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Old 05-14-12, 03:45 PM   #1
bluetoast
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Can somebody explain what exactly the Keywords were for AOL?

Back in the mid 90's I'd see a commercial and then a keyword (e.g. for Nickelodeon, it would be "Keyword: Nick").

Is that just a way of accessing the official website without entering www. and .com? Or was it a different site entirely?

Also, did Prodigy do something similar? I seem to recall this...
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Old 05-14-12, 03:53 PM   #2
joeblow69
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Re: Can somebody explain what exactly the Keywords were for AOL?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetoast View Post
Back in the mid 90's I'd see a commercial and then a keyword (e.g. for Nickelodeon, it would be "Keyword: Nick").

Is that just a way of accessing the official website without entering www. and .com? Or was it a different site entirely?

Also, did Prodigy do something similar? I seem to recall this...
From what I remember, the keywords were for AOLs own, created content. The internet browser, and access to the web, came later.
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Old 05-14-12, 07:03 PM   #3
Rex Fenestrarum
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Re: Can somebody explain what exactly the Keywords were for AOL?

Yep. "AOL keyboards" were just terms you typed into AOL's internal search engine. As you say, "keyword:Nick" would take you to Nick's AOL site, which was kind of like what Nick's official Facebook page would be these days. And just as you can go from one company's FB page to another without going out on the Internet, so too you could go from AOL site to AOL site using only keywords.
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Old 05-14-12, 10:24 PM   #4
Alyoshka
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Re: Can somebody explain what exactly the Keywords were for AOL?

I guess it was sort of similar to what Facebook does if you are within their site and search for a page to like. I always thought the AOL Keyword commercials were silly.
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Old 05-14-12, 10:49 PM   #5
bluetoast
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Re: Can somebody explain what exactly the Keywords were for AOL?

Ah thanks, it makes sense in that context. As a kid I thought I was missing out on something because I had the "regular" internet.
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Old 05-15-12, 12:32 AM   #6
davidh777
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Re: Can somebody explain what exactly the Keywords were for AOL?

I just figured it was a dumbed-down way of navigating. Guess that wasn't quite the case.
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Old 05-15-12, 05:26 PM   #7
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Re: Can somebody explain what exactly the Keywords were for AOL?

AOL was originally its own closed, proprietary content network. Keywords were they way you would navigate to or access content. The only interactions AOL had with the wider Internet were an e-mail gateway, and, I believe, newsgroups. It wasn't until about 1995, I believe, when the AOL software finally got a web browser integrated so that you could visit Internet websites also. Then, general TCP/IP networking came to the AOL software later, so that AOL could be used as a regular ISP, so that you could access all regular Internet services, as well as AOL's proprietary content.
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