEAVE AOL ALONE!

Re:Happy now? (1)

Scottoest (1081663) | about 7 years ago | (#20988743)

I mean it. If you want to talk to AOL, you go through ME.

You're lucky it even SUCKED for you BASTARDS.

- Scott

Re:Happy now? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 7 years ago | (#20988843)

AOL on Windows ME? I wouldn't do that to my worst enemy!

AOL and TW Merged (4, Insightful)

RajivSLK (398494) | about 7 years ago | (#20988007)

AOL didn't buy Time Warner, they merged in what was widely consider one of the blunders of the "dot com era". A blunder for TW that is. It is also considered one the smartest things AOL CEO Steve Case ever did. Many people believe that he pulled the wool of Time Warner's eyes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Warner [wikipedia.org]

Re:AOL and TW Merged (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20988103)

If you read the link you gave, you will come across the following:

"In 2000, a new company called AOL Time Warner was created when AOL purchased Time Warner for US$164bn."

Re:AOL and TW Merged (3, Informative)

Chris_Stankowitz (612232) | about 7 years ago | (#20988213)

According to the Wiki you linked they were bought, but it was done in a merger fashion.

"In 2000, a new company called AOL Time Warner was created when AOL purchased Time Warner for US$164bn.[3] The deal, announced on 10 January 2000[4] and officially filed on 11 February 2000,[5] employed a merger structure in which each original company merged into a newly created entity."

Re:AOL and TW Merged (1)

SevenDigitUID (1104081) | about 7 years ago | (#20988245)

Any insight into how AOL had 164 billion dollars? I mean, even if they started with 300 billion, after sending me all those Floppies and CDs over the years how could they have anything left over?

Re:AOL and TW Merged (1)

eln (21727) | about 7 years ago | (#20988297)

Overinflated stock value. Remember, this was in early 2000, when the bubble was still very much inflated. It didn't start to really burst until later that year.

Re:AOL and TW Merged (1)

davidsyes (765062) | about 7 years ago | (#20989093)

Yeh, they were smokin' laced Bubblicious back then. That bubble popped and stuck all over their faces

Re:AOL and TW Merged (1)

jbengt (874751) | about 7 years ago | (#20989937)

I assume, like in most failed mergers, they "leveraged their assets" i.e. borrowed more than they could afford.

Re:AOL and TW Merged (1)

davidsyes (765062) | about 7 years ago | (#20988501)

Well, WHO was the top partner?

(I'm thinking of the merger picture from I think an Economist or National Geographic or other mag, from about 1994, when two companies "merged"... There was a hand-written caption "Who is the top partner"... It was posted in the Shipping/Receiving/Mail Room area of Bay Networks where I temped back then.)

(And, to go to the way-back machine, to pull some words from Hall & Oates' "Did It in a Minute"... "If TWO become ONE, who is the ONE TWO beCOMES?"...)

Re:AOL and TW Merged (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20988237)

That's not how everyone views it.

After the merger TW shut Case out of management decisions. Then they ruined what they didn't know how to run.

Anybody who thinks Case pulled the wool over the eyes of some of the most senior business people in the country has the wool pulled over their own eyes.

Re:AOL and TW Merged (4, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | about 7 years ago | (#20988289)

He said "pull the wool of their eyes." It's like the strings of their heart, only softer and with a higher risk of retinal damage.

Re:AOL and TW Merged (2, Insightful)

eln (21727) | about 7 years ago | (#20988361)

Case took his overinflated stock and bought a huge media company with it, and got himself a very nice golden parachute right before the bottom fell out of the tech sector. I don't expect to see him washing windshields on a street corner any time soon.

AOL was a dialup company struggling to find its way in a world that was rapidly moving to broadband. The company's future was not nearly as bright as its past, and its stock would have plummeted even worse had it not managed to pick up a giant old media property before everything went to hell. Time Warner didn't kill AOL, it was already dying before TW got there. I think AOL's management recognized this, but TW's management didn't see it until it was too late, and they're the ones that got stuck trying to save a company that was circling the drain.

Re:AOL and TW Merged (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20988687)

Seriously, how on earth can you maintain that the TW guys didn't look carefully at what they paid over $100 BILLION for? It doesn't fly.

Re:AOL and TW Merged (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 7 years ago | (#20989303)

Seriously, how on earth can you maintain that the TW guys didn't look carefully at what they paid over $100 BILLION for? It doesn't fly.
Well, as Heinlein said: never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

Re:AOL and TW Merged (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20989599)

For fuck's sake are you retarded. TW didn't pay for anything. AOL bought time warner.
Time warner allowed themselves to be bought out, and accepting a lot of stock that turned out to be worthless so they got fucked over. It's not hard, just learn how to fucking read.

Time Warner sucks. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 7 years ago | (#20988319)

Man they bought Atari and then got hit with the video game market crash then they bought AOL just in time for the Dot Bomb...
The trick is to watch what TW buys. If it currently hot then it is a sure sign the bubble is going to burst.
On a good not they sold off their holdings in Google in 2004.

Re:AOL and TW Merged (1)

ranson (824789) | about 7 years ago | (#20988431)

Sorry, you are wrong. AOL did, in fact, acquire (read: purchase) Time Warner.

Re:AOL and TW Merged (1)

davidsyes (765062) | about 7 years ago | (#20988443)

"Many people believe that he pulled the wool of Time Warner's eyes."

OUCH! That must have hurt, spinning a new Case (of) yarn like that...

Re:AOL and TW Merged (1)

maxume (22995) | about 7 years ago | (#20989903)

Huh? Case's AOL shares when from spiffy dot com valuations to crappy old media valuations. He lost billions(on paper).

I guess he might have improved his 5 or 10 or 20 year position, but 1 billion, 5 billion, what's the difference...

donkey dong (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20988009)

TW are Idiots and they Killed AOL. (4, Insightful)

Erris (531066) | about 7 years ago | (#20988025)

The death of dial up did not have to be the death of AOL. TW had all sorts of content it could have sold as a subscription to it's user base before they lost it all. Now they are scrambling and suing their fans to keep their media empire alive. More savvy competitors are cutting into their sales via the internet with no base at all. They expect the treats to draw customers.

Bollocks. (1)

mckwant (65143) | about 7 years ago | (#20988387)

Subscriptions for content never made sense, mostly because you can't stream much of anything over dialup. Once everybody got broadband, AOL got left behind.

Besides which, how much pull do you think the AOL folks had in TW after the .com bust? (hint: not much.). I understand that TW killing AOL didn't make TONS of sense, given TW's broadband lead, which could easily have been co-marketed, at least. Remember, though, AOL also had a crappy reputation for quality of service (horrific login times once the "all you can eat" system started, those damned "downloading new user experience" things), so it really wasn't something you wanted a part of in your new broadband venture.

Plus, at least according to the AOL book I read, the AOL guys got to be tremendous a-holes as it became apparent that they weren't selling connectivity so much as IPOs. Again, consider some mid-level retailer, say J Crew, signing an exclusive deal with AOLMarketplace back at the cusp of the .com explosion. AOL Deal -> Instant IPO -> Instant megaBucks for all concerned. Until AOL started demanding their cut, and things started to fall apart a bit.

AOL killed themselves. Case gets a lot of credit for the TW deal, but it's hard to say that AOL set their own schedule for demise. IMHO, of course.

Re:TW are Idiots and they Killed AOL. (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | about 7 years ago | (#20989061)

They expect the treats to draw customers.
you do realize that it's not a treat for them to "focus more on advertising to make up for subscriber loss." That just means their current subscribers will see more and thus stupider ads. AOL is like advertisements online as it is. With unbelievable business decisions like this, anything that happened to AOL they brought on themselves.

Taking a break? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20989097)

From calling people "turds" [slashdot.org] and "idiots" [slashdot.org] ?

Where can I get my troll badge and immunity from karma depletion? You seem to be on the inside.

Re:Taking a break? (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | about 7 years ago | (#20989355)

Hey, give him a break - I don't agree with some of his views, so I'm pretty sure I must be some vile Microsoft-employed fuck who only comes on Slashdot to lie repeatedly in order to debunk his insightful words. Therefore, I am deserving of his disdain and insults!

Twitter! Erris! Whichever one you are today! Come hither and molest me with your Mighty Free Software Penis(tm)! Or you know, that other thing, the shutting up and dying thing. Actually, definitely that one.

(I shouldn't post when I've had 3 hours sleep)

Re:Taking a break? (1)

dedazo (737510) | about 7 years ago | (#20989997)

Eventually the mods will wise up to him like they did with his other sockuppet, and that will be the end of that.

Re:TW are Idiots and they Killed AOL. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20989951)

Dunno about that. I remember, back late 2002-03, hearing a dev manager at AOL mentioning that he thought "broadband might turn out to be one of those 'disruptive technologies'."

2002!

How meny of them are the people who are pay to.... (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 7 years ago | (#20988031)

How meny of them are the people who are pay to keep you on AOL.

Re:How meny of them are the people who are pay to. (1)

Taco Meat (1104291) | about 7 years ago | (#20988529)

I'm sorry...WHAT?!?!

Joe the Dragon's been Drinkin'

Re:How meny of them are the people who are pay to. (1)

GreggBz (777373) | about 7 years ago | (#20988599)

Try this link: http://danish.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org]

Actually slightly surprised (3, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 7 years ago | (#20988039)

more than 60 percent drop in Time Warner's stock as customers dropped dial-up Web access.


Am I the only person surprised to see this? Considering AOL used to be the top ISP in the country (IIRC), and now the cable companies are instead (like Time Warner), I would have expected that AOL-TimeWarner would have broken even on the deal. Or maybe even come out ahead, considering how much more they can charge for high speed cable modem access, with presumably an easier network to maintain than the phone network that is otherwise beyond their control.

I don't think there was any great exodus of AOL customers switching to satellite for internet service or anything...

fun times tomorrow (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 7 years ago | (#20988047)

The company will begin notifying employees of the cuts tomorrow, AOL spokeswoman Bentley said.

Back in the .com days, a company I worked for sent out a press release half an hour before the unscheduled meeting where the news broke. By that time, rumors were already circulating. And this wasn't a newsworthy company or even drastic cuts. It's gotta suck when you've got a 20% chance of getting terminated and 24 hours to worry about it.

Re:fun times tomorrow (1)

jeillah (147690) | about 7 years ago | (#20988193)

Oh they do that all the time. Sometimes weeks in advance. Lot's of work being done on the AOL campus to be sure...

Re:fun times tomorrow (1)

hobo sapiens (893427) | about 7 years ago | (#20988471)

If you work for a large corporation, probably the best way to get the latest breaking news (especially news of this type) about your company is from external news sources. Experience has shown that large corporations, for whatever reason, are extremely bad about keeping employees in the loop. Go figure.

Re:fun times tomorrow (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 7 years ago | (#20989917)

large corporations, for whatever reason, are extremely bad about keeping employees in the loop. Go figure.
Large being defined as more than about 5. I know that I have been deliberately kept out of the loop in companies of less than 15 people. For some reason, management thinks they are doing you a favor. My boss actually told me, proudly, "I've been shielding you from most of this nonsense." The nonsense being things I couldn't possibly care about, like how was our series A going, when are we getting those promised stock options, is there money for payroll, etc.
The real truth of the matter is that they need to keep you uninformed because you are viewed as a material asset and they don't want you to quit before they have time to sell to the highest bidder and then leave out the back of the plane with the last (golden) parachute.

Can't help myself... (1)

Fx.Dr (915071) | about 7 years ago | (#20988135)

*ding* "You've been canned!"

Re:Can't help myself... (0, Offtopic)

R00BYtheN00BY (1118945) | about 7 years ago | (#20988163)

CAN SSJ4 become SSJ4???!

i dont fget it why DOES HE ahve a ATALLL is he moneyk????z

SOMTimes I loihb onto RUNESCPAE and PJ (pkayer jumpin)

i am #3 in all server
i have dragon dagger

Re:Can't help myself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20988325)

*ding* "You've been canned!"
<AOL> me too </AOL>

Not done yet (0, Troll)

ZwJGR (1014973) | about 7 years ago | (#20988147)

2000 gone, another 8000 to go...

Keep up the good work!

You've Gone Pale! (5, Funny)

stabbycabby (1102591) | about 7 years ago | (#20988157)

AOL Keyword: Inevitable

AIM (1)

uselessengineer (1172275) | about 7 years ago | (#20988169)

What happens if AOL goes under? Does AIM Follow? or are those on different networks?

Re:AIM (2, Informative)

ravenspear (756059) | about 7 years ago | (#20988321)

The AIM network is run by AOL, although it is separate from their dialup subscriber network. Even if they go under it's unlikely this would be shut down though, too many users and ad revenue. It would most likely be restructured or sold to another party. Even if it did shut down, everyone would just switch to msn or yahoo.

Re:AIM (1)

TheWizardTim (599546) | about 7 years ago | (#20988373)

Too many people use AIM for it to go. If AOL files chapter 7, someone will buy AIM. It might even be Apple. Apple uses the AIM servers for iChat. I can't see Apple letting AIM go, at least in the short term.

Re:AIM (1)

stabbycabby (1102591) | about 7 years ago | (#20988515)

Oh, please, let it be Adium. Let Adium grow into a magnificent phoenix. A magnificent, Vista-compatible phoenix. That would be beyond badass.

AOL - a Web 2.0 company! (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 7 years ago | (#20988189)

AOL just needs to promote itself as a "Web 2.0" company. They are, after all. Social networking? Definitely, they were there at the beginning. User-contributed content? Yes, they have that. Interactive client? Yes, AOL has that too. Mashups on the home page? Yes! Mobile phone capable? Of course. They even had virtual worlds with avatars, back in their Q-Link days.

Will not happen (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 7 years ago | (#20988497)

AOL is now run by the same ppl that run TW. That is, they do not understand the net. All they see is ads and are still desperate to figure out how to make money with no work.

Re:AOL - a Web 2.0 company! (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | about 7 years ago | (#20989113)

AOL just needs to promote itself as a "Web 2.0" company.

AOL Executive #1: Hey, we came out with AOL 2.0 in 1995, wayyyy before Web 2.0. Didn't you receive the CD? If not, do you want one? Or do you want another one? I'll slip a couple in the mail just in case you need one.

AOL Executive #2: Me too.

---

In all seriousness, AOL announced their Web 2.0 initiative in late 2006: http://dev.aol.com/node/86 [aol.com] . Although, their blog is almost a year out of date, despite the fact that he says "soon!"

I'll be writing another post about Web 2.0 and AOL's new openness soon!

Submitted by kevinfarnham1 on November 7, 2006 - 8:25pm.

Here's to hoping they eliminate the other 80% (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20988205)

AOHell should never have existed. It is for those who are just too damned stupid to exist.

Re:Here's to hoping they eliminate the other 80% (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 7 years ago | (#20988481)

AOHell should never have existed.

That's not true at all. At one time, they provided a crucial service to the PC users in this great nation: a boundless supply of free floppy disks, conveniently delivered almost daily right to our homes and offices. It was only with the demise of the floppy drive that AOL's reason for existence went away.

Re:Here's to hoping they eliminate the other 80% (2, Interesting)

archen (447353) | about 7 years ago | (#20989965)

Heh, they had cool CD cases for a while too. I think I still have the tin ones. I got a weird wooden one from my boss who didn't want it. So I use that to carry around my "action pack" CDs to unfuck people's computers. The look on peoples faces when I bring out that case is priceless: "Dude I asked you to fix my computer. You're going to fix my computer with AOL 9.0?"

Luddites - No sympathy. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20988261)

With Internet access nearly ubiquitous, AOL represents a Luddite Culture I find offensive. There is a segment of Humanity holding us back and in the past. Let me phrase this another way. Lets say you had a debilitating illness. Your only chance for survival was to swap out your brain and put it in a Synthetic body created for the purpose of removing the threat whatever cancer or Terminal Illness was eating you alive. Instead, however, you have this large faction of Luddites preventing you from developing your life saving technology.

Thats what AOL Users are, people who fear change and advancement. Thats not good. For the Human species to survive, there has to be adaptation. Development. Innovation. AOL Users represent the reverse of that.

Re:Luddites - No sympathy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20989011)

Excellent idea, now go do as Mr. Hands did and earn yourself a Darwin Award.

Linus is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20988433)

I am with Linus on this one. For the life of me I can't understand what this sucking up to RMS is about. Linus himself does not think GPLv3 is a good thing. So why do people keep adopting it.
Without Linus FOSS is tossed. Not following Linus is dangerous for the survival of FOSS.

I pity AOL (1)

Neanderthal Ninny (1153369) | about 7 years ago | (#20988511)

I remember AOL had the easiest network/internet browser interfaces and it is a pity that no one has taken advantage of this. I remember in the 1990's that most companies that wanted to make a interface good simple User Interface (UI) used "AOL" as an example of a good interface to the common person. My boss at that time said that AOL is a interface that a grandparent can use the internet. For us geeks may look at the AOL interface as stupid but for the common person that doesn't have a degree in CS this is a simple to use interface common people could understand. It is a pity that Time Warner, AOL or anyone else could have patented (correct me if I'm wrong if they did) this interface and made money from it.

AOL should have called it a day already (3, Interesting)

GnarlyDoug (1109205) | about 7 years ago | (#20988553)

There is a problem with organizations. They seek to perpetuate themselves long after their purpose has been met. In AOL's case they made a metric a**-ton of money in the early days of the internet. Now, instead of distributing all that money and selling off divisions when the business model no longer was very viable and sending everybody home rich, they blew it all on trying to buy a new lease on life with Time-Warner.

This idea that once an organization or business has been created that it should try to exist for the rest of eternity is stupid. Folding before you have uselessly expended all of your capital when you no longer have a viable business model and you are not structured in a manner that allows you to change business models (very hard to do), is not only smart, but it is a fudiciary duty. Throwing all that money away on a long-shot gamble to simply continue existing is silly.

The bubble burst 7 years ago... (3, Insightful)

bigdaddy25fb (1166129) | about 7 years ago | (#20988859)

And we are still feeling repercussions from the burst...

If only losing your job at AOL... (2, Funny)

themushroom (197365) | about 7 years ago | (#20989083)

...were as hard as quitting your account with AOL.

Employees would get another three months of employment rather than terminated immediately.

Re:If only losing your job at AOL... (1)

bladesjester (774793) | about 7 years ago | (#20989319)

That only works if you try to quit. After all, I'm sure that AOL had no problem dropping "problem" customers at a moment's notice either...

What is this AOL you speak of? (1)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | about 7 years ago | (#20989503)

Do they manufacture sealing wax? 33-1/3 LPs? 8-track tapes? What? Don't believe I've heard of them before.

E4? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20989555)

fate. Let's Not Be ago, many of you all along. *BSD the project to dim. If *BSD is a losing battle; the problems ops or any of the join in. It can be 'doing something' people's faces at 'Yes' to any Though, I have to bunch of retarded We don't sux0r as all parties it's Don't walk around to keep up as AMERICA) might be influence, the me if you'd like, goals I personally [nero-online.org]. A previously every day...Like Due to the troubles When I stood for and shower. For Racist? How is legitimise doing stupid. To the comprehensive visit failure, its corpse things the right session and join in fear the reaper FLY THEY LOOKED the most. Look at abysmal sales and save Linux from a recent article put benefits of being NIGGER ASSOCIATION For successful

Not the quickest employees on the planet... (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 7 years ago | (#20989727)

Anyone still working for AOL really has a problem reading the writing on the wall, eh? Or maybe they were counting on a nice fat severance pay.
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