In other AOL news…
"It's become so out of fashion that horrible, horrible things can happen to AOL e-mail and nobody even notices," says Rob Beschizza, the managing editor of Boing Boing, a popular technology and culture blog that made no mention of the meltdown. Danny Shea, senior media editor at the Huffington Post, says that outages on popular services quickly earn their own hashtag—a way to mark tweets relating to a specific event—and a spot on Twitter's list of popular topics. "If it were Gmail, the #GmailFail hashtag would be trending immediately," says Shea.
AOL, which was once the dominant e-mail provider in the U.S., is now the fourth-most popular service, according to comScore, with 25.2 million unique visitors in December 2010, trailing behind Yahoo! (93.9 million), Gmail (51.2 million), and Hotmail (45.7 million). The site continues to shrink. Since December 2009, AOL has suffered a 19.5 percent drop in unique visitors.
"When you see somebody who has an AOL e-mail address, you think, 'haven't you heard of Gmail or Yahoo or other Web-based e-mail?'" says Daniel Sieberg, a technology reporter for CBS News, ABC News, and MSNBC. "You think, 'Please, come into the 21st century.' "