Yes, People Still Use AOL

Everyone knows that “portals” are an embarrassing left-over from the first Web era, a remnant from the time when we used to wonder how Excite stacked up against Lycos and The future, everyone knows, belongs to nimble niche pubs and narrowly focused “verticals” —  because Web users no longer expect to share the same home page with millions of other Web users.

All well and good. But if you want to reach the widest possible audience on the Web, it certainly doesn’t hurt to be on the home page visited by millions of other Web users. Example of the day: Gawker’s famous Tom Cruise/Scientology video, which generated 1.1 million page views the day Nick Denton posted it earlier this month. We are told, by someone who should know, that more than half of those page views came via a link on Time Warner’s (TWX) AOL News. “I didn’t think it was that much, but it was definitely significant,” Nick tells us via IM.

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