Google’s investment in AOL

In this CNET posting, Google says that it’s purchase of 5% of AOL “represented a vote of confidence in AOL’s plans to transform itself from a shrinking provider of dial-up Internet access into a series of advertising-supported Web sites”.

Way back when, when AOL bought CompuServe, the positive spin was that AOL would bring the CompuServe forums out of the obscurity into which they had slid and present them in a new and shiny format to the millions of AOL members. AOL has developed a new and shiny format, but that format does not seem to make the forums visible to any search engines.

My hope is that this deal will allow Google’s engineers to work with AOL and Prospero, the developer of the new AOL/Netscape/CompuServe forums, and open them to the Google search engines.

A personal note: I’ve been a CompuServe member since 1984 and Sysop/Wizop of various forums since 1992. Currently, I am the Wizop of the WUGNET Virus Central Forum.