Bye-bye AOL Hometown
"AOL Hometown", a service that AOL used to run where their customers could publish basic web pages, has gone away. Many users are, predictably, angry and upset (as well as badly spelled and lacking grammar), despite, I am absolutely certain, AOL doing everything that they were contractually obligated to do.
For example, one LOLAOLUSER said this, which is crying out to be made into a lolcat:
WHERE IS THE HOME PAGE IT TOOK MONTHS FOR ME TO BILL [sic]. I DID NOT RECEIVE ANY NOTICE VIA THE MAIL OR E-MAIL.
PLEASE HELP ME FIND MY WEB PAGE SO I CAN COPY IT AND MOVE IT SOME WHERE ELSE.
I SUGGEST YOU PUT THE HOME PAGE BACK OR YOU WILL LOOSE [sic] A LOT OF CUSTOMERS.
I WILL SEE TO THAT.
CONNECTIONS ALWAYS HELP.
-- DAVE DUNKLE
and another said:
What happened to my web page on my husband, Bob Champine, that took me many years to put together on his career and which meant a lot to me and to the aviation community. I noticed with 9.0 I lost the left margin and the picture of him exiting the X-1. I need to restore it to the internet as it is history. Please tell me what to do. I will be glad to retype it, I just don't want it lost to the world.
I need help.
-- Gloria Champine
Some misguided souls are wringing their hands, insisting that "the technorati" should Do Something (despite it being the technically clueful who are the most vociferous about how people shouldn't use products and services which lock their data away from them), and laughably comparing losing a website to losing your home.
Just about the only thing I agree with is that the users aren't (entirely) to blame. I mostly blame the uncaring bastards who encouraged the ignorant to do stuff without providing the necessary instruction. The necessary instruction for making a website - indeed for using a computer - obviously includes "keep backups". Gloria Champine was fucked over not by AOL, but by whoever encouraged her to use a cheap low-end provider and didn't teach her the basics of computing. She was probably fucked over by one of her children.