AOL Channels

By Conhaim, Wallys W. | Information Today, June 2004 | Go to article overview

AOL Channels


Conhaim, Wallys W., Information Today


Most content on AOL is clustered around channels that organize information from diverse sources and present it in a lively, compelling manner.

For example, the information-rich Research & Learn channel includes content from dictionaries, encyclopedias, white and yellow pages, and maps. It also provides information about colleges, lifelong learning, science, and history and offers access to online classes, degrees, homework help, and quick reference.

On the left of the home page are lists of subjects and education resources. In the center, there's a search box for the World Book Encyclopedia and links to numerous reference works that can be browsed or searched. There's also an Ask-A-Teacher Knowledge Database that provides answers to questions students frequently ask. It's organized by topic and is searchable. On the right are the day's features, such as a "fun fact" and picture of the day, a look through the Hubble telescope, a Google-powered Internet search on space photos, and a link to a book club page.

Members are encouraged to participate in the learning-related online chats. Subordinate pages refer readers to resources that deliver greater depth, including Questia, which offers AOL members a selection of free resources and discounted membership, and Time, which provides its full-text archive dating to 1985 and its covers dating to 1923.

The Research & Learn channel offers members a mixture of content from AOL, selected content partners, commercial enterprises, other members, and pre-designed Internet resources.

AOL now has 20 such channels, each a rich mixture of resources:

* Autos (Edmunds.com, AutoTrader.com, Kelley Blue Book)

* Careers & Work (CareerBuilder. …

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