writes "Blaming an unquantified decline in usage, AOL has notified users it's decided the best thing to do is delete all of their blogs and files on October 31st. Want to save that precious blog of yours? AOL not-so-helpfully suggests: 'The quickest and easiest way to do this is by copying and pasting your content into a word processing document such as Microsoft Word, Notepad or even into an email and mailing it back to yourself. If you have any images we suggest you save them separately by right clicking on the image, choosing "Save Picture As" and allocate the drive on your PC where you would like to save them to.' Gee, thanks. And don't get too smug, Google users - the search giant has put its users on notice that Google Page Creator will be a thing of the past by year-end, although details of the transition have yet to be provided."
These are just a few more in a long line of attempts by big companies to enable user generated content without much of a plan. With so much attention in the space, plenty of large companies (including Yahoo and Microsoft, in addition to Google and AOL mentioned here) rushed out various tools for users, but forgot to explain to them why they might want to use them. For the most part, they just launched them and figured users would show up willingly. It turns out that, even if you're a big company, it's not so easy to get user adoption if you don't offer anything particularly special compared to what's already out there.