New! DC Online Chatrooms!

Well, they were new in 1995, anyhow.

Ah, the early days of the internet when it was still referred to as “the Information Superhighway” and was a world where people got together to discuss things they liked, well before the days of people getting together to call each other names even if they liked the same thing, and threaten rape and death to those who didn’t like the same thing. (Twitter, I’m looking at you.)

DC Online was run through America Online (remember that?) and was set up as a series of chatrooms where fans and DC staff could talk with each other:

Here we are, twenty years on from this and I can’t help look at that and think “Aww, how cute!”

And look, for the newbies (was that even a word in ’95?) they produced a handy guide to “some computer shorthand symbols that will help you understand what some of the AOL cyberjocks are chatting about:

While they clearly wanted people to log on and join in – remember, all you need is “a computer (IBM compatible or Macintosh, either one)” – reading that ad I can’t help but get the sense of older guys trying to appeal to a younger audience by using buzzwords like “cyberjock” and “surfing the waves” and being “buzzed about this leap” but instead just coming across as . . . well . . . older guys trying to sound young.

And it’s not like they did that before, is it?

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Back in 1996, you could call anyone as long as you’ve subscribed to two DC Comics titles:

And as long as you didn’t want to talk for more than five minutes, that is.

Seriously? A five minute pre-paid phonecard is something worth touting as an incentive to subscribing to two titles?

Any of my American visitors want to try ringing (516) 756-0350 and letting me know what happens . . . ?

But look – Conner, Wally and Kyle! The 90s weren’t all bad.