Americans' Discussion of President Clinton Largest Ever on America Online

August 18, 1998

Dulles, VA, August 18, 1998 - AOL is facilitating the largest global discussion in its history with 225,000 messages about President Clinton posted in the last ten days on America Online -- 100,000 have been posted since President Clinton's speech Monday night. AOL message boards uncover what Americans are talking about; the institution of the Presidency, The First Lady and whether President Clinton can continue to govern. This is the largest discussion to ever take place on America Online. Princess Diana's death inspired 150,000 messages in the same amount of time, followed by reaction to the movie Saving Private Ryan drawing over 20,000 messages. "People come to AOL's message boards, chat rooms and AOL News to find what they've always found, thoughtful conversation about subjects important to them," said Jonathan Sacks, Senior Vice President, AOL Interactive Services. "This past week, over 225,000 people have weighed in with an opinion about their President and their future. No where else is this kind of immediate global conversation possible." Continued Sacks: "The outpouring of messages on AOL is an amazing example of how Americans are dealing with everyday issues online. AOL's community and technology make it a national watering hole. It's one thing to put up clever content, but what we can't do is prompt our members to have this mass, cathartic outpouring." Topics most debated include whether President Clinton can continue to govern with 30,000 messages in 48 hours since his speech, the institution of the Presidency with 22,000 messages in 48 hours, and The First Lady with 12,000 messages in 48 hours. AOL provides news 24 hours a day and supplements that news with a place to discuss it immediately. Nearly 30,000 AOL members followed an ABC television discussion online in order to simultaneously talk about things with other members. AOL News mainscreen and a special package about President Clinton drew over 3 million entries the day of President Clinton's speech. As part of the special package, AOL ran two polls which drew 165,000 responses in total, the largest poll response for any one topic. Poll results and message boards can be found at keyword Newstalk.

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