AOL Journals

Yesterday, AOL announced the launch of their new subscriber service, AOL Journals. I don’t understand why they chose “journals” for the name. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to use the standard term “weblog” or “blog”?

The cynical side of my personality remembers what happened to Usenet newsgroups after AOL became popular. Before AOL, the newsgroups were populated by a small contingent of technically savvy people who mostly carried on productive, intelligent discussions. After AOL became popular, most of the newsgroups I read became useless due to a decreased signal-to-noise ratio.

I wonder if introducing AOL members to the world of weblogs will have a similar effect. Will AOL Journals be a mass of mindless postings? A good argument could be made that we already have a mass of mindless postings — including on this blog.

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