I hasn’t realized that AOL had been imploding

December 22, 2008

Actaully, I wasn’t very aware that AOL was around any more. Apparently it is, barely, going by the posts in their “People Connection” blog. For example, people who had blogs, and other files posted on an AOL “Hometown” site suddenly lost access to their work on October 31. A blog post to the “People Connection” blog shows that Hometown users were informed of the shutdown on, November 6th. Comments users posted to that post sound desparate and angry.

Update: OK, AOL users were given a few weeks warning before Hometown shutdown. Plenty of time?

Reminds me of the time way back in 1995 when AOL bought WAIS, the Wide Area Information Service. WAIS predated AltaVista, let alone Google. The olde Mosaic browser supported a ‘wais://’ URI protocol identifier. It was the game in town for Internet search in the golden years, and AOL bought it to get their hands on search capability. If you aren’t too young, WAIS indexed popular Gopher servers of the day. Back in 1995, Gopher actually rivaled the World Wide Web as an information source on the Ingernet.

One day, AOL apparently pulled the plug on the central WAIS servers with no warning of explanation. I emailed AOL at the time about it, but got no response.

Update 2: I notice in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2, I have difficulty in tagging a WordPress post.

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