An open letter to the CEO of AOL...

...actually, an open letter to ANYONE in business. I know it's real easy for me to sit here and criticize, but some of this stuff is just so damn SIMPLE. Play nice. Share your toys. Leave it better than you found it. Works on the playground...ought to work in retail.

I thought we were friends. I really thought you liked me.

I have to be one of the few existing dinosaurs...I signed up for AOL 14 years ago, and have been a paying customer ever since. Being a creature of habit, I'm going to be really hard to run off. I do wish you'd stop trying so hard to do so.

My pictures? The pictures I uploaded to AOL for YEARS? Pictures of birthdays and pumpkin parties and vacations? Pictures that mattered to me and mine? I got up one day and lo and decided you weren't doing pictures anymore. That many years of my life, conveniently located in one place and...oops. Changed your mind. Screw me.

You DID offer to sell me a CD with all MY pictures on it. That long as they're in one place again, I can live with that. Only guess what? You couldn't sell ME a CD because...I HAD TOO MANY PICTURES.

WTF? You're only selling pictures to those customers with 25 photos or less? Those with 25 or less can DOWNLOAD their own damn one but someone like me (with thousands of pictures) NEEDS a CD! If you need advice? SELL ME TWO. I'll buy them.

Did I...miss something here? Is this not...backasswards? Is this not the epitome of cutting off your nose to spite your face? And case I wasn't confused enough...after you moved my pictures and then refused to sell me my pictures, you moved them to a website that...get this...

...only lets me download one picture at a time. My pictures. One. At. A. Time.

I hope they pay you a lot.

In 1994, I had been out of high school for 30 years. I haven't even figured out what I want to be when I grow up, but we had a reunion to plan. So I went into MY AOL, and started a blog. I loved the was easy to use and after I got the hang of things, I was on a roll. We hunted down pictures from first grade, pictures from the senior trip, pictures from ballgames and proms. We hunted down people we hadn't SEEN in 30 years, and got messages and notes and pictures from them.

And slowly, day by day and week by week, I put together one hell of a reunion blog. It looked good. Other classes used it as an inspiration for THEIR reunion blogs. It was a good thing. And got out of the blogging business, too. You very kindly moved it to another server...Blogspot, but the problem is I have THIS blog on Blogspot and...two different sets of people. And some of those reunion people do NOT need to be knowin' some of the stuff that goes on here.

I'm just sayin'.

So now we're at a crossroads. I love your virus protection. I hate waiting on MY content to load while I watch YOUR ads. I love being able to reach every place I frequent in a couple of clicks. I hate clicking on a news item on your opening screen and then being expected to wait and click three more times (I don't.)

The deal breaker? My calendar. I have a child in junior high school, and every move that child makes is college fodder. The out-of-town tennis matches. The assisted living volunteer work. The Sunday school class she teaches. The science competition....I'm going to have to have all this information at my fingertips.

And now I'm afraid to trust you. Because I've trusted you twice before people don't seem to be playing with a full deck.

Or at least a deck with pictures on it. And I don't have time to keep up with two calendars...there are actually TWO kids here I have to worry about, and I CAN'T AFFORD TO LOSE THIS INFORMATION. And I hate looking over my shoulder, waiting on you to pull another stunt.

This seems so simple. So very simple. (But then...I never understood handing billions of dollars to people who had already LOST billions of dollars, and telling them to do with it as they please, either, so...obviously you economic geniuses know something I don't.)

So I'll look around. Maybe I really DO need a complicated cell phone to keep up with my life. I didn't think so but then, I don't think any of THIS makes sense, either.

You people need to go talk to the bourbon people. They know how to run a business ;) And they've been keeping me very happy for a very long time.


Country Girl said…'s the awesome reunion blog, plus lame posts thereafter so we don't lose our spot.