Monday, June 24, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 24, 1999 -- "Babylon 5" Video Game Sneak Peek; Sandler's "Big Daddy"

June 24, 1999: Leading off a games package, we went with a sneak peek of Babylon 5: Into the Fire. If you don't remember it, it's because the game would end up getting cancelled a few months later.
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For the PM update, we went with the Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy:
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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

Sunday, June 23, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 23, 1999 -- Keep on Touchin'; Knicks vs. Spurs

June 23, 1999: Have I mentioned how generic the lead promos were, with room for just a single-line headline and three bullet links? We started out with a loose "Keep in Touch" theme featuring AIM chat, E-Mail Finder, and Genealogy. I guess that's a theme:
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For the PM update, we switched to Knicks vs. Spurs in Game 4 of the NBA Finals:
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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

Saturday, June 22, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 22, 1999 -- Travel Bargains and Ricky Martin

June 22, 1999: Another travel promo with the very much overused airliner stock art:
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For the PM update, we featured Ricky Martin, who had just released "Livin' la Vida Loca" a few months before:
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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

Friday, June 21, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 21, 1999 -- Serving Up Wimbledon, Stock Tools, and AOL Hometown

June 21, 1999: Tennis wasn't a big performer for us, but for some reason, we led (at least for a little bit) with news from Wimbledon, which kicked off today. (That's Martina Hingis, right?)
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For a mid-morning update, we went to a generic Wall Street lineup, with market news, stock portfolio, and top stocks. (And of course we still had the Stock Quote lookup box in the top block.)
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For the PM update, we went with the good old purple and gold AOL Hometown promo:
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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

Thursday, June 20, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 20, 1999 -- New Car Sunday

June 20, 1999: For a Sunday car-buying promo, we featured a red... car. A Mitsubishi 3000? Who knows.
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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 19, 1999 -- A Royal Wedding

June 19, 1999: Before William & Kate; before Harry & Meghan; there was Edward & Sophie.
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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 18, 1999 -- A Terse Trio of Travel Savings and "Tarzan"

June 18, 1999: We led with a package of three summer travel links. Not much more to say about that.
In the Community column, there are a few new-ish AIM products: AOL Quick Buddy, which was a web-based AIM client, and AIM Remote, which was an AIM-powered chat room you could embed a web page. I always thought it would have been better if you could have posted it as a shared chat room on multiple pages (like a persistent group chat nowadays):
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For the PM update, we went with the 1999 animated version of Tarzan:
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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

Monday, June 17, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 17, 1999 -- Find a New Job; Last-Minute Gifts for Dad

June 17, 1999: The morning started with a Find a New Job promo; the three featured bullet items for for a "dream job" article (I think), listings, and the ever-popular "More resources":
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For the PM update, we went with last-minute Father's Day gifts; the My News headlines remain with  a Kosovo death toll inflicted by Serb forces, as well as more from the Gore candidacy:
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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

Sunday, June 16, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 16, 1999 -- Minimal Effort Home Buying Promo; NBA Finals; Gore Declares Candidacy

June 16, 1999: The morning's promo was even more prosaic than usual -- a bare-bones home buying headline with two bullet links for home listings and mortgage calculator:
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For the PM update, we look at a lockout-shortened season's NBA Finals, featuring the Spurs versus the Knicks.

Meanwhile, in the My News headlines, we see refugees returning to Kosovo, as well as Al Gore throwing the hat into the ring for the 2000 presidential election. And boy, do we know how that turned out...
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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

Saturday, June 15, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 15, 1999 -- Using Dirty Harry to Hawk Father's Day Gifts; More Spandex Sports Bra Fitness Women

June 15, 1999: We led with a Father's Day gift promo using a Dirty Harry (actually Sudden Impact) reference (Also aren't we about due for a Dirty Harry reboot? I mean, they tried it with Death Wish...)
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For the PM update, we see the return of the spandex sports bra stock art fitness women for a beach-body-themed fitness promo, which also marks the beginning of minimal-effort, ultra-short, just-the-facts bullet links, making the lead promo a micro-promo bundle of links:
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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

Friday, June 14, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 14, 1999 -- Raining Benjamins; See Members' Web Pages

June 14, 1999: For a Personal Finance promo on the top 25 mutual funds, we used the "raining Benjamins" stock art; the My News headline references American troops joining NATO's KFOR in Kosovo:
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For the PM update, we kept up the purple with the standard AOL Hometown promo; the promo promises "Real People's Pages," which I guess was true -- Hometown did highlight member-built pages:
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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

Thursday, June 13, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 13, 1999 -- Father's Day Is (Was) Next Week

June 13, 1999: Father's Day was the following Sunday, so we featured stock art dad and daughter for gift-buying:
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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 12, 1999 -- Love@AOL; Rare Saturday Update for the Death of DeForest Kelley Dies and NATO's Check-In to Kosovo

June 12, 1999: Saturday featured a promo for Love@AOL photo personals, though lets face it -- if you were trolling for personals on Saturday night, you might have better luck in one of the AOL or AIM chat rooms:
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Apologies for the ugly screenshot, but we had a relatively rare Saturday update (we didn't have dedicated weekend coverage), to mark two major events, as seen in the main promo:
1. The death of DeForest Kelly, "Bones" from Star Trek
2. NATO peacekeeping troops entered Kosovo. KFOR, as it would come to be known, is still there (albeit in greatly reduced numbers):

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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 11, 1999 -- Car Buying and Kosovo Update

June 11, 1999: Friday started with the stock photo of a Mazda (that we'd used the month prior) for car prices and financing:
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For the PM update: shocker, we went with Austin Powers 2.

In world news, we see that NATO peacekeeping troops were ready to enter Kosovo. Stay tuned...
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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

Monday, June 10, 2019

20 Years Ago on AOL.com: June 10, 1999 -- AOL Hometown, Serbs Withdraw, Ginger Spice Solo

June 10, 1999: We started off with AOL Hometown, with an almost-but-not-quite ad jackpot in the lower right. The My News headlines references the Serb withdrawal from Kosovo...
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...which we followed up with in a mid-morning update:
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For the PM update, we went with an exclusive preview of Geri Halliwell's solo CD debut, for the world just wasn't spicy enough:
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[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the AOL.com home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]