In honor of its longevity, this title will be cut o
September 28, 2015 3:45 PM   Subscribe

Here's Compuserve WOW!, a new youth-oriented online service! Commercials for it. C|Net reports on it. The Chicago Tribune. Christian Science Monitor. Suck is less than enthused. (via Wayback) Advertising Age reports that its "editor" will be the guy who created Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego for PBS. Compuserve WOW! will offer its own features as well as unlimited Internet for the low price of $17.95 a month. It's coming your way Spring of 1996! And closing less than a year later....
posted by JHarris (18 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
(Suck link rendereth not, at least for me. ymmv.)
posted by mwhybark at 3:54 PM on September 28, 2015


I still miss Suck.
posted by oddman at 3:54 PM on September 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


Even at the time, as a kid, Wow! underwhelmed if only because it was locked to 640x480 full-screen.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:56 PM on September 28, 2015


1996? Who the hell would have paid for this in 1996?
posted by GuyZero at 4:06 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


GuyZero: $18 wasn't entirely outrageous for unlimited dial-up Internet access at the time.
posted by toxic at 4:10 PM on September 28, 2015


compuserve started out way back in the 80s with a similar "walled garden." You couldn't even get to the internet back then.

I recall when they finally let subscribers access the internet, you had to go by several pages of warnings and beware messages before you could leave.

This was prolly an attempt to return to that walled garden with the "think of the children" excuse.

Access services never wanted you to leave their home page/site.
posted by CrowGoat at 4:11 PM on September 28, 2015


"portal"
posted by lazycomputerkids at 4:16 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


In sum: How do you prevent American's youngest people from being traumatized by the vile stuff that lurks on the storied World Wide Web while assuring that the rest of its people can enjoy the incredible riches of useful and enlightening information that make up the vast majority of stuff to be had?

LOL -- a snapshot from the innocent world before cell phone cameras and sexting and Snapchat.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:19 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


But it wasn't internet. The real nerds of the world would have used regular old internet dialup. This was clearly aimed at the non-nerds but was still waaaaaay too nerdy for normals.
posted by GuyZero at 4:23 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Has there ever been a mega FPP about suck.com? Hmmm...
posted by chinston at 4:59 PM on September 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


I recall when they finally let subscribers access the internet, you had to go by several pages of warnings and beware messages before you could leave.

It's funny, the fact that all these corporate user-friendly online services did, in fact, let you click your way on through to the burning garbage mountain of warez and porn that was usenet in the 90s is kind of like if Facebook and Google had not-well-publicized but not-entirely-hidden portals to the Deep Web.
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:01 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I had this after running up thousands of dollars on the still-hourly AOL and Prodigy and Compuserve. Probably one of the most significant things in my life now that I think about it.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 5:05 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Sure, our new online service is for your family, but with chatcenters full of people who share your interests, it's also for... extended families... 'Catfish is my game.'"
posted by Don Pepino at 8:53 PM on September 28, 2015


Suck.com was my first internet web daily mind sink. Now it's this place. How time changes...
posted by njohnson23 at 9:44 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Somewhere I have a Compuserve CD magazine they distributed (it was "The FUN Issue!!") that had a demo of Wow! on it. It is entirely because of that CD that I remember Wow today, and could make this post on it. Was it worth it? Was Wow worth it when it came out?
posted by JHarris at 11:06 PM on September 28, 2015


Watch the ad, and then let all the others autoplay. The sets! The props! The actors! That was one hell of an ad buy. Wow.
posted by bicyclefish at 5:30 AM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


That takes me back to something I totally forgot about. During college (94-98) I co-oped in CompuServe's networking division. On occasion we'd participate in alpha and beta tests of the consumer focused stuff like WOW!
posted by mmascolino at 9:09 AM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


The music in that first ad is so strange. It screams "erectile dysfunction drug," not "safe wholesome internet for the kids."
posted by usonian at 11:43 AM on September 29, 2015


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