Friendster Fone powered by GloPhone is coming soon.
Just like Kazaa's deal with Skype, the idea of community oriented calling is rapidly drawing upon us. Each are offering the ability to call your friends, and with Skype Out you can call to PSTN numbers.
But what I'm realizing is just how far off AOL was in looking down the road and really building in synergy.
First they had music and music delivery capabilities which they acquired to promote via their sites and pages, they had technology that they were already deploying that was sticky--AIM, IM, ICQ, they had music and video streaming and download abilities--WinAmp, Shoutcast, Spinner, they had a visionary team in the Shoutcast crew that developed Gnuetilla, Waste and who knows what else if they were allowed to do their thing...that when all rolled together was or could have been what all these other newcomers are trying to be.
What was most important was they had two very important aspects that all the newcomers are trying to acquire. Customers who pay and content that people want. The Warner Bros. library of video and audio is immense. The publishing division has tons of books and audio books.
But what held AOL back was the drive to create a new broadband experience on one hand and on the other the dedication to that cash cow they have, the dial up customer base.
Had AOL been able to execute on a combined strategy of tech with content it would have been THE one play that everyone wanted, especially younger audiences. Unfortunately due to all the internal, intercine corporate boardroom, executive suite and field level politics, none of the future could ever happen.