AOL Goes Open Source

NEW YORK The most old-school Internet media brand is set to embrace an open-source, Web 2.0 approach in a major way.

AOL — previously famous for its “walled garden” philosophy aimed at keeping visitors within the portal’s confines using AOL-only tools — is slated to unveil a redesigned home page today that allows users to integrate various social networking profiles on AOL.com.

Officials said that on the new version of the site, users would be able to access information from their Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and Twitter accounts all in one place. They’ll also be able to post status updates and upload content to their various profiles without having to leave AOL.

Users can already access multiple e-mail accounts on AOL, which is clearly looking to increase the portal’s stickiness via a one-stop-shopping approach.

Indeed, besides social networking, officials said that the new AOL, accessible at aol.com/newhomepage, would offer users more customization options, allowing them to pull content and tools from sites across the Web.

Echoing rival Yahoo!’s strategy, users will also be able to build customized collections of news sources that push new content to AOL in real time via RSS feeds.