AOL’s Top 5 Blunders of 2007

AOL's top 5 blunders of 2007

For the average person surfing the Web, AOL didn’t stand out for a lot of well-publicized blunders this year, in stark contrast to their inability to stay out of the press last year for fiascos that would embarrass any company with a moral compass, much less a company that once was the Internet. All the same, AOL’s blunders this year were surprising for how clearly they showed AOL’s lack of integrity, dignity, and direction. Unlike last year I had no problem deciding how to order this list, so no coin-flipping this time…

AOL leaks layoff news, handles layoffs by email, and mocks laid off AOLers.

Say what you want about AOL’s inability to catch up to the Internet these days, they sure can blow the playing field wide open for how layoffs are handled. How about employing managers who are so burnt up over how badly AOL treats them that they willingly leak details of the who, what, when and why of October’s layoffs to Silicon Valley Insider, making a previously shamed Henry Blodget of former stock analysis fame once more well-known and well-liked among industry insiders of all stripes?

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Netscape Will Revert Back to a Portal

Roll the dice on life without AOL

When Jason Calacanis (former GM of Netscape who morphed it into a social news site last summer) quit AOL, I wrote about how I hoped that in his wake AOL would change Netscape back into what it was: a halfway decent (if low-brow) portal. Breaking news announces that they’ll finally do just that next week. From the AP article (9-22-2207: it’s now deleted):

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AOL to Cut 25% of Workforce

Expect More AOL Workforce Cuts

If you think a Michael Arrington rumor holds any weight, you’ll guess (correctly) that AOL is becoming more screwed by the minute. In the followup post to his news that Netscape.com might be shut down, Michael claims aol.netscape.com might redirect to netscape.com instead, which in turn might become the AOL domain name wow.com to increase page views (supposedly as high as 3 million a month as it stands.)

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