A memoir of an "in-the-trenches" employee at America Online, and an inside look at how the world's largest Internet company was created.
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We see stories everywhere these days about the ?instant millionaires? the Internet industry created. But nowhere is there a first-person true-life account of what it was like to be an employee of the company at the epicenter of the world of interactive communications from the very early days.
Through the eyes of an industry insider, who programmed AOL?s hugely popular ?People Connection? chat area, the reader learns how the lives of many people changed dramatically in a few short years.
As we follow the author?s ?I was there? account of being hired at Quantum Computer Services (which became AOL) in 1988, and navigating this strange new world, the reader gets the ?true inside story? of AOL?s eccentric founding father, Bill von Meister, and how Steve Case was really hired. Through interviews with numerous AOL employees, industry pundits, and users themselves, we explore the world of online community and how it has affected people?s lives. (Sample titles: ?Forty Weddings and a Funeral,? ?Zen and the Art of Cyber-Emceeing,? and ?Timothy Leary: Jacking In.?)
?My Life at AOL? strives to give a balanced account of the world online. Although the book touches on some of the most egregious online cases of cyber crime and intrigue, it sheds light on the many benefits of this new medium as well. The reader will come away with a sense of the history and impact of the Internet revolution as seen from a personal perspective. (And hopefully chuckle at a few crazy anecdotes).
My job was so free of interest, it would have made a great loan.
It was thus I found myself one Sunday in the summer of 1988, sitting on the sugar-maple carpeted floor of the one-bedroom Alexandria, Virginia high-rise apartment I shared with my sister, thumbing through the copious classified ad pages of Sunday?s Washington Post. I was looking for that job description that would save me from my mind-numbing gig as a proofreader at a large D.C. law firm.
I'd seen the ad and it looked bizarre but intriguing:
We're Quantum Computer Services, an innovative leader in providing interactive online services to the home computer market. We're searching for a creative, flexible individual to sharpen our competitive edge in the educational/entertainment market."