Monday, 10 April 2017
By the end of this week, it will be thirteen years since I put that CD-ROM into my aging PC and proceeded to install the AOL software. A PCMCIA-card enabled the access to the phone network, and my dial-up connection was up and running. My computer was so old that it was only able to manage access to AOL chatrooms, not much else. AOL chatrooms were a bruising experience, partly as a result of it being a hotbed for right-wing extremism in England. I think I have one contact left from that time. Eighteen months later, I discovered AOL journals and its J-land community. That was lovely caring and sharing community, which only lasted another three years. AOL then closed it down, not even archiving the blogs - we had to transfer them to Blogger. Although I have 70 blog sites (mostly to do with local history in the Scottish islands), I rarely blog anymore. What J-landers are left on-line mostly communicate through Facebook. Not ideal either, lengthy posts like this are a pain, and no formatting. Nonetheless, J-land continues, with the trials of life and (as we saw yesterday) death of its members. I hope it carries on for a lot longer than the 5 years it had on AOHell.