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I just liked engaging people with my words and relationships.”Weger made many friends from these chatrooms, some of whom she has met and still keeps in touch with today.

AOL was her first introduction to the internet, and on chatrooms, she spoke to a computer programmer for the first time. In exchange for being in the chatroom for certain hours and moderating, AOL would grant her free hours.

Old men camera chatroom

A press release from 1997 promotes a calendar of events that included an online chat with each of the Spice Girls and a downloadable audio greeting from Oprah Winfrey (in honor of Mother’s Day).

Others weren’t so impressed: “Any performance skills you have go out the window,” complained comedian Jay Leno in a 1995 Now, some twenty years later, the once-vibrant chatroom communities of AOL have nearly disappeared, but they are still there … About 1,500 people can be counted in all of AOL’s public chatrooms today, a number that in the ‘90s wouldn’t have even matched a large “auditorium”-style room where celebrities would hold court.

But much of the time, the conversations are much more colorful — in that they’re splashed with expletives.“Lately my favorite room has gotten a bunch of pervert-nasty people,” Bird says.

She calls them “disruptors.” When I ask her what the disruptors do, she says, “If you were reading Garden Chat right now, you would see. That’s not fun.”Bird misses the days when people would talk about growing annuals and perennials.

There was little trolling.“It wasn’t a troublesome space,” Weger says.

Last modified 06-Sep-2017 22:47