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www.undertowsoftware.com • View topic - Is an AOL email address a status symbol?
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Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:43 pm
by xavier
I had a discussion with my bother in law last night, about his still using hi aol email address. Why change, he said, it works. I tried to explain to them that people have moved on, since the AOL days. most of us laugh when we get an email message from someone with an AOL address. Not true, he said, I read an article somewhere that an aol address is actually a status symbol. What???? Well, later on last night I googled it and what do you know, a very interesting article.

http://gawker.com/5838822/is-an-aol-email-address-a-status-symbol

Of course, I emailed him the link, right away :-)

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:55 pm
by Camper22
LOts of articles have been written about the subject. Check this out: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/12/so-thats-who-uses-aol/?_r=0

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:56 am
by kimtoll
I have to admit, I still check my aol email address, once-in-a-while, but all I receive there is ads for a variety of products, not much else - what did I expect? A lot has been written about using an aol address, however, like everything else, one has to consider who is writing these articles and what for.

Just so that we can add some spice to this thread, and make things interesting, here are some more links on the subject.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/web/11/16/email.users/index.html

http://www.personalbrandingblog.com/aol-email-address-brands-you-as-technologically-obsolete/

http://betabeat.com/2013/02/dudes-with-aol-email-addresses-most-likely-to-visit-strip-clubs-says-completely-believable-study/

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2011/09/aol-email-address-debate-stigma-or-status-symbol/42292/

Enjoy ;-)

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:25 pm
by artmart
If he had an AOL email account I would call him a bother in law, too because it would be a bother getting in touch. When he finally gets a real email account from a reputable company then he can become a brother in law once again.

People who still use AOL probably also have a black and white television with rabbit ears. I also have a black and white television with rabbit ears and they just think I'm as cool as them. But I keep it so they think I am their friend but I'm actually keeping track of them. I don't need no stinkin' drones.

As for the "it still works" believers, my dearly departed grandma still has a Model T that still works, but I wouldn't use it on the Interstate or most boulevards for that matter. We drive it to the end of the driveway, then push it back.

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:50 am
by JayWild
This is not anything new! I worked for a software company (not in a software capacity), and any tech support requests that came from an AOL email address were routed to the entry level support people. When asked why, the supervisor explained that most of these people had no idea what they were doing and would be eating support time trying to answer questions like, "What operating system are you using?" with, "not sure if my computer came with one" :-) A disclaimer, I have/had no direct experience of that, I was not in the software end of it, I was dealing with the books of the company, this is only what I was told. But, I have seen similar sentiment towards AOL-ers, by other people from other companies. And, for the record, I used aol for a while, when I stopped using Compuserve (who remembers that?) :-)

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:58 pm
by artmart
Holy cow JayWild... I'm familiar with everything you said, plus it made me laugh. I'm sure the entry level support personnel also used monochrome monitors, too. It's all they would need to support those relics.

Here's a true story for you... I had a support tech who received a call that the caller's terminal (keyboard and monitor used for data entry) did not work unless he touched a silver button in the back, but it hurt a lot when doing so. Silver button? Hmmm. My tech, having one of these terminals in his office, and it turned out, the fuse cap fell off and the fuse fell out. When the caller touched the silver button his finger completed the circuit until he could no longer take the pain. My tech had him power off the terminal, look on the floor for the fuse and cap, reinsert the fuse and twist the cap back on. After the terminal was powered on all worked fine and the caller was quite happy he could finish his work. My tech did not have the guts to tell the caller that he could of died from electrocuting himself. There are all kinds in the world. Unfortunately, I have so many of these true support stories being in support for over 16 years.

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:15 pm
by mrhagen
It's not just "relics" that use AOL addresses. I happen to know many business people that use them. They may not sound as "in" as gmail but they work. And you know what, I bet there are some that still use hotmail, because they've had it for 20 years and don't want to lose the contacts associated with it!

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:42 am
by Kevin_T
Mrhagen, I am not going to go through all the explanations, again. Art has gone through and explained why still using an AOL address is anachronistic. As for the "Excuse" you are citing, it's trivial! So, if one doesn't want to lose all his old contacts that he had through his aol address, sets his email up so that is continues to receive emails to that address, but ALL outgoing email is from a new, current address. This way, not only does he not lose the old contacts, but he slowly converts them to his new address.

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:28 am
by JayWild
artmart wrote:Holy cow JayWild... I'm familiar with everything you said, plus it made me laugh. I'm sure the entry level support personnel also used monochrome monitors, too. It's all they would need to support those relics.

I used to go sit down with the tech support people, during their lunch breaks, just to hear these funny/horror stories. Some of them still stick out in my mind, after all these years.

- Lady on the phone is complaining that her brand new monitor will not turn on. [Support] Ma'am, I know this may sound silly, but is the monitor plugged in? - Let me check, we've lost power since yesterday and I have to move around with this flash light!

- Customer calls irate because he can't use the Mac disk his son gave him on his new dell Win computer. [Support] Well, sir, your new laptop is a Windows system and it cannot read disks created on a Macintosh system. - Why not? They sure seem the same exact size disks, so it should be able to read them.

And hundreds of similar stories. You know, it really made me think of what *I* probably sounded like when *I* called tech support for something. I could picture the support people laughing with me at the other end of the line, but such is life ;-)

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:10 am
by MikeRost
Hey, JayWild, don't make fun of us :-)

I was probably one of the customers they had horror stories about. It took me a while to get familiar with all this new technology and I'm sure support people still cringe when I call them for help.

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:41 pm
by NoPatience
I don't use any of the programs discussed in these fora (at least not yet), but I happened to stumble on this particular topic and having spent 25+ year in software/hardware technical support (staring at entry level and moving through all the tiers), the subject was of interest to me. Even 20 years ago, when the user's address was ".aol", our first response was , "oh, no, not another one". That's because when aol was introduced, everyone felt the need to be part of this "new" thing, email, messaging, web surfing, regardless of where they understood "it" at all. And, because the basic 2-3 things one could do were so simple, not too many people bothered to spend he time to "learn" how to effectively and correctly use this new technology, they thought they could do EVERYTHING.

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:56 pm
by artmart
Long time ago, I learned enough to know I don't know much. Most people aren't there, yet. I have a T-shirt that says, "Those of you who think you know everything annoy those of who do". You should hear the laughter when people read it. And for those who snarl, I know they haven't learned enough yet.

NoPatience... by your name I can tell you know everything, too.

I hear this is a true story. Customer calls in to tech support and asks for a replacement of the coffee cup holder in his desktop. The support tech, completely puzzled, replies, "We don't sell computers with coffee cup holders". The Customer responds, "Oh yes you do. I hit a button in front and out pops a shelf with a hole in the center that hasfit my coffee cup just fine. Well, it broke. What are you gonna do about it?".

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:51 pm
by NoPatience
It probably is true, they even have youtube videos with instructions on how to use the CD-ROM tray as a cup holder :-)

I browse these forums and have restrain myself from jumping in the conversations. Like the person who can't find where they saved their files and it's apparently some software problem.

Nah, I don't know everything, and will never know everything, but I have about half-an-ounce of common sense and have found that it I let it guide me, I'll come up with a reasonable answer, most of the time :-)

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:56 pm
by NoPatience
BTW, this is what the on-line Urban Dictionary says about AOL users (Remember *I* didn't say it - it's in the Urban Dictionary)

"AOL User" - (1) Derogatory term for someone either incapable of performing a simple action or requiring excessive guidance to perform such a task. This is generally a worse insult than Newbie or it's derivatives as Newbies are expected to gain experience and improve whilst AOL Users are expected to stay stupid. Stupid people are not required to actually use America Online to qualify as an AOL User. (2) Absolute dregs of the Internet. I have been to thousands and thousands of websites and I have NEVER seen a creature more detestable than an AOL user.

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:46 pm
by artmart
The definition was probably submitted by someone working for Google. It's a little harsh, but remember if it wasn't for pioneers such as AOL we wouldn't be where we are today. I think the only thing AOL was guilty of is not changing with the times and making adjustments as the needs changed. This happens to lots of companies. Remember, Kodak, Polaroid and others? I'll bet you're one of the few who believes everything on the Internet is true. :)

For that reason, I don't make fun of the old, including blacksmiths (there are some still around) and my dearly departed grandparents, or even my old teachers who gave a darn that I learned something, and didn't go to school just to satisfy the state laws. Just cuz it's old fashion, doesn't make it or whomever still uses it (like Xavier's bother-in-law), so bad. :roll:

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:08 pm
by NoPatience
You are right. I wasn't saying AOL was bad, and neither did the Urban definition. And, it doesn't mean that someone who uses an AOL account today, doesn't know anything about computers, etc. But, I'll tell you, in those days, and simply because of the popularity of AOL and it's massive 5 million-at-a-time mailings of their free AOL disks, they got a lot of members and by extension they got a lot of people that were not at all familiar with computers. It stands to reason. Up until then, it was either BBSes and a bit later Compuserve, and in order to user either effectively, you needed to understand a few things.

Anyway, I don't want to badmouth AOL users, because even in those days, if I called one of them for help in their field (let's say they were an architect), I'd sound pretty silly to them, too. It's like this in every field, I guess.

BTW, I actually don't believe *most* of what I see on-line, just like I never believed everything I read off-line, in the old days, either. Reading is not for believing, it's for getting information so you can make informed decisions, by separating the information from the noise.

Re: Is an AOL email address a status symbol?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:57 pm
by artmart
I was just messin', man.

I do think you need to frame that last sentence in your last paragraph.