Twitter Almost Replicates AOL Chat Rooms from 1988!

There are two things missing from the Internet and have been since what we originally new as “the web” became what everyone thinks of as “the Internet”. One is mass repositories of downloadable information in FTP or Gopher protocols. While some functions of the web, originally referred to as the WWW or HTTP, embrace FTP/Gopher style delivery of files and documents, the overall web is completely bloated. Think “no advertisements”, no misleading links, and easily sortable file structure. But that’s not the big one that missed the mark.

Click here if you just want to seeĀ “How To Create Private A Chat Room On Twitter” and don’t have time for my walk down memory lane.

My first few “web development” jobs back in 1994 through 1997 mostly came from small business owners who had built big followings on AOL. Now it was very difficult in those days for a small business to afford much advertising on the giant network so they found ways around it. One of those ways to to post in the many bulletin board areas on all of the available networks and the other was to get involved in the chat rooms.

Spam chatter was not welcome and would quickly result in an eviction (aka kicked) and could end in a user being permanently banned. So I saw usernames like ATL-Plumbr, LifeIns, FHAchic, LoanGodess, and others. They worked but it wasn’t until the web where people could become more blatant and “run their own shop”. That said there were a lot of people who immediately began to miss the good old days of chat rooms – it’s why Facebook is so popular today; Facebook has offered the closest solution on a giant scale. Until now…

But, I think it will be little noticed even if it is much used. Twitter has announced essentially an AOL chatroom without some of the functions. “In an expansion of direct messaging on Twitter, users will now be able to have private conversations with as many as 20 followers at the same time.” -

Something that wasn’t missing from the web but was missing from Twitter was video snippets up to 30 seconds. Now it’s not missing. Honestly, I think both additions are too little too late – but there are always caveats. I was a big fan of Twitpic…