All of my social networking in one place? Yes please! Having to deal with AOL to do it? No thank you.
From my experience with Real Simple a few posts back, I learned that women sure are into organizing. Even I occasionally get the bug, so when I recently read that AOL had launched their Lifestream information aggregation tool by way of their Bebo social networking site, I was definitely intrigued. In a nutshell, this service takes all your updates, pictures, emails, etc. from sites like Flickr, Facebook, Gmail, AIM, Del.icio.us and Twitter and (in theory) lets you view them all on one handy-dandy dashboard. Cool idea - if it actually works.
I created my Bebo account using my old, clunky, no longer in use AIM handle and found (surprise, surprise) that none of my old AIM contacts were using Bebo. I would have to import contacts from other avenues like my Gmail address book. I wasn't about to drag others into this thing before I knew what I was dealing with.
After an oversimplified sign-in to add my major social networks, I found that the only feed I was seeing within my Lifestream, sad little existence that it was, were my tweets. Aggregator indeed. Facebook was completely MIA. I even tried updating my status there to see if anything showed up, but that didn't work. Now of course, something probably went wrong with my initial sign-up, but an exaustive, time-consuming search of the site left me with no idea how I could fix it.
At any rate, this is what it is supposed to look like:
So I was left with a fairly empty profile page needing to be built from scratch. There were all kinds of tools and apps available to build that page, but why should I be reinventing the wheel when I already have other social networks that fill my needs? I think my biggest reluctance to embrace Bebo is from my perception of AOL. I left AOL years and years ago, never looking back. They would have to do something major to win me over, and sadly for them, this isn't it.