America Online - better known simply as AOL - has received its share of being the butt of many Internet jokes, especially from seasoned Internet users. And unfortunately, so have users of its service. It's a sad thing because folks need to remember that AOL also has a place of importance in the whole scheme of things.
Whether people like to admit it or not, AOL provides a much-needed service for those who fall into its market. Granted, AOL's service isn't for everyone, but for the ones for whom AOL meets their needs, it may be their godsend.
AOL offers a community atmosphere for those new to the Internet. It also provides a centralized location where their members can become better acquainted with the Internet without becoming too overwhelmed. In a word, I guess you could call AOL's service comfortable.
Back in the days when Internet access wasn't so popular, I admit that I was an AOL user myself. I was also on about four or five other services at the time as well. For me, AOL was a convenience because most of my friends were on it. It was easier to go where they were to commune and chat than to explain to them how to do the same outside of AOL's realms.