One day I was chatting in some online chat room, and I was thinking that the room really wasn’t very good. There weren’t many people chatting. There were only a dozed or so emoticons to choose from. The chat seemed slow and buggy at times. I remembered the days of Compuserve chat, AOL chat, Excite chat, and even more localized chat rooms that were fun. There was always someone chatting, and you could join and get to know people from different places and different walks of life. The people in chat became your online friends.
Back in the year 1997, America Online claimed to have approximately 19,000 chat rooms online. AOL members spent more than a million hours a day in chat. That was the heyday of the old school chat room. It was a lot of fun, but it I’m sure it will never be that big again.
MSN closed most of their chat rooms in 2003. AOL axed their chat rooms once and for all in 2010. Yahoo quietly killed off their public chat rooms in 2012. The simple fact is, chat rooms aren’t big revenue earners. People come to chat, not to click on the ads or buy something, and most people won’t pay a fee just to join a chat room.
Attempts to reincarnate the fun, exciting chat rooms of the 1990s lack some crucial elements. They seem to try to make their chat rooms too complex, or in some cases, the software is just buggy and that ruins the experience. People don’t want to solve a puzzle just to chat with others.
The old school chat room was once on the cutting edge of the internet frontier. In the late 1990s they became monetized and standardized. Then the number crunchers in the big corporations pointed out the simple fact that chat rooms use a significant amount of bandwidth without making very much money. The big boys closed their rooms. The chat rooms operated by the smaller players were filled with spam and age/sex/location (a/s/l) type queries. It was a long way from the fun, supportive chats of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Time has marched on, and it seems that the era of the old school chat room has passed. But, all these years later, there are those of us who still want that good old chat, and those good friends that we meet every night to talk and laugh with. We want to bring back some of those good times. Yes, we have begun to wax nostalgic and pine for the chat of yesteryear.
So, with very little money and a whole lot of waxing and pining, I decided to start this little website. I found software for the chat rooms that is about as close as I can come to the old school style chat rooms of yesteryear, yet has enough modern features to make it interesting. I think the second best thing about the chat software is the emoticons. I have a ton of them, and I add more all the time. Anyone is free to submit an emoticon or any image for chat consideration. The best thing about the Old School Chat is the people, so come on people, join chat and let’s do this thing!