Sunday, April 30, 2006

AOL Has So Much Mobile Potential

AOL is sitting on a mobile goldmine but they just can't see it, or can't execute. They have a mobile search application on 20m plus phones. Wouldn't that be a good start?

From NY Times AOL A punching bag in need of a hit

Wall Street is not expecting sudden miracles from the planet's biggest media conglomerate. And, yet again, there is one standout reason for the blasé view of the company: the prospects for America Online, officially rechristened earlier this month as the zippier-sounding AOL.

The company is hoping to win over critics in the coming weeks by starting up a social networking product, to be called AIM Pages, that will compete against the likes of MySpace and Yahoo360 on the next Internet battleground.

Here's my idea.

AOL Could dominate the mobile search space with the mobile "buddy list" and Find Me application.

By sending an instant message to a special username of AOL, can’t you let them resolve the query? Instead of sending an IM to an AOL member, you’re sending an SMS/search query to an AOL server requesting/doing a search. Instead of typing in 46645 (GOOGL) or 44636 (4INFO), AOL has created the short code for you with a special username.

Let AOL label this username as MOBLSRCH in our buddy list. AOL could automatically add this name when you download or reboot. AOL establishes an easy way to start a mobile search when you IM MOBLSRCH.

The “Find Me” buddy application is the GPS function, and the buddy list with MOBLSRCH creates the search window. They already have their own mobile search application on 20 million plus cell phones. Will they capitalize on this? Do they even know what they have?

What do you think, is AOL DOA or AOK ?

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