Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(February 1997)

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Subject: Re: fresh horror from AOL
From: "Dr. Manion" <CEO @ Citadel . Net>
Organization: Execu/Quest Marketing Consultants
Date: Mon, 3 Feb 1997 13:27:30 +0000
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
Comments: Authenticated sender is <citadel @ citadel . net>
Reply-to: CEO @ Citadel . Net


I would love to contribute something that would help AOL become 
richer. But at the moment I'm spending all my free time cleaning up 
after AOL.  

There is a good concensus of the problem. However, it was you who 
didn't want to discuss it. Like a good politician, you keep wanting 
to misdirect the discussion. First by labeling it "AOL bashing". And, 
then by saying, "Well others will be having problems, too."

The fact is, the "others" may be a problem in some distant future. 
However, AOL is the problem now.

Sorry, Brad, as you can see this is a topic that many others, besides 
myself have concerns about.

It's ironic that the discussion was dead for a week and it was you 
who opened up the can of worms. 

Perhaps if you took off your "AOL hat" and listened to the problems 
which are being expressed instead of trying to have a "ready answer" 
to each one or dismiss them -- you might learn something.

In fact, many of the problems you are attempting to defend are not in 
your domain of influence. These are decisions which are being made by 
those in charge and with AOL marketing. 

Believe it or not, if AOL suddenly ceased to exist within the next 
ten minutes, the Internet would barely blink. All the projects that 
AOL is involved in, if they were of real importance to the Net, would 
be picked up by others, and we would all carry on.

None of my lists have suffered from AOL taking us off of their 
directory. In fact, we've grown because we have less interruptions 
from the "clueless" and we get into some real discussion.

You assume AOL is much more important than it really is. The internet 
grew without AOL's assistance. It will continue to grow, whether AOL 
is a part of it or not. 

As good as you are at programming and I take nothing away from that. 
I have read your posts and learned, a lot.  I am equally good at 
marketing. I understand who AOL's  market is. What they are doing and 
why. I understand the decisions they are making and why. I also 
understand the fallacy to their marketing and where it will backfire.

It's easy to say that everyone is "sue happy". But, there are some 
real problems with AOL. Problems that AOL doesn't want to answer.
The subscribers are complaining to more than just AOL. They are now 
contacting congressmen, state attorney generals and civil suits. Not 
just to jump on the bandwagon but because there are some *real* 

You see Brad, you keep asking people like myself to offer solutions 
to your problems. That's not my job. I'm not getting paid to solve 
AOL's problems. You on the other hand, are. 

If you would like to hire me at my $500/hr. rate, I'd be happy to 
provide some phone consultation. That's how much a consultant like 
myself gets paid. 

My job is not to solve your problems. My job is to point out the 
problems for you to solve. When one of my clients hires me, they 
don't pay me to ask them what the solution to their problem is. They 
pay me to solve the problem they give me. I wouldn't stay in business 
very long if I accepted my fee and then asked the client to tell me 
the solution to their problem. If they had the solution then they 
wouldn't need me, would they?

Brad, take off your "AOL hat" and step away from AOL for a moment. 
Take a look at what people are telling you, on this list. Write down 
the problems that people are having. List them. Take a real hard 
unbiased look at AOL and see if these problems are valid.  You might 
be surprised at how many are valid points. 

You won't be able to solve any problems until you first acknowledge 
that there are problems. The problems don't go away, by continuing to
deny there are problems. They go away, when you acknowledge them and 
then take steps to solve them.

There have been a few people who have offered the solutions that you 
requested. However, you had a quick and ready answer as to why they 
wouldn't work. Or, you ended up telling them "Well, this will be a 
problem with others, like...."

So, you see the problem and frustration many of us are having with 
AOL? First, like you, AOL refuse to acknowledge the problems. 
Second, since there are no problems they refuse to listen to 

Brad, either AOL is the "leader" it claims to be or it is not. A 
"leader" takes iniative and responsibility. So far, I haven't seen 
that from AOL.  There philosophy is, "We're not the only ones." 
"We're waiting for someone else to give us the solution." "Well 
everyone else is doing it." 



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From: "Dr. Manion" <CEO @ Citadel . Net>
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