Borklog: One entry

8 December 2000

Dangi sent me this from an article about AOL over at
I believe that, by and large, what appear to be problems with product quality that AOL ignores actually are product attributes that AOL carefully manages. It might not seem this way as we're banging our heads against it, but there's little accidental about that garden wall. In the end, AOL doesn't succeed in spite of how badly it sucks, but because of how well it sucks.
Early at my tenure at AOL I was annoyed by a bunch of stuff that the AOL client didn't do, or didn't do well, or there was something wrong about some stuff I saw on the service. After I discovered that AOL primarily views itself as an Entertainment medium ("Seinfeld is our #1 competition"), much of that suckage became understandable. If you're a power user who knows the difference between POP and IMAP, AOL is not the product for you. If you can barely run a word processor (and I know many otherwise intelligent and capable people who can't do that), then AOL will be more your stile.