Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Wondering if AOL Is About to Kill Your Favorite Service? We Can Tell You

AOL is about to shut down its Uncut/AOL Video Upload service, a move that caused a small stir over the weekend. But the move wasn’t actually news: Uncut has been on AOL’s hit list for quite some time.

What’s AOL’s hit list? Just what it sounds like: A list of 50+ projects that Time Warner’s (TWX) Internet service is shutting down this year. I first ran the list, pulled from an AOL internal report, earlier this fall. But for anyone who missed it (or perhaps was distracted by, say, the collapse of the world’s economy) I’m re-running it at the end of this post.

Note that a lot of these cuts are just different components of the same project. I’m assuming that’s because this list, which comes from an internal AOL PowerPoint, is supposed to convince someone that AOL is cutting lots of dead weight. So there’s some grade inflation going on here. And least one of these cuts is confusing — for more information about AOL’s relationship, or lack thereof, with Magnify.net, see this story.

But some AOL users are going to be or have already lost features they really cared about. The folks who use AOL’s message boards, for instance, are quite despondent. There is an upside for a few people, though — the handful of startups that have been able to capitalize on the void AOL is leaving.

In the case of the uploaded video service, for instance, AOL is recommending that people use Motionbox, a startup run by my neighbor Chris O’Brien. Even if you’re not an AOL video uploader, it’s worth checking out Motionbox’s freemium service: Basic uploading storage and distribution are free, and unlimited uploads are $30 a year.

And if you happen to have, say, compelling footage of your child doing something that is simultaneously embarrassing and amusing, Motionbox will let you take a 15-second excerpt of said footage and turn it into a cool paper flipbook for $8.99. I just bought four for holiday presents.

The Hit List:

Video/radio/Winamp
UnCut brand
HiQ
Fugu
Windows Media Streaming
AOL Video 10ft
10ft on 2, HiQ
AMoD on MCE
AMoD on TWC
Video Commerce
Predixis on Winamp
Ceased ingesting 3rd party videos
AOL Video DRM
Onstream
2CMedia Productions
UnCut on Mobile
UnCut Payloaders
HP IP enabled TVs
Magnify.net
Direct File Downloader
H.264
Userplane enabled-syndicated video player
New content management and ingestion system

Messaging/social platforms/homepages/toolbars/personal media/community
Transition US Chinese Portal
AIM Today
ADP-based AOL.com Apps
Transition AOL Pictures to Bluestring
AOL Hometown
ICQ Universe and ICQ Labs
ICQ2Go Java version
ICQ Pro, ICQ Lite, ICQ 4, ICQ 5, ICQ 5.1
Older AIM clients
Old ICQ Welcome Screen
Journals
FDO Chat
10″ Vista Applications
UNPT-based welcome screens
Big Bowl-based AIM dashboard
AOL message boards
X-Drive Desktop

Desktop & safety
OpenRide
AOL 8.0 and AOL 8.0+ support*
AOL 9.0 – Bunker Hill support*
AOL 9.0 Optimized – Thailand support*
Active virus shield (Kaspersky)
Free anti-virus (legacy McAfee)
Safe search & surf
Computer check-up

Mobile
Legacy WAP portal
WAP 1.0 portal

Email
Old Webmail product and infrastructure (Atlas)
AOL communicator mail client
Old mobile mail product and infrastructure (PigeonMail)
Old calendar product and infrastructure (Tardis)
Old sync infrastructure

Voice
Aim phoneline

*Apps still run


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— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”