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AOHellI haven't hated AOL since I stopped using it in the 90s. But I have continued to use an AIM screen name. I've been surprisingly amazed that they have left their popular AIM protocol open to 3rd party clients, unmolested. Since the AOL-created AIM is an annoying, feature-poor adfest, using 3rd party clients is the only option: I recommend pidgin, adium, or iChat (OS X only). But I digress.

Apparently AIM users have been unmolested due to sheer laziness on the part of AOL. They have finally gotten around to annoying us. Somehow my beloved mother activated their annoy-a-tron 3000. I would get IMd every single time I logged on, and then some:

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Thursday, July 3, 2008 - aim
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10:31:13 AM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008 - aim
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9:34:44 AM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008 - aim
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8:56:31 AM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - aim
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9:49:59 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - aim
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8:18:50 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - aim
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4:40:00 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - aim
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2:03:40 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - aim
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12:05:38 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - aim
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9:36:41 AM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - aim
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9:14:52 AM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - aim
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7:35:44 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.
8:40:55 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - aim
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6:38:57 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - aim
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3:58:40 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - aim
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2:00:47 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - aim
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12:32:20 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - aim
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12:02:27 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - aim
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9:37:08 AM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Monday, June 30, 2008 - aim
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11:27:17 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Monday, June 30, 2008 - aim
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9:14:39 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

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Monday, June 30, 2008 - aim
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9:03:01 PM aim: Hey! Good news! Somebody says they are your buddy and wants you to show up on their AIM Profile. Click here now to see the 1 request(s) you have waiting.

When these IMs persisted, I realized this was a ploy to get me to log into their website. So I did log in, because the madness had to end. And I was underwhelmed by what they had done to their website - just what the internet needs - yet another social networking site. Look out facebook and myspace - AOL has created a social networking site which promises nothing new and is twice as annoying! At least facebook and myspace have options for which you can check "Don't annoy me". AOL does not have this option - I searched high and low.

In the "old days" if you wanted to add somebody to your buddy list, you would just add them! It did not create a huge headache for your buddy. I'm pretty sure that the standard buddy list "add buddy" feature will not molest you. But if anybody decides to use AOL's social network - please, pretty pretty please, do not add me as a buddy.


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