Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
America Online The Internet IT

Does Using an AOL Email Address Suggest You're a Tech Dinosaur? 461

Nerval's Lobster writes: Despite years of layoffs and tumbling net worth, AOL seemed to get a new lease on life this week when Verizon bought it for $4.4 billion. But even if AOL's still alive, using an AOL email address has long been seen as a way of signaling that you're stuck in the 1990s. A recent analysis of Dice data found that a mere 1.8 percent of those registering for the site used an AOL address, versus 55 percent for Gmail. For the past several years, Websites from Gizmodo to Lifehacker have all declared that still using an AOL email address is counterproductive, to put it mildly. But is that actually true? Do the people in your life and work actually care whether you use AOL, Hotmail, Gmail, or a custom address, or is the idea of 'email bias' an overblown myth?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Does Using an AOL Email Address Suggest You're a Tech Dinosaur?

Comments Filter:
  • Does Using an AOL Email Address Suggest You're a Tech Dinosaur?

    Yes, if you're an asshole. "If it ain't broken don't fix it" only applies to popular things.

    • I use it (still), but as an email flophouse.

      • That's HoTMaiL for me, it's amazing how much spam is in that thing. It's like getting in a time machine and going back to 2002. Also in reference TFA I have a feeling posts like this are going to motivate people to seek out an aol.com e-mail address ironically. Making anyone the one's thinking 'tech dinosaur' dinosaur's themselves.
        • Yes, pretty soon they'll start a cross promotional campaign with Pabst Blue Ribbon. "Free aol.com email address with every sixer purchased, nice skinny jeans by the way!"

      • Same here. Anyone that says, "We need your e-mail address and we promise we won't spam you" gets the AOL account. I check it, maybe, once every few months.

    • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @02:05PM (#49683683)

      Nothing on the internet says 'I'm a blithering idiot, please abuse me.' as quickly and concisely as @aol.com.

      It used to be worse. Now you are just a dinosaur. Before you were king of the chumps.

      • by countSudoku() ( 1047544 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @02:31PM (#49684005) Homepage

        HA! You dope. I just crafted an AOL address THIS YEAR so I could bypass the other email hosting entities idea that my cellphone number is needed to verify that I'm a human, just so I could create a fake Facebook account so I can play games with my daughter without having to stoop so low as to have a real Facebook account. Mailinator was not an option, this worked out great and now I have an old-school aol.com address. I fucking make websites, I don't consume them. AOL is great if you don't want some free email site hounding you for necessary bullshit info, like your fucking cell phone number.

      • Nothing on the internet says 'I'm a blithering idiot, please abuse me.' as quickly and concisely as @aol.com.

        Well, nothing except "My e-mail address is USERNAME.... .... .... .... Oh, I need to add the @aol.com?"

        Luckily, there seem to be fewer and fewer of those folks around.

      • by LateArthurDent ( 1403947 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @05:39PM (#49685389)

        Nothing on the internet says 'I'm a blithering idiot, please abuse me.' as quickly and concisely as @aol.com.

        I consider judging people based on irrelevant categories to be far more damning.

        Shortly after gmail came out, every other free webmail provider upped their storage amount in order to compete, including aol. Gmail at the time didn't provide imap access. You could access your mail via the web interface or pop. Aol, on the other hand, did provide imap, along with a ton of storage space, which allowed me to check my personal e-mail via my PDA's email client (remember those?), instead of its horrible browser.

        I had a perfectly technical reason to switch to an aol address while everybody was switching to gmail.

    • Does AOL mail allow POP clients?
      Does AOL mail allow more than 5MB of storage space?
      Does AOL mail have a reasonably useable UI? (not something made in 1997)?

      If not, then why would anyone use AOL mail?
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by RJFerret ( 1279530 )

      Maintaining a consistent email address? Good.

      Using a service that scans your correspondence to market directly to you? Bad.

      People who value their, and my, privacy? Good.

      I'd rather communicate with an AOL user than gmail user, and I'm not an overly private individual.

      Worse is a company like Google opening up that door encourages other companies to start scanning what was previously considered private.

  • So? (Score:5, Funny)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @02:00PM (#49683619)

    My dentist uses an AOL email address and a website that probably hasn't been updated in a decade. I don't care: He's still a decent enough dentist for the occasional drill-and-fill.

    Dentists: Another reason why birds are superior.

    • So you are saying it is still an excellent indicator that you don't want to hire this person to design the software system on you next car?
  • by loadedmind ( 921872 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @02:03PM (#49683653)
    I've done a lot of side work for folks needing computer repair and every...single...one of them that had an AOL email were elderly and not technologically savvy. Personally, I don't care if they have an AOL address or not, but professional businesses not having the @mybusiness.com type of domain and having AOL - I personally find it a little harder to take them seriously and, for the most part, they didn't seem to have as much genuine care for the quality of their work. This should be seen as pure conjecture because I'm sure there are those that don't fit this mold. Just talking about personal experience.
  • by dullertap ( 1733776 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @02:04PM (#49683673)
    We here at dice plan to mine your data but it's an awful hassle to analyze said data. Please do that for us.
  • where you live. I live in Seattle, and despite their government-granted monopoly for most of the city, Comcast typically only offers service in wealthy (read: profitable) areas. In much of the city, faster than dial-up is not available. I had 576 kbps DSL for several years, but it recently quit working so I had to back to dial-up. If you live somewhere with Comcast, then I guess AOL is much more popular in your area.

    • Go back to dialup? Can't you get cellular or something else?
    • That is nuts. I had high speed internet in Oklahoma 15 years ago, you'd think the home of Microsoft would have good connectivity.

    • by Nyder ( 754090 )

      where you live. I live in Seattle, and despite their government-granted monopoly for most of the city, Comcast typically only offers service in wealthy (read: profitable) areas. In much of the city, faster than dial-up is not available. I had 576 kbps DSL for several years, but it recently quit working so I had to back to dial-up. If you live somewhere with Comcast, then I guess AOL is much more popular in your area.

      I live in Seattle and I know for a fact that where Comcast doesn't deliver, there are other Cable providers that do. Faster then dialup is available for all of Seattle.

      I hate Comcast, but fuck, let's not lie here. Lying isn't necessary because the problem is State/City allowed Monopoly of the Cable/Internet services, not the level of service in Seattle. Lying makes you look like an idiot and then invalidates what you are saying.

      Now are you talking about something out of the Seattle city limits and call

  • I've personally found that the majority of people don't really make any judgment on having an AOL address but people who are tech oriented tend to think the person is backwards for using a really old service that's associated with old times, not as much storage or features as some newer entrants (e.g. Gmail, etc.)..

    My parents and grandparents started on the internet for AOL and spend 5+ years regularly using it, signing up for sites, giving out contact info, etc. before getting cable and 9 or more years
  • personally (Score:3, Interesting)

    by koan ( 80826 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @02:08PM (#49683723)

    In the instance of AOL, I am surprised it still exist, and then I begin to picture a little old lady that doesn't know any better than to use it.
    When it comes to Hotmail or Yahoo, it's so cluttered I can't see why anyone would bother with it.

    That brings us to Gmail, I like clean lines, simplicity, what I don't like is UI churn, so that just as soon as I get it in my head where to go to get something done... it moves somewhere else.

    Like some never ending game of "Where's Waldo".

    • Re:personally (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @02:27PM (#49683947)

      AOL still reaches people who can't get broadband and need to use modems. Poor sods.

      The thing is, unlike with broadband, where AOL was just some walled garden app and some content sites, with modems, they're actually a real ISP. And they're really the only national modem based ISP still in existence worth talking about.

      You don't have to be a little old lady to be using AOL. You just have to live far enough off the broadband network to need to use modems still.

      And as someone who worked at AOL itself not so long ago, no one was more shocked than I was when the execs announced that they'd come to the realization that while dialup was declining, it wasn't actually doing so in a precipitous fashion any more. When you take away the loss of all of the broadband adopters, AOL still had a substantial business in dialup, and their dialup infrastructure was paid off and/or low maintenance. AOL, due to its size, is the last man standing from the dialup age.

      Dialup will eventually end, but it could take decades to finally drive a nail in that coffin.

    • by mlts ( 1038732 )

      With all the UI churn of not just Gmail, but every other provider, I've thrown in the towel, and just use a decent MUA (Thunderbird for E-mail, Outlook for calenders/meetings/tasks/contacts.)

      A MUA is a lot more resistant against attack than a Web browser, and gives more options when it comes to rulesets (I can move vital E-mails that hit Yahoo to my hosted Exchange server which I actually look at.) Plus, I can use features like PGP or S/MIME quite easily with it.

  • Ever since around 2009-10 my bias has been against those with Gmail accounts.
    Like FB, it is another path of least resistance that the tech behemoths have herded Americans into.
    • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

      Ever since around 2009-10 my bias has been against those with Gmail accounts.

      Why because using something different gives you a sense of superiority. AOL was an ad laden mess once it go big. It really was foolish to use it if you did not have to do so.

      GMAIL's only real issue is privacy concerns. Which *is* a huge issue, but other services are far from immune to that as well; short of running your own mail server you can't really know and it does matter really because chances are the person you are mailing is using Google anyway.

      The reality is GMAIL works well and meets a lot of pe

  • Because anyone who deserves the label tech knows better, it does however suggest you're an idiot.

  • by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @02:12PM (#49683769)

    In my role as a professional phisherman and spammer, I find that using AOL and Yahoo e-mails enhances my target audience responses by 90%.

    Besides, it's free and I can create hundreds every hour.

    While I'm at it would you be interested in Penis Pills? I have a special on them two bottles for $19.99

    Also please click on this link because I have important information about your Social Security benefits.

  • Horse hockey (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @02:12PM (#49683775)
    It means you've had the same email address for 15+ years and don't want to change it.

    The only reason I finally got a gmail address was I wanted to be able to keep it through moving, changing ISP providers, changing jobs, etc. Having a consistent email address is a handy thing to have.
  • by WCMI92 ( 592436 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @02:13PM (#49683785) Homepage

    Used to indicate that you are a noob idiot with PC's on the internet.

    Now it indicates that you are STILL a noob idiot with a PC on the internet with gray hair.

  • If you have an aol address, it probably means that you have been online longer than most, and have no compelling reason to go though the considerable trouble changing your email address.

    How does that make you "stuck in the 1990s?" Does an aol address force you use Windows-95?

    • If you have an aol address, it probably means that you have been online longer than most, and have no compelling reason to go though the considerable trouble changing your email address.

      "Considerable trouble"? Basically you open a new account (Gmail or whatever) and then have that account check your old AOL account (via POP or IMAP) for a while. Anyone you actively correspond with gets replies from your new account. If you don't correspond with them via email within a year they probably don't really matter to you anyway. Shut down the old account after a year or two - or don't. It's not much trouble at all really.

      What astonishes me is people who use AOL or Gmail similar accounts for t

      • Yes, it can be considerable trouble to change to a new email address.

        I have dozens of web accounts, for which I use my yahoo address. It would be a huge PITA to have to change everything. And besides, what would I gain?

  • After that whether it is aol, gmx, or gmail only matter to hipster. Email has to work. It has to support pop3 and imap and whatever. It does not have to be from a specific domain. Stating aol=dinosaur is being blind to the fact that this is only a domain after the @. It does not reflect anything on the user.
    • Hey, we were having a nice heated discussion about the merits or demerits of using AOL or Gmail for your free email services, then you have to come in with your sensibilities and making a good point, and, well, now everything is ruined!!1!

  • If I saw somebody with an aol.com email I'd wonder if they were a tech dinosaur, a total hipster, or somebody who had simply stuck with something that worked.

    I've had my Hotmail email address since 1996, prior to Microsoft taking it over. I've stuck with it because it works. It does exactly what Hotmail promised from the start, providing email that is independent of my ISP or employer.

    ...laura

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I've only had three email addresses since 1994. And two of them still work. If you write me at any email address I've had for the last 19 years, it will still get to me.

      If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And I value consistency and reliability over the latest fad any day. I'd much rather hire a guy who still uses his old aol email address than some kid who changes his email address (along with his mailing address) every year because he's unreliable and unstable.

  • Real men... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BigDaveyL ( 1548821 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @02:24PM (#49683913) Homepage
    Run their own email server.
  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @02:28PM (#49683969)

    It has a warm, true sound that you just can't get from today's CD's and digital music.

  • I have an aol.com address ironically.
  • Compuserve (Score:5, Funny)

    by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @02:36PM (#49684057)
    So my CompuServe email address shows that I am old?
  • Actually, I've sort of been waiting for an @aol.com e-mail address to become retro/cool again. Like seeing the hipsters all wanting @aol.com addresses to show their hipster status. Apparently I'll need to keep waiting.
  • The @aol.com email address was one of the earliest widely-used email domains. We should be cheering those with @aol.com addresses for blazing the path forward.

    .
    (and, no, my email address is not @aol.com, and never has been)

  • ceres!rlp ;-)

  • Um, that's not a very far distance, seeing as they're part of the same conglomerate.
    • by Enry ( 630 )

      This, and they're both competitors to AOL properties (Engadget at least)

  • by modi123 ( 750470 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @02:53PM (#49684217) Homepage Journal

    I have an AOL email I still use depending on the need, and use it as a barometer to judge folks I give it to. If someone balks and throws a douche-fit about an email address I really am not interested in dealing with them. It has not caused me to miss out on employment or side work, but the mild concern is there.

    It's been my email for about two-dog ages, and I rather not run the issue of changing over everything that goes there.. monitor it for another few months for stragglers.. and then close it.

    It's an email address people. I never had the cool Transformer's lunchbox, or nor the best Saved by the Bell TrapperKeeper and I survived.

  • "Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no." and this is a clear exception to that rule.

  • In January, there was pressure from some activist investors for Yahoo! and AOL to merge. http://www.usatoday.com/story/... [usatoday.com]

    I guess not so much anymore.

  • (apologies to the "you just might be a red neck" guy)

    If you remember owning a black and white television... you just might not be a digital native.
    If you first learned to drive a stick shift.... you just might not be a digital native.
    If you remember when there were only two kinds of coffee... you just might not be a digital native.
    If you know what a pencil has to do with a cassette tape.... you just might not be a digital native.
    ...... < i could go on >....
    If you have an AOL email address.
  • I don't know anyone that uses aol mail that is less than 70 years old.

    I ran into someone that uses CompuServe email awhile ago... not just the web client either but the actual CompuServe email client that you have to install on the computer. The nostalgia with that is pretty funny. It looks just like it did in the 90s.

    What I'd like to see more people moving towards is self hosting. Yes, I know that the ISPs don't want you to run servers on your internet connection but an Email server for ONE person is hardl

  • by AgNO3 ( 878843 )
    DOOOTTTT COOOMMMMMMM
  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @03:46PM (#49684631) Homepage
    Mark you as Computer illiterate?

    It means:

    you can't make your own blog, let alone own website

    you can't master the concept of an email list to forward all your important news to all your friends

    you can't find free games on the internet

    you basically need to pay a ton of private personal information that you can never get back, just to participate in the internet - a task that technically literate people can easily do without paying that very high price.

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @04:26PM (#49684935)

    From 71234.56789@compuserve.com:

    That reminds me, I must get one of those new v.92 mod^D

Heard that the next Space Shuttle is supposed to carry several Guernsey cows? It's gonna be the herd shot 'round the world.

Working...