An angry reader of Wired News recently sent them the following e-mail...

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998

I was surprised to see AOL and Spin magazine issuing the "Online Music Awards" -- on behalf of everyone on-line, apparently, though the votes came only from AOL's membership.

The blatant attempt to piggyback on the Grammy's popularity apparently succeeded (since Wired News ran the story!) But I was surprised when your teaser headline read "Music magazine and ISP announce results..." When did AOL become an internet service provider?

What they are is a billion-dollar-a-year corporation that roped off the "Online Music Awards" ballots from the majority of onliners who aren't AOL subscribers. Some might suggest that's why top honors went to the Spice Girls. (Wonder if Hanson is up for anything?) Others might argue even an unreliable commercial on-line service can buy credibility if they issue enough cute press releases. And the remainder might agree with the hacker who breached AOL's security last August and re-wrote the headlines in AOL's Spin area.

"Spin Online is so f---ing lame."