Did AOL pave the way for today’s dating sites?

Oh happy days – I’ve just read a success story about a couple who met on AOL back in 1994 – the American media giant were at the forefront of Internet technology in the early days, when you couldn’t use the Internet because you were expecting an important phone call and the modem and said phone shared the same dial-up connection to your landline.

Of course, dating sites were very much in their infancy, back then, and were looked upon as dark and seedy places to frequent. Your AOL chat-room information was your dating site profile, back then, the forerunner to the large, branded dating sites we know and love today.

Chatrooms paved the way for today’s dating sites

Much as you log on to your dating site now, upon receiving a notification in your private inbox to check out the dating profile of someone who’s winked you, back then, the equivalent seeing the “You’ve got mail” pop-up was worth popping the cap of a beer in itself.

I was a very late devloper, when it came to learning about the Internet and am still, by no means what you’d call expert. However, I still get, on average, 35 e-mails a day (not all from dating sites - I’d be too knackered to write about them if they were!).

Back then, if you got five e-mails a day, you could consider yourself not just popular but at the height of the social ladder. Not everyone had e-mail – or even a computer – and you were part of an exclusive set if someone from The States had responded to one of your posts in the AOL chatroom.

Just compare that with how many times you tweet, post to your wall our send e-mail after e-mail or a flood of PM’s to your online dating prospect. They’ve not reinvented the wheel, the dating sites of today, but they’ve certainly put a shiny, new hub-cap on it. More about Arnie and Tricia, in the next article.

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