As noted by a co-worker... an interview with AOL's VP of Community Products:
Q: AOL is getting into weblogs?
Weblogs, over the last several years, have migrated to replace, in some cases, people's home pages. It's natural that the blog and the home page would combine. And when you remember that AOL has the largest collection of home pages in the world, it kinda gets interesting.
Hmm. I'm trying to decide if that's good or not. Anyone else remember when AOL first gave their users Usenet access? *sigh*
UPDATE: The url is fixed now.
Posted by jzawodn at December 16, 2002 04:56 PM
You're referring to The September That Never Ended, I believe.
FWIW though, my mother has gone from crying (yes, literally) when we tried to teach her how to use a computer, to using email, IM, and buying plane tickets online like it's second nature. Without "dumbed-down" AOL, I'm skeptical that would have happened in this timeframe.
Similarly, just because someone isn't very computer literate doesn't mean I don't want to hear what they have to say.
The happy thing about weblogs (as opposed to usenet) is that it's a hell of a lot easier to avoid reading them.
Having a lot of homepages is not indicate that they're quality ones. How many people could name ten quality AOL homepages?
It's great that they'll be permitting more people to enter the land of blogdom, but lowering the entry barrier will also cause the quality to diminish. The world of blogging will get a lot more blogs, but the quality will be diluted.
How will anything be different? Sure, you may see an influx of dumbasses posting in comments (as though I were not enough). But my blog will not suck any more than it already does because a few million people with AOL have one. Nor will anyone whose blog is actually worth reading.
The meritocracy will remain. This isn't Usenet, as K said, and we don't all have to read the same forum.
Your blog will be a lot harder to find if people have to wade through 100 less-than-stellar blogs.
How so? Not many people link to me, but enough do that I always have new people stopping by. I leave plenty of comments around which people can follow. That's how I found your blog, clicking your name above.
Add a few hundred thousand people out there looking for stuff to read, and I'm pretty sure I'll get more eyeballs. But that really doesn't matter. Most of us aren't playing the eyeball game.
That's a good point, however I often find new blogs via recently updated lists, and those will become less useful.