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AOL Journal Beta - Mini Review

OTB got blogrolled by the first known AOL Journal. I couldn't resist the temptation to see it in action. The blog is Eric Akawie's Akablog

First Impressions

Overall very positive, even with the rough spots showing. The one major impediment to creating a successful interactive AOL Journal may be the requirement to login with an AOL screen name to comment. Blog City make this optional, and AOL should adopt that approach. The interface was a little heavy on the AOL icons, but that's to be expected.


RSS Feed - The RSS button doesn't work as it does on other sites (as a link to the feed). This may be confusing for newsreader users as they've been trained or told that they can drag that button onto most readers and be automatically subscribed. The button opens a pop-up and gives the feed address, but not in URL form (which could be dragged into the newsreader for automatic subscription). Using the icon differently than the most everyone else is probably not such a great idea. When entered manually the feeds work as expected.

Comments - An AOL (Or AIM, CompuServe, or Netscape) screen name is required to post a comment. Sort of limits the usefulness of the comment function. Once logged in comments worked fine, although there was no facility to add URL's as hyperlinks. I didn't test coding the URL by hand...

Trackbacks - No trackback feature.

Photo Album - Incomplete, I couldn't get it to load. Require AOL screen name to view.


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» The Southern California Law Blog linked with AOL Beta Bloggers Burst Onto Blogosphere

Comments (4)

I didn't like the interface... (Below threshold)

I didn't like the interface. It looks like PHP-Nuke wannabe to me. And, IMHO, even if you didn't know it was an AOL journal to begin with, your senses would figure it out soon enough. What is AOL doing that Blogger and Livejournal haven't done before it? Besides dummying down the content management tool. Your thoughts on that, Kevin?

The hard part to comment on... (Below threshold)

The hard part to comment on is the user interface, which I won't have access to since I'm not an AOL customer. I've got more questions than answers:

Can you put Blogrolling code in the Other Journals spot or do you have to use what they provide. Do you have template editing? etc...

Live Journal or Blog City may be the best comparison, although AOL's RSS 2.0 support is better than Bloggers even after the upgrade.

I agree it looks a bit like PHP Nuke, I guess the real question is how many templates are their, and what can you change?

When I get answers I'll let everyone know...

The photo gallery is intriguing, but incomplete. Even MT could use built-in photobloging, ala TypePad.

I dusted off my AOL account... (Below threshold)

I dusted off my AOL account to start a Journal yesterday. Part One of my review is here:


The Other Journals feature is handled through a series of text boxes. Name, URL, Name, URL, and so on. And you have no control over the templates. It gives you an option of one, two, or three columns, and three different post templates to choose from. And there are eleven built-in color schemes. That is the extent of the customization you can do to your blog.

Good for beginners, not good if you want any kind of control over the final page.

AOL Journal wants me to upd... (Below threshold)

AOL Journal wants me to update my browser. Thumbs down.






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