postalnews.com is 15 years old today…

oldpostalnewsFifteen years ago today postalnews.com was registered as a domain on the Internet. We’d been online in a number of guises prior to that date, on services like GeoCities(!) and Xoom.com, but it was on this day in 1998 that we officially became postalnews.com.

Lots of things have changed since then- in 1998, Moe Biller was the President of the American Postal Workers Union. Vince Sombrotto was in his twentieth year as President of the National Association of Letter Carriers. Bill Henderson was Postmaster General. Marvin Runyon, Henderson’s predecessor and the patron saint of postal cost-cutting, was under fire for throwing himself a lavish $120,000 retirement party at USPS expense. And the USPS Pro Cycling Team had recently signed Lance Armstrong to a $200,000 a year contract to ride a bike in France. A postage stamp cost 32 cents. On the other side of the Atlantic, the Labour government was rumored to be planning the partial privatization of the Royal Mail. Access to the Internet came by way of a dial-up modem and a service like America Online or CompuServe. Facebook, Twitter and Google didn’t even exist.

If you wanted to know what was going on in the postal world, there was really only one choice online- the one daily postal web site that preceded postalnews.com. AMMA.org, started in 1996, was the web site of the Advertising Mail Marketing Association. Now known as Postcom.org, the site is still going strong, and is operated now as it was then by Postcom President Gene Del Polito.

We don’t have a copy of our very first edition, but you can see a selection of postal news stories from October 24, 1998, as well as an archive copy of the site from January 1999 on the Internet Archive. The archive also has a copy of our very active discussion forum from August 2000 that may bring back memories.

Thanks to everyone who has helped make postalnews.com a success by reading, commenting, and telling your friends about the site! Here’s to another 15 years!