You guys, the 90’s are back.
While looking for a cheap sports bra I scrolled in to my past.
Is this real life?
In the late 90’s I was the editor or a contributor for countless AOL Zines. I was a pioneer of email marketing, I was on a whitelist so I could send mass emails. My best friend beta tested AOL features. We learned basic html, graphic design, and became well versed in the arts of ASCII and Dollz.
I had a variety zine that was popular enough to get sponsorships. I can’t remember the name of it. Weekly, monthly, even daily, I sent out newsletters with content I created or curated. There was celebrity gossip, inspirational quotes, music, graphics, poetry, and short stories. I had a journal zine where people subscribed to read about my life. This was 1997. I was not cool.
ANYWAY. If you were part of the elite level of zines — ones with active subscribers and an ad section at the end — You had the opportunity to get free shit from online stores to use for giveaways. I ran a contest and the winner would get butterfly clips or a tattoo choker or gel pens! I’d also get to keep some of the loot for myself. It was a sweet life.
Now, whenever I see a tattoo choker I think of the rainbow one that my cousin, Elyse, won from me in a contest to refer the most subscribers. It was the year SURGE came out. I remember vividly, sitting in the back seat of a car in Island Park, NY. The windows were down, it was hot, and Z100 was playing “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind. ‘ I want something else’… “how about a z100 pencil?”, chimes in the DJ, … ‘to get me through this’… I pulled out the tattoo choker and a few butterfly clips and handed them to Elyse. She screamed. I asked her if she had just had SURGE. They didn’t have SURGE in New York.