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Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Next Steps for AOL?

After the recent search logs release, I can see a whole new range of AOL “privacy 2.0” features:

  1. Create a blog covering the “Most Embarassing Search of the Day.” Winners will be announced with photo, name and address. Alternative plan: A “Guess Who’s Searching” blog covering celebrity searches.
  2. Change the tagline to “AOL - Putting Research First!
  3. The Email Lottery Game: Pay a buck, get a random full email from an AOL user (including attachments).
  4. An AOL “Candid Camera” feature. AOL users install the webcam while surfing; streams of random users are showcased on
  5. The science-community financed AOL Transparency Initiative would try to lobby other IT companies to release their databases to the public as well.
  6. The AOL Bulk Mail API, a series of free-to-use marketing tools to improve the distribution speed of “product info mailing list”. Developers get easy access to millions of email accounts, and tracking options allow you to see who opened which mail when.
  7. AOL Desktop Search for Research. This product would give the international research community a chance to peek on millions of hard drives for “personalization, query reformulation or other type of search research.”
  8. AOL Search Buddies. This feature could allow you to meet people who search for similar things as you do. For example, when you search for “dating” and Susan from Texas also searches for “dating”, you will see her email below the search box.
  9. AOL CD RFID. AOL discs could be distributed with Radio Frequency Identification technology. This way, the locations of users could be mapped onto satellite imagery for everyone to play around with.
  10. AOL Search Security™. Make sure your kids’ search queries are monitored by a live support person 24hrs. Whenever your kid searches for non-kids stuff, you get a call from AOL.


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