Talk:Online service provider
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Before the mid90s, "online service provider" referred specifically to CompuServe, Prodigy, and America Online nee Q-Link. Surely there were other services with a similar architecture, but I can't think of them, and those were by far the biggest three. They were considerably more than merely a BBS, but didn't yet have connections to the Internet so they weren't ISPs.
My brain is too tired right now to be up to the task of describing the real differences between BBS's, online services, ISPs, networks in general, and the Internet in particular. And that is the key contribution needed for this article.
At this time, the online service providers do still provide their original online service, which is separate from the Internet that they also provide a connection to. (I haven't checked, but I think Prodigy still does?) However, a few insiders speculate that this may disappear in the future, leaving only the Internet connection and a few customer-access-only pages on the World Wide Web.
Um, I guess EWorld is on the list as an online service provider. It was a version of AOL whose servers were leased out to Apple Computer for their exclusive use as an online service for Apple customers. It operated under the EWorld brand name. Despite good support at first from Apple, it never attracted a critical mass of subscribers.
MSN 1980's or 1995?
Page says: "In the mid-1980s graphics-only online services such as Prodigy, MSN, and Quantum Link ("Q-Link", which was later merged with its Mac-only sister company, America OnLine) sprang up." I'm pretty sure that MSN was launched in around August 1995, with a beta trial here in Australia - which I was part of - a few months earlier. It was to be a 'rival' to the internet - effectively a walled garden of content similar to compuserve. Is there any way of confirming the launch date of MSN, did you guys in the States have it earlier? Laurel Papworth 21:01, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Too focused on ISP / telco / connectivity
The article seems to be quite much focused on ISP's. Although it is mentioned at the beginning that online service providers can be "web sites", there seems to be no further explanations or taxonomy about what and who such web sites could be. In my opinion, this comes down to neglecting a whole range of online service providers that don't provide connectivity / Internet access but what provide online services and content. Such service providers are email providers, news providers (press), enternainment providers (music, movie and aming portals), e-shopping sites (online stores), e-finance and e-banking sites, e-health sites, e-government sites, and many more. I suggest outlining all these various kinds of examples.
About Internet industry
Actually the intention was to create an article that would suit particularly for the Internet companies like Google or Facebook, Inc. or Yahoo. In infoxbox of "industry section" of many Internet companies have simple put Internet, which I think is not appropriate. Its unfortunate that we don't have an Internet industry type of article. Please also talk with User talk:Rangoon11 who has good contribution about many Internet company related articles.--(talk→←track) 10:54, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
We need to seperate this article in two articles
This article is currently mixing two different meaning of the them "Online service provider" in the same article. As has been mentioned on this talk page already the term originally referred to referred to a kind of private network you could subscribe to and access serious serious services like e-mail, chat, reading news stories, searching for information, downloading programs, etc. that you would now perform on the web or via internet connected applications. Examples of "Online Service Providers" as they where referred to as in the 80's and 90's include Compuserve, AOL, Genie, Prodigy, eWorld, and MSN. Thus we should have a separate article on that subject alone and cover the more recent broader use the term as it has been applied to the internet this article article. Since the term "Online service" was how such services where general refereed to back then we could use that title for the separate article and keep the broader meaning here under the longer title. --22.214.171.124 (talk) 09:16, 27 August 2012 (UTC)