Pour one out for the Platforms that Were Lost in Time(Warner)

Yearning for the early years of journals, homepages, and all that fun stuff. Even though AngelFire sucked.

Although Plume won’t snitch, I can confirm it is 6h and I’m still awake because reasons. Because of this I’ve found myself in a timeloop. Having taken my time to write about the dangers of Nostalgia, I feel I should be more immune to this.

AOL Disk

I am very much not and I ended up reliving the abject horror glory that was AOL Journals in my mind, because none of them managed to get scraped by the Internet Archive it seems.

As we all know at this point I had a very long run with LiveJournal which I’ll stand by to my grave, but what is lost in the ether is my short time on AOL Journals before they wrapped that shit up hard.

AOL Journals, much like AOL was a very specific kind of kitch you just had to experience. Trash colours, trash fonts, and trash clipart all at once. You could even use AIM to update your journal, it was very novel. I even published my first “proper” websites on AOL, hand coded HTML I just learned by watching what others did (my first one was on AngelFire from a library computer which I regret).

It gave me a warm feeling of platforms long gone, remember when the Eternal September was the worst thing that happened from a platform ? So quaint by today’s standards.

CompuServe Disk

I miss the good parts of those communities, AOL and CompuServe, even though we all kind of hated Steve Case for various reasons. It is times like these, not exactly being able to think properly because sleep patterns, is when I feel like I’m chasing that dragon again. I’m even going to admit, I fucking loved the Weird AOL period and I really wished it managed to survive and keep to that (now its just another shitty ad company).

AOL Weird Era by tatslow (flickr) photo credit : tatslow on flickr

AOL New Branding

The internet ain’t like it was, but there are parts of it that still are. I am, in fact, right now writing this post on a platform, a loose collection of Plume instances that are sharing posts between themselves and keeping the network alive even if one or more servers tanks it. Even Mastodon, Calckey, etc can peer in and poke around.

Much like AOL Journals and early LiveJournal, I have no real control of how my texts are presented (which honestly is a selling point for not in 1995 me). Even if I do customise my CSS, the base structure is still the same.

I think I’ve become numb a bit from being constantly online since November, probably not touching enough grass and such, or more likely that I’m finding the minimalist web (which for the record I’m totally fucking guilty of that) just as bland as my daily routine.

But as I’m writing this caught up in that old mindset, I remember that Calckey and other parts of the fediverse are weirding the net back up, and to be openly honest with myself, I’ve found that wild rush from joining in.

Granted blog.sus.fr spammed timelines by mistake when I was doing the mega import and it wouldn’t be surprised if that got me a mute or an instance ban from it (and for those who did I don’t blame you, I fired in 6500 posts in the space of a week). But that came really from a passion to nurture my Plume instance and call it my online home. Something, admittedly, I tried to do with AOL Journals, Blogger, VOX, and TypePad without any traction.

Yes, the old internet is gone with its gaudy colour schemes, Comic Sans partout, but it is coming back with a vengeance and a lot more 💖 than Steve Case could ever muster.

Vive l’Internet bizarre, vive le fediverse