There are lots of stories going around about AOL lately. Let’s clear some of them up.
- Myth #1: AOL no longer sells dial-up access.
False. AOL still sells dial-up and BYOA (Bring-Your-Own-Access). The good news is, AOL is down to 4 million subscribers from an all-time high of 25 million subscribers in 2005, with more subscribers fleeing each month.
- Myth #2: AOL does nothing but provide dial-up and BYOA access.
False. AOL does much more. AOL recently thought it was an ad company, but now thinks it’s a media company. Access is something AOL doesn’t “focus” on anymore, because most of AOL’s customer service and tech support calls are handled by employees in India, and the infrastructure for dial-up practically runs itself.
- Myth #3: AOL still blankets the US with CDs.
False. AOL does limited distribution of CDs by bundling them with Dex phone books or by sending them to certain bloggers, but other than that, the days of waiting breathlessly for your next coaster are over.
- Myth #4: The name “AOL” is now written out as “Aol.”.
False. The new “Aol.” moniker is a prime example of “branding”, like how I changed my blog’s name a few years ago, to improve my, um, “brand”. I’d prefer if you call my blog “Anti-AOL” now, but if you still call it “Marah’s AOL Log”, that’s OK, too. It wasn’t a legal name change, and neither was AOL’s. You can write its name out however you want. I prefer “AOHell” and “Aolol”, myself.
- Myth #5: “Aol.” is a meaningless brand meant to catch your eye and nothing more.
Well, yeah. But, no, not technically speaking. False. Supposedly, when you choose Aol., you choose the best brand for your lifestyle. (I know…the whole idea makes me sick, too.) So you don’t visit a blog on AOL; you visit “blog.Aol.” Adding the “Aol.” appendage makes you seem smarter and cooler (or, if you’re old school, l33t3r) than the rest of us.
- Myth #6: “Aol.” is pronounced…differently, so how do you pronounce it?
False. You pronounce it the same way.
- Myth #7: It is still impossible, damn it, to cancel your AOL account.
False. You can cancel your paid or free AOL account simply by filling out the online cancel form, unless you live in Washington, DC (AOL programmers forgot to let the District of Columbia in on the magic).
- Myth #8: I can cancel your AOL account for you, if you just leave me a comment anywhere on this blog saying something snotty like, “Do away with my service”.
Hello people, let’s get real: I can’t do that, OK? But the good news is, I think these people can.