bogus blabbing about AOL blogging

Don’t be suckered in by the non-news of the CBS MarketWatch story on AOL providing weblogs to its users. This is a rehash of the weeks-old Rick Robinson interview that Mark Hurst did.

Robinson didn’t commit to any weblogging tools being released by AOL, he’s just describing their existing messaging boards as being similar to weblogs. He also throws in an aren’t-I-tantalizing reference to AOL’s user pages being the largest collection of home pages in the world, without mentioning how underutilized those pages are, due to the rather poor tools currently available to AOL subscribers.

I know that AOL is aware of weblogs, and offering a useful tool to their users for creating and updating weblogs would be a terrific way to stem the tide of dissatisfaction that their increasingly shoddy user experience has engendered. Given their marketing skill, it shouldn’t be hard for AOL to communicate that "Blogs [sic] posts are like instant messages to the web."

Eventually, a simple, user-friendly, reliable and complete system will come along that lets regular people truly reap the benefits of personal publishing. If AOL made a move to release such a service to their users, they would probably even be able to justify the premium that people pay for their (currently) inferior service.

But no major ISP has done this yet. And AOL doesn’t seem to be any further along in the process than anyone else, despite what the CBS report might have you believe.