A tour of MyAOL, a Personalized Aggregator

Frank Gruber is here,and hes showing the new MyAOL, here’s some of the features.

I really like Frank, I’ve been criticizing his company, and he decided to come over to PodTech to give me a personal tour. I grabbed Tom Foremski, Scoble, Sam Levin and Montana to see too.


Key Web Strategy

The key concept is that the old AOL homepage was AOL specific content, this new version is agnostic to all types of content. This is AOL’s opportunity to be innovative.

Who’s it for? When I think of AOL, I think of a less sophisticated web user. They’re still building this for non-aol users.

Homepage:

-When you create your experience, you select feeds and applications, much like Facebook.
-If you’re new to the whole homepage concept you can get started real quick.
-The feedreader is impressive, it shows highlights of the post when you roll over it
-Video Search, using Trueveo (spelling) search
-It pulls in Google Gadgets (it doesn’t pull in Google ID data however)

Personalization:

-Rather than choose specific items of preferences, it offers images to use which helps to categorize the content you like. A sort of user anticipated content.
-There’s a voting (like Digg) for which content types you like which builds a personal preference profile.
-Mgnet is a tool to help discover new content, (yup, pronounced magnet). It pulls in a lot of different feeds.

FeedReader:

They have a full feedreader with bookmarks. It appears somewhat similiar to Google reader, and if you save your bookmarks you could then drop them into a folder and share with others (like Google Reader’s Shared feed)


AIM:

Did you know you can “Aim Share” and broadcast a message to everyone in your network, much like Twitter.

Wish List
I wish that MyAOL had network effect, I would want to find out what people in my network were reading and how they were using it. There needs to be network features.

I can also see there an opportunity for applications to be built into it beyond Google Widgets. They say that’s something in the future to build out, yet another developer network.

We gave a bunch of recommendations such as APIs, community effects, Shared feeds, and other ways to aggregate the knowledge of your network.

We all know that AOL groups are pretty active, I’d like to see some integration to how it could be used for these tools.

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