Since joining AOL in 2006, I have worked on the product direction and strategy of two AOL products. The first of these was the myAOL personalized start page, which I covered previously when it launched in 2007 and was rolled out to 78 countries. The other product I have worked on is AIM.
AIM has been around a very long time - launched in the 1990’s it assembled the first viable social graph with the AOL buddy list. So I was excited to jump on board with a team of internal AOL thought-leaders in January 2008 to map out the future of myAOL and determine how it could interact with AIM to offer users a streamlined social utility. During this process we identified that real-time data or the “lifestream”, is a necessity to any social experience on the Web. AIM had a similar "lifestream" concept since 2005 called AIM Buddy Updates which I covered previously, as we relaunched it on the Web in the summer 2008. We concluded our work and learnings from the project and proposed a direction and then went on to acquire SocialThing, which I connected with AOL via TECH cocktail Boulder 1 to join the AIM team and contributed to the effort. Being involved from its original ideation till now, I am pleased to see the new AIM with lifestream come to fruition.