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AOL users criticize blog ads

AOL users criticize blog ads

There’s a fair bit of press around at the moment criticizing AOL for introducing advertising to its blogging service: AOL Journals.

The New Tribune covers the story of Armand Thompson, a Tacoma-based U.S. Army sergeant.

The Washington Post covers Virginia Heatwole of Rockville.

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From what I can gather AOL has imposed the ads on paying customers as well as non-AOL customers using the service, and has given users no options to remove the advertising (for example by payment). Pretty poor form.

View Comments (5)
  • AOL has made a very poor choice in not listening to the desires of its paying customers. Many of us have darkened our journals and have stopped writing at AOL until they remove the ads from our paid blogs.

  • Poor form, indeed. And then to justify it by stating to the Post that AOL is simply following the lead of other blogging services? I, personally, know of no other blog hosting site which charges membership and mandates advertisements without consent of the blog author. But I’m anxious to know who they are so I may avoid them as well.

  • At first glance the report may not seem significant, however the numbers are very telling. I’ve read some of what has been going on with the message board, and there seems to be confusion with numbers as journalists try to figure out their significance after AOL’s claim to a “600,000â€? number. It is, I imagine, hard swallowing, because there is simply not a shred of evidence to support that claim. It is somewhat threatening and demeaning, which I believe is AOL’s intent on our emotions.

    Although, we can know not everyone has registered over at Pam’s directory, we can trust that the 995 people (journals) that had one time registered ARE real. It is a good representative survey. I believe that it is a first of its kind, in that, there has been no report, thus far, on AOL Journal numbers, or our impact representing the time and heart AOL journalists have devoted at their journals, or in visiting their peers as a byproduct of community spirit, or for that matter customers for AOL’s advertisers.

    I hope that more people take the time to read the report and that it gets passed around. In summary of the report, approximately 1/3 of the AOL community is staying with or without anger over the ad banners and treatment from AOL. 1/3 of the population hasn’t bothered to comment in their journals for over a month, and many of these have given clear intent on not coming back. 8% of the Journalists have been out on vacation during the uproarious 2 weeks, but had posted to their journals within the last month. 15% of the journals have quit the AOL journal experience directly. That reduces the number of journalists either having gone private or in having moved to 8% and 6% respectively.

    While the 6% movers may not seem a large number, it needs to be pointed out that is a number in addition to other obviously dissatisfied customers. This is something we are asking you to help communicate to AOL. Not only have they grossly misrepresented themselves to the media and us, they simply aren’t recognizing their damage to the spirit of their paid constituency. Good will is hard to come by, and in this factor they have and are failing miserably.

    Our best,

  • Sorry, I hope it is ok to publish this information here. I should have mentioned the report is called “The Exodus Report” and can be found at our blog

    Thanks, for giving this issue public attention.

    Our best,
    Ayn and all

  • Hey Ann

    Just because you passed math in Kindergarten doesn’t mean you’re a statistician. Your report has so many mathematical holes in it that it’s hysterical.

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