We’ve been following news stories this past month about the Bebo situation. Previously AOL decided it needed to cut costs by dismantling Bebo or selling it. Tim Armstrong revealed that there were potential parties interested in buying Bebo. The exact companies who are purchasing Bebo has not been revealed at this time. Though we do know of one individual who will not purchase Bebo.
- Parties not interested in purchasing Bebo
- Michael Birch
Michael Birch founder of Bebo, in a previous interview with Telegraph, states:
“Most social networks have gone into gaming and I think somebody will buy Bebo from AOL as it still has still has a lot of unique users a month and that’s valuable”
He believes AOL will not get the original price of $850 million when they bought the site from him, but at least they can cover part of their losses. He also believes the demise of Bebo, as well as other popular websites can occur when large companies buy a product in which they do not understand.
An insider explained to Telegraph that a core reason behind the fall of Bebo was how AOL did not listen to the feedback of it’s users and focused towards implementing AIM/AOL features, instead of fixing bugs. We’ve covered a few of those bugs in the previous blog posts of last year, however, those were mainly focused on AOL/AIM integration to Bebo, and not the other way around.
Michael Birch believes Zynga would be a great purchaser of Bebo. Zynga currently focuses mainly on games, particularly social games like Farmville.
With the initial news of a possible Bebo shut down, users created their own petitions, groups, and websites dedicated to Save Bebo. You can read our initial observation here.
The buddy info option in Aim 7.3 beta is missing. AIM members are unable to edit the buddy info. Instead the buddy info button now links to AIM LIfestream. It’s possible that AIM Lifestream will act as the new profile page for AOL and AIM members, considering AOL has recent plans to either shut down or sell Bebo.
In order to update your buddy info you will need to use any version of AIM that is older than Aim 7.3.
We’ve recently found the reason why the buddy info is gone. Quoted from beta staff:
Good news! While Buddy Info is changing, you will (soon) have a place at Lifestream to provide the persistent information you used to place in Buddy Info!
Buddy Info will be returning, but as previously describe – in Lifestream. While it does require opening a browser window and signing in, the action of doing so from AIM will occur automatically and you shouldn’t have to manually sign in.
The steps being taken aren’t arbitrary, mind you. They’re coming with a bigger picture in mind and, hopefully, once we get there, you’ll fully approve. [via beta]
It appears AOL Lifestream will take place of the buddy info. It’s speculated Lifestream will become our new “profile system” as Bebo leaves AOL in May.
What is AOL Lifestream
AOL released a brand new update to AIM Lifestream, or should I say AOL Lifestream. It’s a service where AIM/AOL users can connect their social networking accounts, such as Twitter, Myspace, and even Facebook. If you use any of these services, AOL Lifestream allows you to publish your status updates to these networks. In essence, it streamlines the process of being on 3+ websites at once.
AOL Lifestream is also an app on iPhone and Google’s Android platform. If you are poor like me and can’t afford the two, you can join in the fun on different applications.
AOL Lifestream is available through;
The Lifestream application does not allow you to communicate to other AOL and AIM members through IMs. This application’s sole purpose is to view updates through different websites and allow you to input your thoughts by liking or commenting on them.
Using AOL Lifestream
When you enter a status update in your application, everyone who has you on their buddy list will see it. They are able to “Like” or “Comment” on it as they please. You’ll see a nifty little notification at the bottom of the AOL Lifestream application which shows you what new updates you have in social networking sites, as well as new comments from AIM members.
Clicking on the globe icon will show you a list of trending topics. These are just the most popular word in everyone’s status update. As you can see, AIM is popular amongst kids who are bored out of their mind with homework.
If you notice, there is a filter section that allows you to view only one network. If you want to see only twitter updates, type the word twitter. Or if you want to look up specific friend just type the first part of their name. In fact you can type shortcuts for the various things like twit, mysp, face, digg, photo, video, etc.
Removing AOL Lifestream
If you add random people to your buddy list, their lifestream updates will show up.
The screenshot above is a great example of someone who may not understand the functions of AOL Lifestream. If you add someone on your buddy list, you will automatically follow their lifestream updates. You can alternatively view anyone’s lifestream updates without following them by viewing their buddy info or inputting their screen name through:
If you don’t want to see a certain person’s lifestream updates, remember to remove them from your buddy list.
If you want to turn off AOL Lifestream, head to the Settings Page. Clicking the trashcan icon will remove your connections to these services. Alternatively you can also click the drop down box and select “No one -Private”. Don’t forget the drop down box for the “AIM” service which will stop any of your status updates and away messages from showing up in the Lifestream tab. If you scroll down further you can disable commenting by selecting “Only You (private)”.
Generally I love the new design AOL is taking with the AIM website. All of the ads are gone and everything is streamlined. The same design style goes on to AOL Lifestream, now if only they could apply it to the message boards. As for the Adobe AIR Application, I do like how it instantly notifies me at the bottom of the screen. I’m not sure if this application is useful per say, it’s more like a time waster. It’s practical to use this service within the AIM program, unless you are mobile and have to rely on the iphone or android app.
It appears there are those who don’t know how to chat with Facebook friends on AIM. Yes despite how there’s a huge banner that asks if you want to use Facebook Connect. Well maybe you closed it out or you really don’t understand the process, so here’s how you do it very quickly.
Choose your version of AIM
You need to download or use a specific version of AIM to start this process. You have only three choices:
These are the only three versions that include the new Facebook chat feature. While you are installing AIM, you can set up your Facebook account by going to the Aim Lifestream website.
Adding Facebook to AIM Lifestream
f Connect allows third party websites like AOL to sign into Facebook
Head over to AIM Lifestream:
- Enter your AIM login details.
- Click on Settings in the top right corner.
- Click ADD near the Facebook Icon.
- Click fConnect.
- Enter your FACEBOOK login details.
Once you complete the process, your AIM screen name will be synced to your Facebook account. This synchronization will appear on all beta versions of AIM that support this feature. So you do not need to repeat these steps for each client. You can also add as many screen names as you want to the same Facebook account!
Within your buddy list check for the Facebook icon and full names of your friends on the buddy list.
Facebook Status Update Through AIM
Click that little Facebook Icon
To send a status update through AIM, you must activate the Facebook icon within the status update box. If you hover over the Facebook Icon it will say “Also update your status on Facebook (updating is OFF/ON).” If it’s turned on, it will first show up in your AIM Lifestream, and might take a while before it shows up in your actual Facebook profile.
If you click that little +photos icon at the top right corner you can also add post images to your Facebook Status. Pretty neat!
Facebook And AIM Problems
A sample of issues that affect AIM 7.2. Pay particular attention to the ones highlighted in purple, as your very likely to hit these problems through daily use.
- There can be a delay in seeing your Facebook friends go online, offline or idle.
- If you have a very large number of Facebook friends it can take a minute to load your AIM Buddy List, and you will not be able to IM until the Buddy List is loaded.
- Messages sent to an offline Facebook buddy will not be delivered when they come online.
- When you login to AIM as invisible, you will see a non-working “Sign In to Facebook Chat” prompt under your Facebook groups on the Buddy List, and in the Buddy List menu.
- An empty Facebook Friends group will appear on clients that are not Facebook enabled/capable
- If you are using IM forwarding to send IMs to your mobile device, you will receive, but not be able to reply, to messages from Facebook friends.
- Occasionally the association between AIM and Facebook account is lost with no visible user notification
- IMing Facebook friends while your AIM privacy is set to ‘Allow only users on my Buddy List’ causes IMs to be bounced back.
- Your Facebook friends’ status message from Facebook will not be shown in the AIM buddy list, next to their name.
Just like Bebo Friends, the “Facebook Friends“ buddy list group will get added to your buddy list and will stay permanently until you remove yourself from Facebook Connect.
Currently there may be a bug where your Facebook Friends group shows zero Friends online even though they are supposed to be on. As this bug is currently being researched the suggestions would be to ensure “online presence” is checked on the Facebook Privacy page. Also check that your buddy list privacy settings are not set to allow only users on my buddy list.
Facebook Application Settings
Also check for the following:
- On Facebook.com, Click Account
- Click Application Settings
- Click Edit Settings Under AIM
- Ensure “Log into Facebook Chat on my behalf” is checkmarked.
As the settings on this page are straightforward, having one of them unchecked means that feature would not work within AIM. Is Publish to Streams unchecked? Well you wouldn’t be able to update your facebook status through AIM would you?
This method only works in Beta 3 version of Aim 7
Aim 7.1 users read here
So you’ve been enjoying AIM 5.9′s incredibly familiar red and blue screen name colors. AIM 7 replaces the screen name color scheme yet again with a pretty natural green and a horrendous brown color.
Fear not, you can change these screen name colors to any color you wish to use.
You will do this by editing one extremely long file with notepad. So let’s get started!
Preparing your files
The first step is to find the file that controls screen name colors.
This folder is located at
Simply copying and pasting the above path will not work in Windows Explorer. You must manually navigate to the folder using My Computer if you have Windows XP or Computer in Windows Vista.
Ver7### represents your Aim 7 version number which you will instantly see if you navigated to the folder manually.
en-US is the language and region folder. Obviously if you are using the Spanish language of AIM7, the folder’s name would change to sp-US, or french would be fr-FR. This last folder will be instantly obvious if you manually navigated to the folder.
As you reach that folder open notepad. You will drag the file strings.xml into notepad.
Strings.xml controls a lot of stuff. It’s imperative that you do not try to edit anything else in this file unless you know what you are doing. You might want to expand notepad’s window a bit so you can see what you are doing.
Changing Your Screen Name Color
Search for the line below.
Note the HTML color code is highlighted in brown. Use the HTML Color Code site to insert a color of your into this area. After you are done you can save the file and RESTART AIM.
Changing Other Screen Name Colors
Similar to Aim 6, you can edit the colors of other screen names. Remote.color is located a tad below the local.color so it should be easy to find. Remote.color.0 represents the person who IMs you. Any number higher than 0 represents chatroom screen name colors.
<string name="imForm.history.header.remote.color.0">#0172F3</string> <string name="imForm.history.header.remote.color.1">#0052a3</string> <string name="imForm.history.header.remote.color.2">#0860A8</string> <string name="imForm.history.header.remote.color.3">#F91361</string> <string name="imForm.history.header.remote.color.4">#0197B5</string>
The colors of the first 5 screen names in a chatroom are already highlighted for you. You can change any of them by typing any HTML color code you want. After you are done save the file and RESTART AIM.
In a previous post on the People Connection blog, AOL announced changes would be coming to the AOL Message boards. These changes included a new look for popular message boards, while the other boards would retire. On March 31st, the entire message board system was down. On April 1st, the old format boards re-appeared for a few moments then quickly vanished.
It seems AOL will be moving some message boards over to their blog network as seen with Fanhouse forums. Other message boards will be under AOL’s many themed portals such as the AOL Autos and AOL Travel and AOL Developer Forum.
The complete list of available boards can be found on the People Connection page but a majority of the boards are missing. The highly popular Rants and Raves, This and That, Computer and Electronics, and Religion boards, are interestingly missing. AOL has not released a statement whether those boards would return or if they have been retired.
Since many of the AOL Message Boards are down, users have huddled over to other websites. There’s currently an AOL thread on Yahoo message boards, while other members have started their own message boards on Yuku.com
AOL Message Board Gathering Areas
The migration of AOL Profiles to Bebo didn’t go as smoothly as planned. For the most part there seems to be great lack of knowledge among AOL members over the inner workings of Bebo. AOL will have to address these issues in some shape or form. These issues were posted by members on various forums and websites.
Each issue is color coded based on whether a workaround exists or not. Workarounds are linked to the individual who found the solution. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to figure out all the problems you have with Bebo, However, if you find a solution to a problem please post in the comments section. I will keep this list up to date as I get notified of new details.
Unable to change gender from Male to Female
Description: Users have reported they are unable to change their gender from Male to Female. When a user changes to their appropriate gender, Bebo will reset as if the changes were not made.
AOL’s Response: No response from AOL could be found.
Workaround: No known workaround.
Bebo added extra numbers to my screen name or someone with my screen name is using my profile.
Description: Some screen names may find they have extra numbers added to their Bebo profile. Bebo will add extra numbers to your screen name if someone already registered your name before the Bebo transition. For example, if your screen name is “Sally”, and someone registered that name on Bebo before you, your Bebo profile will add numbers “Sally12″ so that both of you won’t have the same profile.
Bebo messages sent to the wrong AOL user who shares the same screen name.
Description: There are some scattered reports of AOL users who have the same screen name with another Bebo member. The AOL users who report appear to be confused that someone on Bebo registered their screen name before them and thus their screen name now has numbers added to it.
The complaints arise from AOL users who receive messages that were addressed to the original Bebo username. Unfortunately, we don’t have much information about this particular bug as very very few people reported it. It’s possible that there may be a glitch where two Bebo users are sharing the same inbox, but their profiles are entirely different. If you have a problem similar to this please comment below.
Bebo did not migrate information and photos from AOL Profiles
Description: Some users reported how their profiles were completely wiped out when they transitioned over to Bebo.
Workaround: Lucien Iteratus posted a workaround where you can access your old AIM Profiles for a limited time. Essentially you should copy information from that profile over to the Bebo profile. This backdoor has been shut down by AOL. In April 09, AOL has moved all AIM photos into Bebo.
- Copy and Paste the address below.
- Replace xx with your screen name
AOL’s Response: AOL has not addressed lost information. AIM Photos have successfully transferred over during April, 09.
Unable to edit basic profile information.
Description: Some users are unable to edit their profile information. When one tries to change this information the profile reverts back as if no changes were made.
Workaround: AOL Message board member Moondancer posted a workaround. Click “Edit Profile” at your Bebo.com profile. In the “Name” text box, make the first letter uppercase. If you change the first letter to lowercase, Bebo will not allow you to save any changes.
AOL’s Response: No response from AOL could be found.
Buddy Group “Profile Friends” shows up in your buddy List and cannot be deleted. The message “An error has occurred please try again later” appears if you try to delete the group on AOL.
Description: Some users reported a buddy group called “Profile Friends” on their AIM Buddy List. Members are unable to delete the group. The screen names of your Bebo.com friends will get added to this group. Removing your friends from Bebo will delete them from your buddy list.
Workaround: AOL Message board member Soozy posted a workaround. After April 6th, AOL has fixed this bug.
- Sign into Bebo.com with your AIM screen name.
- Click “Friends” at the top black bar in the website.
- All your friends will be listed with a Red X at the top right corner of their picture.
- Click the Red X to delete each of your friends from Bebo.com
- After you remove ALL your friends from Bebo.com, sign off of AOL or AIM.
- Sign back onto an official AOL / AIM program and the “Bebo Friends” group will be gone.
- The “Bebo Friends” group will reappear if you add a new friend to Bebo.com
- If you cancel your Bebo account, it will take 24+ hours before the buddy group is removed from your buddy list.
AOL’s Response: “At this point we do not support deleting Bebo Groups” -dev forum
Recommendation: AOL should allow the option of turning on or off your Bebo Friends group. Currently there is no way to manually delete the group without deleting all your friends.
AOL Profile module, “Code Snippet”, is missing on some profiles.
Description: In this case the AOL exclusive module, “code snippet”, is missing for AOL/AIM profiles. Bebo forbids adding AOL exclusive modules to your page even though your profile originated from AOL/AIM.
Workaround: No workaround exists yet. You can try an alternative application. If you entered text within Code Snippet before February, 2009, it will show up in your Bebo modules list.
AOL’s Response: No response from AOL could be found.
Friends from previous profile are missing with Bebo update
Description: Some friends who were added before the Bebo migration do not show up now.
Workaround: Visit your friend’s profile and manually add them back.
AOL’s Response: AOL is aware of this issue and included it in a blog posting. AOL automatically updated the missing friends during a 3/20/09 update.
Unable to edit About Me and code snippet modules
Description: Some users are unable to edit the “About Me” and “Code Snippet” module.
Workaround: Both “About Me” and “Code Snippet” modules do not support Internet Explorer 6. You will need to upgrade your browser to one of the choices presented on this browser upgrade page.
AOL’s Response: Bebo states some features are not supported by older versions of Internet Explorer.
Recommendation: Since other modules are compatible with IE6, these two modules should be reprogrammed.
[AOL/AIM Bebo Migration Guide]
AOL has released a brand new version of AIM for Macs through its beta website. No, this is not Aim 4.7 that was released several years ago, this is a brand new 2008 version that follows behind Aim 6 for Windows. Though this has been released a while ago, the lack of advertising has Mac users still complaining about Aim 4.7.
- Customize Aim icons, Wallpapers, and Emoticons, and Sounds
- Tabbed IMs just like Aim 6
- Aim Groups, Aim Blast, Aim Chats
- Aim File Transfer even while buddy is away
- Friendly/Nickname support
- Full Offline IM support
Feedback & Bugs
While this product is in beta, expect some bugs to appear. Background color for text may not show up. Offline IMs may appear twice. Generally users have been very happy with this release, so Mac users should try it out too if you dislike iChat or Adium.
Download Aim For Mac
Download is available at AOL Beta.
AOL Journals has finally called it quits after 5 years. Through the years it went through a few rough spots, but managed to create a small dedicated user base whom enjoyed networking with their peers. On October 31st, 2008, AOL Journals will cease to exist. Leaving many of it’s dedicated following frustrated over it’s demise.
Migrate to Blogger
The next step for AOL Journals users is to migrate their account to Blogger. Interestingly, AOL has teamed up with Google to create a transfer tool to ease the process for you. Though, after you migrate your blog, I recommend exporting it to another platfom. If you need help on the import process, visit Blogger Help AOL Import.
A Brief History
When AOL Journals initially launched, it felt as though it was a replacement for AOL Hometown. AOL Hometown was a basic website generator, but was very limited, and used an overly annoying Java script application to run it. Instead of using AOL Hometown to describe oneself, AOL Journals was meant to serve as a blogging outlet for all members. AOL Journals could not manage gain much popularity among the main user base. This could be because it due to lack of advertising, for one there were no AOL Journals tabs in AOL Profiles, one of the highly viewed features on AOL.
To generate some buzz, The The Magic Smoke began as a blog that would feature other bloggers and provide up to date information regarding features, bugs, and outages. This blog expanded further on community development, and lead to the creation of CoMET, which served as a guide for new and old AOL members.
Even AOL’s own developers joined the AOL Journals platform, where we could get a behind the scenes look on what to expect. Among the years AOL Jounals added some new features including tagging support, RSS feeds, and integration of “whitelisted” embeddable content such as Flickr slideshows.
Limited Features: A Brief History Part 2
Even with such features AOL Journals just could not gain a large grasp on AOL members. Sure many started their own journal, but abandoned it usually after the first post. The lack of customization was a huge deterrence. Though some customization through CSS was planned, it never really saw the light of day. Later on, even AOL’s own development and community teams moved outside of AOL Journals and started their own websites. After AOL acquired BlogSmith, all major blogs began utilizing this platform.
Whats next in store for AOL?
Well all I can really speculate is Bebo. AOL did acquire them and we have yet to see what they are planning to do with it. We do know they will integrate AIM Profiles in some form. In addition, Bebo also has its own blogging platform.
This previous issue has been fixed.
There have been many reports about users unable to send any messages in AIM Chatrooms. The error message is as follows:
OnlineHost: We’re sorry, we are unable to send your message. Please remove the Web address and try again
This occurs for most of the messages that are sent even though there are no web links in your text. This is an AOL HOST issue, this means that AOL and only AOL can fix it. In the meantime there are several workarounds you can do to avoid this problem.
The first workaround involves upgrading your version of Aim to Aim 22.214.171.124 or Aim 6.9. You can upgrade your Aim versions by following the links below
You can use either version to fix the problem. Unfortunately users of Windows Me, MAC, and Windows 98 will be left out. This includes iChat, Adium, Meebo, T-mobile Sidekick, and others.
The Great Divide
Time Warner plans to split AOL into two factions, an advertisement unit and a dial-up unit. The plan will be to sell off each unit to potential buyers.
Dial-up users do not make up the majority on AOL so giving them away won’t be such a big deal. Plus this means that AOL will finally have no use for India call centers, although they still might work as online tech support.
The advertising unit also known as Platform A, accounts for the whole AOL community, but mainly focuses on Ad.com. Platform A consists of tons of websites and brands all across the internet. Its a very lucrative spot to potential buyers as they will have ad spots in tons of areas including the massive AIM user base.
I am a Dial-up User, Where do I go?
Earthlink has been in talks to take over dial-up subscribers. I believe dial-up users will be switched over to an entirely new Earthlink email address, Their AOL account will automatically be switched over to free and they will be encouraged to use both emails. This is just purely speculation.
I am a Broadband User, Where do I go?
As for the advertisement unit, it looks like we’ll end up joining Microsoft or Yahoo, or hopefully someone else who wants to step up to the plate.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
The most interesting part of this merger is the drama between each of the major companies. Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft are battling it out to gain the largest footprint over internet advertisement revenue. If AOL merges with Yahoo, Microsoft gets upset. If AOL merges with Microsoft, Google gets upset. Added to this problem includes the recent deal Yahoo and Google are making to share advertisement plans. Microsoft isn’t so happy about that either and wants the decision blocked. I’m hoping neither of these companies buy AOL. As you can see its already a tangled mess. Joining forces with AOL will only complicate matters.
If Microsoft or Yahoo does indeed buy AOL, interoperability will finally be on the table. Whoever buys AOL will now have to integrate all AOL screennames together with the buyer’s IM service. For the first time we may finally have AIM with the ability to add Microsoft and Yahoo subscribers to the buddy list. I know many have have been clamoring for that.
The other great feature is advertisement revenue. Now Yahoo or Microsoft will have an even larger audience to host advertisements, including non-AOL owned websites that Ad.com serves.
The Buzz Around the Internets
There seems to be no agreement as to who should buy AOL. One thought is that If Microsoft buys AOL, it could allow Yahoo to prove themselves to investors that they can run independent of Microsoft. Another speculates that AOL won’t be able to save the Microsoft brand. We may find ourselves watching the same thing happen years from now when Microsoft announces it will try to sell off AOL.
During this battle, users are always the victims. If I were to choose a company that could attempt to save the AOL community to bring them back together, I would choose Yahoo. Yahoo has proven its expertise in this aspect with sites such as Yahoo Groups and Yahoo Answers.
What do you think will happen to AOL?
Post a comment on your ideas and thoughts as to what might happen to AOL. You’ll have to wait until 2009 its announced what plans AOL will be forced to make.
OS X Leopard is a skin featuring a design similar to Apple’s OS X Leopard.
OS X Leopard is a part of the OS skin pack which includes five skins:
- AIMXP Blue
- Vista Basic
- OSX Leopard
- OSX Leopard White
Each skin is included in the pack, you do not need to download them separately.
- Deleting an AIM or AOL Screen Name Account
- What is AOL Lifestream? How to Use it or Remove it?
- Facebook Groups showing up in News Feed (Facebook Privacy Issue)
- More Myspace Phishing Attempts with MyspaceTV
- The Sims 3: Stuck with Low Moods; Miserable after Latest Patch Workaround
- The Sims 3: The Road to Sunset Valley
- Stop Quicktime from Playing Mp3 In Internet Explorer