Let’s indulge a bit in nostalgia this weekend. I just remembered one of the websites that I used to frequent a lot around 15-20 years ago. The site was called klamm.de, and it was a German paid portal site. Or should I say, it is because if you follow the link, you might see that the site still exists. It almost looks like and has the features that were developed in its early years after the inauguration in 1999.
At the time, “getting paid for looking at ads” was the latest fad with paid email promotions, reviews, and even “surf bars” which would continuously show rotating banner ads next to your browser. All with sophisticated multi-level affiliate programs to make sure you’d invite your friends. And late teenage me was much more curious about the ideas and making some money (though I never made anything substantial) rather than being critical about advertising and the privacy-invading technology behind it as I am today.
Anyway, klamm.de was less about the earnings, but more about the community - the so-called “klammunity” and I spent quite a bit of my time on the forums of the site. Also, I assume that the site was responsible for my interest in APIs that drives my work today. How so?
Of course, it was a stupid idea, because the game ran on the client and would report results to the server, so you could easily cheat. Still, it kicked off other hobby developers in the klammunity to build things around the API. And I learned a lot from it, too.
It’s interesting to see some of the “paid4” sites still around, even though earnings are minuscule, and we’re already annoyed by the advertisements we don’t get also paid for. I deleted my klamm.de account after not using it for a few years, but I’d love to log in again and take a trip back in time.