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March 15, 2007

AIM Pages is Incredibly Annoying

Earlier today I log onto AIM (through Adium of course), and I am greeted by this message:

You have 1 AIM Page Invitation(s) awaiting your approval. Please click here to review. Confused? Learn more about AIM Pages. Or, adjust your notification settings.

Ok, so it appears AOL is trying out a new AIM-friendly social network. That sounds like a great business model for them and I'm sure it will be as successful as any other new social network in the sea of them already demanding our constant attention.

Here's the thing: EVERY TIME I log on to AIM now I get this reminder. Every single time I start up Adium, the aimpagesinvite bot decides that I desperately need to be informed of my pending invitation.

But still, there must be a way to opt out of these annoying bits of borderline spam, right? Well, the IM does have a "notification settings" link that, when followed, gives me this helpful message:

AIM Pages currently doesn't support your browser, but we're working on it now so check back soon. If you don't want to wait, you can use the latest versions of Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Bravo, AOL. Bravo.

So I fire up Firefox, growing more irritated at AOL by the minute than thousands of free trial discs could possibly make me, and am greeted by the option to approve or deny my new AIM Pages buddy, we'll call him Joe.

Ah, Joe. Of course. How could I not remember Joe? Oh, I know! Because I've never met him before. His profile is more or less blank, and I have no idea how or why he found my screenname in the first place.

So let me get this straight. First, AOL decides to forcibly sign me up for their new social network without any notice that they are doing so. Next, they give me a public profile so that Joe can come along and send me his unsolicited buddy request. And finally, just to make sure that I don't miss out on all the fun of being best buds with Joe, AIM decides to spam me with messages notifying me of this all-too-urgent invitation that is waiting for me.

This is the web 2.0 equivalent of those 30-day free trial discs. Yep, AOL didn't get it then and they don't get it now.

Posted by Alan Joyce at March 15, 2007 09:33 PM

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