My Life at AOL

by Julia L. Wilkinson



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 04/04/2001

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 160
ISBN : 9780759615250

About the Book

We see stories everywhere these days about the “instant millionaires” the Internet industry created. But nowhere is there a first-person true-life account of what it was like to be an employee of the company at the epicenter of the world of interactive communications from the very early days.

Through the eyes of an industry insider, who programmed AOL’s hugely popular “People Connection” chat area, the reader learns how the lives of many people changed dramatically in a few short years.

As we follow the author’s “I was there” account of being hired at Quantum Computer Services (which became AOL) in 1988, and navigating this strange new world, the reader gets the “true inside story” of AOL’s eccentric founding father, Bill von Meister, and how Steve Case was really hired.  Through interviews with numerous AOL employees, industry pundits, and users themselves, we explore the world of online community and how it has affected people’s lives.

My Life at AOL strives to give a balanced account of the world online. Although the book touches on some of the most egregious online cases of cyber crime and intrigue, it sheds light on the many benefits of this new medium as well. The reader will come away with a sense of the history and impact of the Internet revolution as seen from a personal perspective. (And hopefully chuckle at a few crazy anecdotes).

About the Author

Julia Wilkinson is uniquely qualified to write about the Internet and online services.  She combines a nine-year career at AOL with her strong writing skills and record as a prolific columnist.  She has been quoted on National Public Radio and in USA Today, published many articles in industry publications, and been a columnist three times for various magazines and online services.  

Ms. Wilkinson was most recently a contributor for, a web site about high-tech CEOs and their lifestyles; and recently wrote weekly columns on business, technology, and home office issues for the women’s business web site

At AOL, she worked as production manager, responsible for all design and production for four major AOL channels: Life, Styles & Interests, The Newsstand, Hobby Central, and Religion & Beliefs.

In her career as producer, Julia created online areas in conjunction with major media partners such as The New York Times, Scientific American, Hachette Filipacchi magazines, Business Week, Wired, the Army Times, and Windows Magazine; as well as for the News, Personal Finance and Media departments.  She designed the Life, Styles & Interests web site and wrote original content for it; and developed original programming, including seasonal features, games, and interactive entertainment for the People Connection area of AOL's former services Q-Link and PC-Link, as well as for the America Online service.

Her early experience with the interactive channel of AOL, “People Connection,” gave her a unique perspective on the stories of people in cyberspace and how dramatically it could affect their lives. 

She has written for various publications, including Multimedia Online, Boardwatch, COMPUTE!, CONNECT, ComputorEdge, and Digital Publishing Strategies.

Julia is married to J. Nicholas Gallagher, an attorney.  They have a daughter, Lindsay; and a son, Kyle; and live in Alexandria, Virginia.