Morning Folks!!

I am not a geek so I was a bit of a fish out of water when I went online sometime in the early to mid 1980's. Compuserve ruled. But Compuserve was for geeks. I could not get to square one.

In 1989 AOL finally hit the market with a 'Graphical Interface' as well as Prodigy. There were earlier incarnations but now it was finally ready for prime time.

So all the geeks laughed at me and called me names just for having an AOL address. They still do. Some people won't do business with me simply because I have an AOL addy. How narrow minded can someone possibly be? But those 'Training Wheels' were exactly what 'I' needed. It was also what many others needed. So while the geeks laughed, I did business. Businessmen were not geeks.

But I would laugh back at them because they never even knew when their email was bouncing because the servers in those days were up and down like yoyo's and sometimes DAYS at a time. I was getting ALL of my email. AOL was never down. They were relaible when others were not. I know, I got their bounces!

So the geeks labled me early on. The geeks did not understand life. Did not undersatnd the NEED for a domain name. Imagine that?? Not even a NEED. Just use the IP#. When I would ask them how they would advertise that on TV or Radio or get word of mouth they would go NUTS! They would lambaste me with every name in the book. For what?? Seeing something that was flawed at best?

The geeks did not understand that most folks needed those training wheels. I saw many CEO's that I would do business with also used AOL including my late friend Gary Cohen who was the person responsible for me getting me more involved in the internet to begin with.

Why was AOL so valuable back then? Because I could literally access them from anywhere in the world very easily where any other service was next to impossible to get online back in those days. I remember being in mainland China back in the mid 1990's and being able to get online at the factory I was visiting. Those folks never saw the things I showed them before that moment. Could not do that with Compuserve.

But more importantly was how well AOL handled email searching. I could locate any email I have written within a few seconds. To me, that had the most value. Every other mail program did not work the way I worked. Sometimes I don't want to answer an email right away. I need to think about it. Sleep on it. So the others were just not compatible to how I work.

Mr800king alone has defined me in several places and it became a 'Handle' of mine. But now it is time to begin the transition away from AOL. I have been using gmail more and more but after talking to Scott Cleland last week, I question the privacy there. I also really don't like how it files my email or the strings or a lot of stuff. It has just been better than the other alternatives I have seen but does not work the way I work and we each work in our own ways.

So after the TRAFFIC show in a few days, I will begin a transition to a new, fresh email addy aimed at the next 15-20 years. If you have emailed me about something and gotten no response please use domainking at gmail for now. I know a number of emails are not making it to me anymore over the last few weeks. What WAS the most relaible email system out there is no longer relaible. That sucks!

So here we are on the edge of 2012 and the geeks and the domainer work together side by side. Still like oil and water sometimes but both realize they need each other to progress and make things happen.

So now back to AOL....

R.I.P A.O.L. It is like watching a great singer like Wayne Newton continue to sing when he can no longer sing. Very sad indeed. I saw it first hand. The audience did not boo just out of respect for the years of gret entertaining. But it was a train wreck. AOL is a train wreck. Very sad to watch it go down the tubes. The original 'Mouse that Roared' the day the mouse swallowed Time Warner is dying.

Have a Great Day!

Rick Schwartz

6 thoughts on “R.I.P…….A.O.L

  1. Jim

    The link to Scott Cleland above, as has been reported elsewhere, may well be the turning point of no return for google. In that context Rick, would you care to comment on what email provider you have identified to be the best suited for the foreseeable.

  2. peter h

    I’ve been quite satisfied with Yahoo. Their search function is fantastic. No matter how dated the message I’m searching for I get results that are helpful. Simply use a keyword that was included in the e-mail you’re looking for and Yahoo will do the rest.

  3. ScottM

    Great story Rick, I got on AOL also because Gary and I were tasked with a big project together to put up a sunglass store on AOL for the company we worked for. Letting Huffington run the content for AOL has been a disaster, constant liberal bias in almost every story and article. Worse, AOL spam filters are blocking many legitimate non-spam e-mails from majors such as Groupon and Office Depot and they somehow cannnot white hate the e-mails to allow them through, never mind all the Chinese garbage and porn e-mails they do allow through. AOL has a patented product which others don’t and can’t offer that I also use called AOL By Phone, so I can have my e-mails read over the phone to me while driving or doing something else without having to look a them. Great value for $4.95 per month until the geniuses there decided to save server space in the past month and now when the e-mail is read to you instead of saying first new e-mail from Bill@Bill.com it says just from Bill. Only a problem if you have 5 or 6 contacts named Bill and you don’t feel like hearing the e-mail right then if you don’t know which Bill it’s from.


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