This is too funny not to post. The screen grab above comes from Qwiki, the visual search engine which came away with the top prize at our last TechCrunch Disrupt. Qwiki is still in private alpha , but it essentially assembles a visual narrative for millions of topics by pulling together images and text, which is read out loud by a friendly, female robo-voice.
When you search for “AOL” in Qwiki, it prominently features the slide above showing AOL’s precipitous decline in subscribers from 2001 to 2009. It is amazing how a picture can say it all, even if it is outdated. That slide pretty much sums up the perception of many people out there when you mention AOL. And algorithms too—Qwiki relies completely on its algorithms to select images.
Of course, AOL is trying to shake that past and move boldly into the future. Hell, it bought us, didn’t it? And, I must say, we are very happy with our new corporate overlords. In the past 30 days alone, referring traffic from AOL is up 7,948,666.67% (that is the actual number). May we have another?
Truth be told, the Qwiki entry on AOL could use some better images. Here is a better one to start with: