Awww, poor branding

In what comes as no surprise to many Internet and news junkies, AOL Time Warner has announced plans to drop the “AOL” from their name. Even though AOL was the “buyer” in the merger (don’t ask how those numbers added up – it’s nice to have company stock, I suppose), this has come across in what many see as a way to get the ugly merger out of the minds of investors and customers alike. They say it’s not insight into the possibility of selling off the AOL property, but unless AOL is going to be branded as the actual broadband ISP, they’re going to be hurting, as we’re going for 50 million people to be on broadband connections in the US over the next couple years.

While we’re on this subject, I really don’t see the point of this “AOL for Broadband” product that they’re selling. If I understand this correctly, it’s basically their old “BYOA” bring your own access plan, but for broadband subscribers, and the service has high-speed content access. Big effing deal, if you ask me. Why would I want to pay for something that is probably out there on the Internet if you really look for it? You’re not doing me any favors. It’s like a few years ago, when people were thinking they were really surfing the ‘Net while they were on AOL, but meanwhile it was basically web pages that AOL was taking and putting into their own content, based on what they wanted to present. Why use an online community like that when you can use reality? But the consumers fell for it – once AOL just became slow, jammed up, and AIM became free and out there for the public, the point of their service just went away, in my opinion. They were just another ISP, but one where even an unused email address could get 150 spam emails a day, just for being in the Member Directory. What a joke.

Good move, Time Warner board – and I’m glad your stock symbol is going back to TWX.

How Crazy Is This?

TVEYES is “always watching” television to see if your keywords that are entered at the site show up. If they do, on any program, it sends you an email with a brief transcript, including links to the full transcript. So of course, I signed up, entered the word “blog”. Let’s see if I get any hits on television for that word.

It *seems* to be free, though I’d be curious to hear what the business model on this badboy was. Surprised this didn’t come out in 1999. The “parent”, TVEYES, Inc. can be found here Okay, so it looks like they have been around for a while, since at least 2000. They say you can have three keywords for free, but upgrading to “Gold” will cost you a “low yearly rate” for “unlimited keywords”. Fascinating. I don’t watch that much television, but whatever. Either way, I don’t see a way to get *off* the list and de-sign up. Hmm. Perhaps you have to send them feedback.

So why all the hubbub? Because it was on MetaFilter, of course.

Utah Tech Watch

Added the Utah Tech Watch to the news on the side. I’m probably going to make a link for “Pundits” or something along those lines, for non-book Author specific websites. If you’re interested in technology, sometimes from a Utah-based perspective, but with global reach – it’s a good column to keep up with. David Politis, the author, is the big boss at Politis Communications, a firm that handles Public Relations, Investor Relations, and the like.