I remember being a young fellow and rushing to the mailbox after high school to hopefully find an America Online (AOL) CD waiting for me, and reminiscing about such brings back fond memories of days gone by. When the internet was charged by the hour, free time on AOL, especially for web connoisseurs like myself, was worth it’s weight in gold. Now, those old CDs (and diskettes) we used to receive in the mail have become collectors items… I kid you not.
Of the over one billion disks produced, it’s estimated that there are over 1,000 unique designs circulating the globe. Some are very common while others, especially in foreign languages, are difficult to obtain. There are a few things that determine the collectibility of AOL promotional CDs and diskettes, which are listed below:
- CD or Diskette
- Version Number
- Number of Free Hours
- Language & Locality
- Release Year
- Serial Number
From a marketing perspective, when you really think about it, did America Online complete their mission? If you ask me, I say so. They, in essence, took American online and positioned the company as the #1 internet service provider in the world, however short-lived it may have been. The company name truly came to fruition.
Moral of the story: The next time you’re thinking about picking up a new hobby, consider collecting old school AOL CDs. Or, if you have boo koo bucks, springs for the diskettes.
Aaron Schoenberger is Founder of The Brainchild Group — a digital advertising agency that specializes in revolutionary Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing strategies. He’s known for his work with celebrity clients, top restaurants, professional athletes and Fortune 500 companies.