So one question that’s on everyone’s mind is why is AOL directing people to Yahoo Message boards. There is no official answer to this question but if we read between the lines we can figure out why.
The message board everyone seems to be ending up in is Yahoo’s ACC Message board.
What does ACC stand for?
ACC is the Atlantic Coast Conference, it pertains to a list of 12 colleges who play in the NCAA College Bastketball. The university of North Carolina will be participating in the NCAA Final Four on April 4th, 2009. People Connection has a heading called “Top Headlines” and the NCAA Final Four is very much so a top headline. Now this should explain why AOL is linking to this particular message board.
Well why is AOL directing users to Yahoo Message Boards?
Facebook, Myspace, on AOL.com?
Well first I need to explain AOL’s home page. You may have noticed in the previous year, AOL.com has begun linking to Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Ebay, and Facebook. AOL is trying to show the world how ‘cultured” they are by linking to such sites. It’s really just another way to show how they are no longer a “walled garden”.
Does this mean AOL is letting Yahoo take over the message boards?
No, let’s take a look at the People Connection page. Under the Top Headlines, it links to several other message boards. All of these message boards are not owned or operated by AOL, BUT, AOL is linking to them. Whenever someone posts a new topic on these specific message boards, AOL displays the newest topic as soon as it’s posted. Here’s where things get technical.
Do you know what RSS feeds are? Well to simplify it as much as I can, RSS feeds show the latest news, blogs, or message board posts as soon as they are publicly available. The “Top Headlines” on the People Connection page is just a simple list of RSS feeds displaying the latest post on message boards. Each time a person posts, AOL shows that topic. AOL members have pretty much hijacked a message board with topics unrelated to basketball.
So in conclusion, AOL isn’t really telling users to join Yahoo, they are just displaying posts from different message boards using RSS feeds. Since AOL users hijacked the Yahoo ACC message board, it appears as if AOL wants members to use Yahoo as their main message board. This of course is not the case.
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
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