Saturday, December 14, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Dec. 14, 1999 -- Great Kids' Gifts; For Boss & Team

December 14, 1999: Generic kids' gifts promo, featuring the ever-popular "Toys 16702" image:
1999_12_14
For the PM update, we reworked the office gifts promo for Boss & Team:
1999_12_14a

[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, December 13, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Dec. 13, 1999 -- Got Presents? Plus Hi-Tech Gifts

December 13, 1999: More gift boxes to start the week, as well as a way overused riff on "Got Milk?"
1999_12_13
For the PM update, we went with high-tech gifts, including an SLR camera (film, no doubt):
1999_12_13a

[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, December 12, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Dec. 12, 1999 -- Back to Classic Gifts

December 12, 1999: Once again, back to classic gifts and another teddy bear:
1999_12_12

[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, December 11, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Dec. 11, 1999 -- More Gifts Made Easy

December 11, 1999: For Saturday, we recycled the "Gifts Made Easy" promo:
1999_12_11
[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, December 10, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Dec. 10, 1999 -- Ready to Party, Plus Gifts They'll Keep

December 10, 1999: Headling into the weekend, we went with the holiday party theme, featuring a stock art model wearing a little black dress:
1999_12_10
For the PM update, here's our first live screenshot of December: Gifts they'll keep, featuring TV (CRT, of course) and stereo gear. In the My AOL.COM headlines, we see that presidential candidate Senator Bill Bradley got heart treatment for atrial fibrillation (20 years later, we're seeing advertisements for a-fib drugs on TV):
1999_12_10a

[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, December 09, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Dec. 9, 1999 -- Gifts With "Taste"; Gifts Made Easy

December 9, 1999: Another missing promo image (Candy 16767) for candy and sweets, along with gourmet delights:
1999_12_09
For the PM update... more gifts made easy. I think this was a straight-up recycle of an earlier promo:
1999_12_09a

[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, December 08, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Dec. 8, 1999 -- New Gift Ideas (in an Old Promo)

December 8, 1999: Another generic gift box promo, featuring Nifty Under $50 gifts. It was also red. Also, not sure why, but there was no PM update. Or at least no screenshot:
1999_12_08

[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, December 07, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Dec. 7, 1999 -- Classic Gifts; Gifts for All

December 7, 1999: Week 1 of the December online shopping blitz closed out with classic gifts for kids and teens, featuring a teddy bear:
1999_12_07
For the PM update, went with another generic gifts promo. The photo didn't render; I have penciled in "Gifts 16698," which was an identifier for the bit of stock art. Based on the color scheme, it was blue:
1999_12_07a

[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, December 06, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Dec. 6, 1999 -- Quick, Easy Gifts; Gifts of Time

December 6, 1999: On the sixth straight day of December shopping promos, we went with kids' toys and gifts for teams and boss:
1999_12_06
For the PM update, we went with watches:
1999_12_06a

[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, December 05, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Dec. 5, 1999 -- Different Gifts

December 5, 1999: We went upscale with the gifts, featuring jewelry in the photo spot (then quickly dropped back down with discounts on pet gifts). I think this is the first Sunday promo that wasn't a sports roundup:
1999_12_05

[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, December 04, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Dec. 4, 1999 -- Shop From Home

December 4, 1999: And another shopping promo for Saturday!

I note that so far in December, I don't have a live screenshot of the home page; they're all previews. Which probably means that I was canning these promos way in advance. Since they were all shopping promos, it wouldn't have been that hard:
1999_12_04

[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, December 03, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Dec. 3, 1999 -- Fresh Gift Ideas; Get Gifts Online

December 3, 1999: On the third day of December, we went with... more gift ideas and online shopping! Ugh, I feel an evergreen promo to copy and paste coming on:
1999_12_03
For the PM update... more gifts. I think we were also in the process of exhausting our supply of gift stock art:
1999_12_03a

[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, December 02, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Dec. 2, 1999 -- Gifts of Music; Gifts of Gifts

December 2, 1999: At this point, buying music still pretty much meant CDs. (Remember, this was pre-iPod/iTunes):
1999_12_02
For the PM update, we went with another generic gifts promo:
1999_12_02a

[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, December 01, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Dec. 1, 1999 -- Flights From $78; Holiday Values

December 1, 1999: We led off December with more airfare deals, going with a very specific figure of flights from $78 (book by Dec. 15):
1999_12_01
For the PM update, we went with Holiday Values... and we didn't mean anything squishy like charity, forgiveness, or goodwill, but gift ideas:
1999_12_01a

[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, November 30, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 30, 1999 -- Find a New Job; Find Good Looks

November 30, 1999: We closed out November with a Help Wanted sign for Find a New Job:
1999_11_30
For the PM update, we went with more holiday fashions, gifts, and shopping product search:
1999_11_30a

[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, November 29, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 29, 1999 -- Invest for Y2K; Win a Cruise

November 29, 1999: Were we really telling people to stockpile gold for Y2K? Hardly. We wouldn't lean in to Y2K scaremonger until December:
1999_11_29
For the PM update, we went once again to the AOL Search Caribbean Cruise sweepstakes:
1999_11_29a

[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, November 28, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 28, 1999 -- Sports Roundup

November 28, 1999: For another Sunday sports roundup, we featured a photo of the Redskins' Stephen Davis. Also, hard to believe in the current era, but in 1999, the team went 10-6.

Also in 2019, Happy Thanksgiving!
1999_11_28

[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, November 27, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 27, 1999 -- Chic Savings

November 27, 1999: For the Saturday after Thanskgiving, we were featuring little black dresses for holiday parties, gifts for the busy exec, and the ever-popular Product Search:
1999_11_27

[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, November 26, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 26, 1999 -- Black Friday Shopping

November 26, 1999: For Black Friday (though we didn't use the term in the top promo), we went with a Shopping promo, with fashion, gifts, and shopping search:
1999_11_26
[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, November 25, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 25, 1999 -- Holiday Fun, "Toy Story 2"

November 25, 1999: For Thanksgiving Day, we went with a Toy Story 2 gallery, e-cards (remember when those were a thing?), and online chats:
1999_11_25

[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, November 24, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 24, 1999 -- Holiday Travel; Drive Safely

November 24, 1999: For the day before Thanksgiving, we continued to focus on holiday driving help:
1999_11_24
For the PM update, we kept the same lineup (maps, traffic, weather):
1999_11_24a

[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, November 23, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 23, 1999 -- AOL Mail on the Road; Driving Directions

November 23, 1999: On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we had an AOL Mail (on the web) promo for all the folks who'd be visiting family members without AOL, of which there were still a few in 1999. (Also, it's a straight scan of a crooked printout):
1999_11_23
For the PM update, we went with Maps & Directions, powered by MapQuest; I don't remember if Maps had built in congestion and traffic alerts by then, though if they did, they weren't realtime:
1999_11_23a

[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, November 22, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 22, 1999 -- Beat the Bank; AOL Mail; Thanksgiving Preview

November 22, 1999: More bottomless page previews, featuring fat stacks for Personal Finance:
1999_11_22
Then an update for AOL Mail (getting ready for holiday travel):
1999_11_22a
Then, holiday cooking tips for Thanksgiving (coming up in three days):
1999_11_22b

[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, November 21, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 21, 1999 -- Sports Roundup With Drew Bledsoe

November 21, 1999: Another Sunday sports roundup, featuring the greatest Patriots quarterback of all time (up to that point) Drew Bledsoe.
1999_11_21
[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, November 20, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 20, 1999 -- Praying for the End of "End of Days"

November 20, 1999: For Saturday, we went with yet another damn End of Days promo:
1999_11_20

[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, November 19, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 19, 1999 -- "The World Is Not Enough"; Eyeless Face = Love

November 19, 1999: The third Pierce Brosnan James Bond movie, The World Is Not Enough (the forgettable one with Denise Richards as nuclear physicist Christmas Jones) opened wide in the US; you can also see in the right column a promo, "Turn Clicks into Cash," for something called the AOL Affiliate Network:
1999_11_19
For the PM update (and for most of the rest of this month, apparently), we just have a preview of the top promo block -- in this case, an anonymous, eyeless kissy face for online personals:
1999_11_19a

[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, November 18, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 18, 1999 -- Free Web Chat; AOL Brasil; Fake AOL Mail; Aggie Bonfire Collapse; "End of Days" Again

November 18, 1999: We started the day with an unremarkable AIM 3.0 Web Chat promo, though if you look down in the Corporate links section, you can see that America Online Brasil Launches (apparently, Michael Douglas was part of the launch festivities, doing an AOL Live event from Sao Paolo). I think this was the actual, localized client, other press releases show the AOL Brasil website opened back in June:
1999_11_18
For the PM update, we have something odd: An AOL Mail promo with what looks like a functional login screen, but what I think is actually a fake functionality image. (I think I've ranted about this before, but I recall being in a marketing/ad sales presentation where they were touting the clickthrough benefits of ads featuring "faux" functionality. Yes, let's trick our users, annoy them, and train them not to trust web entry fields. No downside to that, no sir.)

The My AOL.COM news headline also references a Texas A&M bonfire construction accident that killed (ultimately) 12:
1999_11_18a
For the PM update, we went again with a preview of End of Days:
1999_11_18b

[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, November 17, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 17, 1999 -- Dream Homes

November 17, 1999: For Wednesday, we went with a generic Real Estate homebuying promo. That's about it; I don't know why there isn't a PM update. So here's some additional content: I didn't notice at the time, but in September, we changed the search branding from the old AOL Netfind to AOL.COM Search:
1999_11_17
[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, November 16, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 16, 1999 -- You've Got AOL Mail (Out-of-Client View); Holiday Travel; Win a Cruise

November 16, 1999: We started the day with an AOL Mail promo, though you can see my handwritten note at the top that says, "Out of Client View, 11/15/99 PM to _____".

My AOL product chronology is pretty hazy (the emails archived in my old AOL client Personal Filing Cabinet were lost years ago), so I don't remember if AOL Mail at this point still had ActiveX control or if we'd switched to the HTML interface.

However, marking this with "Out of Client" probably means that we'd started segmenting visitors to www.aol.com by client type: In-Client, for anyone using any sort of AOL client, and Out-of-Client, for every other web user using Netscape or Internet Explorer. At a certain point, the OOC view would turn into a huge "Join AOL" ad, with a tiny promo space (which is what the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine would pick up), but not for a while longer.

Oh, and I almost missed this -- either today or around this time, we moved away from the My News branding to My AOL.COM -- I guess it was part of a bigger web customization play?
1999_11_16
For the PM update, we went with another Holiday Travel promo:
1999_11_16a

Then, we went with a third promo for an AOL.com Search sweepstakes, featuring a Caribbean cruise prize:
1999_11_16b

[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, November 15, 2019

#20YearsAgoOnAOLcom: Nov. 15, 1999 -- Keep More Cash (by not paying to see Schwarzenegger's "End of Days")

November 15, 1999: Starting out the work week, we went with a Personal Finance promo, only in a shockingly unexpected color scheme (red, not green):
1999_11_15
For the PM update, we went with the Arnold Schwarzenegger film End of Days, where he battles Satan. You have to remember: This was 1999, and pre-millennial tension was a thing. (As opposed to the current post-millennial tension currently being felt. OK, boomer.):
1999_11_15a

[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.]