Once upon a time, the web was a frontier of exciting possibilities and intelligent conversation. Then America Online (AOL!) started up.
The influx of American kids logging in from Windows 3.1 machines completely swamped online culture, and it hasn’t recovered since. And long past the time when you thought AOL should have died, it keeps going, like a possessed Energizer Bunny.
Those of you who count on American customers for your web business, you know you have to allow for AOL users in your digital strategy. They still make up a tiny percentage of the web traffic!
Now Time-Warner is going to spin off AOL after having absorbed it 8 years ago. Amongst other ballast they’re dumping, they’re selling off… wait for it!… ICQ.
It takes a special kind of chutzpah to put a $300 million price tag on ICQ, in these days of Twitter hype. Yeah, sure, ICQ will come back any day now! But for a company that got its start as a game subscription service running on the Atari 2600, and has since survived not only the video game crash but the dot-com crash too, chutzpah is its middle name.