The Hyatt Regency, a beautiful hotel located south of San Francisco kicked off the 9th Annual Connections Conference today. Companies from around the world came together in order to share their different home connection innovations. A woman by the name of Tina Sharkey from AOL stood before us for the keynote speech. She started off with a few numbers pertaining to a day in the life for AOL:
53% of all people who are on the internet manage to make their way to the AOL network.
1.83 billion Instant Messages are sent. (heck, I can allot for half of that)
392 million emails
560,000 blogs posted
20 million photos shared
AOL holds exclusive music sessions, similar to an MTV unplugged session (but they are plugged), and rapper 50 Cent generated 6.1 million streams from that the first day.
Keep in mind that all of the people who generate these numbers currently pay that infamous monthly AOL fee. Here’s where the juicy part comes, according to our key note speaker, Tina Sharkey, the AOL fee that keeps me away from anything AOL (AOL Instant Messenger excluded), will soon be canned. AOL content will soon be available to all at “the internet’s favorite price, free.” Expect to hit www.aol.com this summer for all of it’s soon to be free content.
AOL has focused their sights on what they now call Generation C. From X to Y and now C? What does Generation C stand for you ask? Content. AOL sees internet users listing their iTunes playlists, RSS feeds, del.icio.us bookmarks, multiple away messages, screen names, and all other content as part of their online profile. This data compilation is the equivalent to an 18 year old’s wardrobe back in 1983. It’s a compilation of what defines this person’s interests and feelings, hence Content.
“So… Not my mom’s internet” Tina said after showing an AOL commercial with The Postal Service’s ‘Such Great Heights’ blaring in the background. “I don’t need to talk about where it’s going, ‘cause it’s already here” Sharkey said while explaining the concept of opening up AOL’s exclusive content to ‘the free internet’. First question in my mind was, why pay for AOL then? Does AOL plan to shove advertisements down our throat in order to view the not-yet-free exclusive 50 Cent footage? Hopefully not, they plan to make our lives easier by integrating everything we use. Tina’s example was as follows:
You look online to find a recipe for tonight’s dinner and make a grocery list. Then use the internet to find the best way from soccer practice to the grocery store and then back home. Send all of that information to your mobile phone so that it’s there for you when you get to isle 7 or are leaving soccer practice and can’t remember what you looked up. After you get home you check your email and RSS feeds to realize that Desperate Housewives is on tonight. You can’t make the broadcast time so you visit the website. Once there you read about Terry Hatcher’s recent award nomination, her latest Vogue interview, see her new red carpet photos, and via that same website –set your DVR to record tonight’s episode.
“Nobody gets online anymore, we’re online” –Tina Sharkey
I wonder if this will put an end to the AOL CDs that get mailed to me in those neato burrito tin cases?