America Online is depending on the health niche to make it worth buying.
After dominating much of the 1990s as a system apart from the Internet, AOL has pinned its hopes for the future on building scaled consumer Web sites that can draw big audiences.
If it can build a family of broad niche sites, each with substantial traffic and revenue, AOL might find itself worth a portion of the money Time-Warner spent for it back in the year 2000.
But this is tough to do with other people's content. There still must be shoes to drop for AOL to compete in the health space, involving integration of Personal Health Records with the news it's delivering.
That might get it back in the game. But once you get dropped in any business race it is awfully hard to crawl back to the leaders.