I am feeling a bit defeated today...

For those of you who are not aware, I've been helping spearhead a protest against the addition of banner ads in AOL Journals... (These are journals/blogs of *paid* members - if you want to know more about this, please see our site:

Well - yesterday, the "official party line" came down from the AOL execs: "The ads are here to stay"... But that's not what's got me depressed/defeated... (I expected that would be their response) It was *how* it was said... Condescending, belittling, *insulting*... And the letter made it perfectly clear that *nothing* we have said matters one iota to AOL, even if it *costs them money*... Because they are equally certain they can recoup their revenue off some other suckers... (Read Dollar Bill Scrounger's . . . oops I meant Mr. Bill Schreiner's letter to J-Land

So today, I feel like I am hitting my head against a brick wall... And I am unsure if much can be accomplished of our original purpose (to convince AOL to remove the ads, or hell, even amend the ads to give us some choice, which was more likely) ... At this point it seems that our only other recourse is to publicise AOL's complete lack of customer service... However, there will always be those who accept what AOL offers despite that... So where do we go from here...?

I know there are plenty of people who will say, "Well you were stupid to think you could sway AOL to do anything..." Not true... I didn't expect to sway them... I expected they would react adamantly opposed to any and all change... What I didn't expect is that they'd come right out and say (in so many veiled words), "Get lost suckers, there's more where you came from"... Your average company at least makes an attempt at looking like they give a shit, even if they don't... And therein one can usually accomplish *something*...

I'm not going to say I'm going to wash my hands of this yet, but I'm honestly out of ideas... And I'm not really good with the ideas, anyway... If anyone has *any* suggestions, other than media "bad press" (which we're already doing) or vocality on AOL's lack of customer service - I'm willing to hear them... Maybe I just can't resist playing David to AOL's Goliath, but hey, look how it turned out for David... And I never *could* resist the urge to fight "city hall"...
3 Responses
  1. Ken Says:

    Companies tend to listen more when their bottom line is threatened:

    1) Start sending out emails to your friends, bloggers, and especially newbies, stating an alternative to AOL. Yah thats pretty obvious, but losses in revenue is what talks.

    2) Online petition. Usually not effective, but can make news.

    3) Make an online video satiring AOL. Prime example: Jib Jab's video on Box Mart (aka Wal Mart) was seen on the Tonight Show.

  2. Virginia Says:

    Always keep in mind, that regardless of the outcome, doing the right thing simply because it is the right thing, is really what the path is all about.

    Truthfully, I think we DID get to them, as originally they had no intention to send anyone to the balcony to talk to the masses. After reading his response many times, I am starting to see some desperation in it. He wants us to shut up. Perhaps he needs us to shut up, and if that is the case, then that means we have had an effect and we should keep working.

    Personally I suspect that he was the one instrumental in putting the ads in our space, and perhaps he is getting flak from within AOL and that is partially the source of his desperation (ie the guy screwed up and needs to defend his wrong action now... just a guess, but it feels close to truth.)

    Just my two cents.



  3. Angelia Rian Says:

    Ken - Great ideas...! We are doing an online petition, but I think it needs to be publicised a lot more... And I *really* like the video idea... Thanks for the suggestions... (Is feeling a little renewed, now)

    Virginia - That's always what it's been about for me, doing the right thing... Fighting this won't benefit me, but if it benefits *anyone*, it will all be worth it...

    Re-reading that letter, I think you're right... We *did* get to them... He was told to "deal with us"... And I have *no doubt* that the ads were at least in part *his* "brilliant" idea... So I shall keep fighting, and making noise... Win or lose - we're doing the right thing...