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The Almighty Buck The Internet

Cash Pours in for Student with $1 Million Web Idea 527

Quantum Logic writes "Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student from a small town in England, earned a cool million dollars in four months on the Internet. Selling porn? Dealing prescription drugs? Nope. All he sells are pixels. The idea: turn his home page into a billboard made up of a million dots, and sell them for a dollar a dot to anyone who wants to put up their logo. A 10 by 10 dot square, roughly the size of a letter of type, costs $100. He sold a few to his brothers and some friends, and when he had made $1,000, he issued a press release. That was picked up by the news media, spread around the Internet, and soon advertisers for everything from dating sites to casinos to real estate agents to The Times of London were putting up real cash for pixels, with links to their own sites."
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Cash Pours in for Student with $1 Million Web Idea

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  • rest of the article (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 30, 2005 @01:58AM (#14362958)
    since the submitter copied half the article, here's the rest:

    So far they have bought up 911,800 pixels. Tew's home page now looks like an online Times Square, festooned with a multi-colored confetti of ads.

    "All the money's kind of sitting in a bank account," Tew told Reuters from his home in Wiltshire, southwest England. "I've treated myself to a car. I've only just passed my driving test so I've bought myself a little black mini."

    The site features testimonials from advertisers, some of whom bought spots as a lark, only to discover that they were receiving actual valuable Web hits for a fraction of the cost of traditional Internet advertising.

    Meanwhile Tew has had to juggle running the site with his first term at university, where he is studying business.

    "It's been quite a difficulty trying to balance going to lectures and doing the site," he said.

    But he may not have to study for long. Job offers have been coming in from Internet companies impressed by a young man who managed to figure out an original way to make money online.

    "I didn't expect it to happen like that," Tew said. "To have the job offers and approaches from investors -- the whole thing is kind of surreal. I'm still in a state of disbelief."
    • by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:21AM (#14363057) Homepage
      This is seriously old news []. Like, from September old. What next, are we going to get an editorial about this new phenomenon called "blogging"?
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 30, 2005 @03:25AM (#14363268)
        an editorial about this new phenomenon called "blogging"?

        Hmm. Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
      • Re:Holy old news. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @03:43AM (#14363306) Homepage
        Just to show how ridiculously old this is, there are people selling friggin scripts that will automate the whole process of creating this kind of page. In fact, there are so many clones out there that there are already directories of them. The kid got lucky, but anybody else hoping to cash in will not be so lucky. You see, this is a one time fee that people pay, and they pay for the traffic that is generated by the press. You only get the press if you're the guy who started this. You won't get it if you're just a clone.

    • Job offers have been coming in from Internet companies impressed by a young man who managed to figure out an original way to make money online.

      This is the trouble with business. This kid isn't a genius, after all:

      ...I've only just passed my driving test...

      This is just a flash in the pan, he'll get some publicity, sell some ad space, and then what?

      Yes, he made a significant amount of money in a short time, which seems to be the model the new economy [] is adopting, but it's not sustainable business. In

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:54AM (#14363163)
        well I think you're missing the point of what they see in him

        and quite the opposite argument can be made, look at nobel laureates, how many of them did any significant work after the work that won them the prize, some do, but in proportion to the expectations you have?

        coming up with one good idea unfortunately isn't a sure fire predictor of future good ideas

        rather what they see in him I think is that he has what it takes to transform an idea into real world action

        there's a lot more people out there with grandiose "good" ideas than there are people with the skills to take one of them and turn it into real world profit

        griping that there's nothing special about this kid just makes you look petty and jealous
      • This kid isn't a genius, after all:

        ...I've only just passed my driving test...

        This may surprise you, but not everyone in the world has a driver's license at age 16. Hell, in a lot of countries the minimum age is 17, 18, or even higher. And believe it or not, in large portions of the world a substantial (majority?) of people don't have a driver's license and depend on public transit systems like rails, subways, and busses. It's a shame that most US citizens can't comprehend the benefits to society of

        • "It's a shame that most US citizens can't comprehend the benefits to society of having a good solid public transit system"

          In most of the US, a public transportation system would be more expensive than cars. Buses are great and all, but if they always run less than a quarter full, they're actually less efficient than cars (because they are so much bigger). Further, there are only six cities in the US with the population density to support light rail (in the rest, buses would actually be more efficient).

          • by Zork the Almighty ( 599344 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @06:42AM (#14363700) Journal
            Further, there are only six cities in the US with the population density to support light rail (in the rest, buses would actually be more efficient).

            In my experience (Vancouver BC) building mass transit creates demand for high density housing. We built our first rapid transit line in 1986, and ten years later you could see residential towers around most of the stations - wherever the municipal governments allowed it. In 2001 we opened a second line and the towers are there already. These are 20-30 story residential towers, in groups of 3-10 around most stations, where previously there were just some old houses. The towers being built now have integrated commercial development, ie: a good grocery store and basic services are less than a 5 minute walk from your apartment. Provided there is demand for real-estate, why not build this way ? People don't want to drive an hour or more to work, and then drive again to the grocery store, and again to the mall, etc. You can waste your entire life sitting in traffic. Rapid transit has network effects. The system becomes more valuable as you build it, and if cities aren't building it now because their density is low then they are completely backwards.
            • To restate what you said in the fewest possible words...

              If you build it, they will come!

              Happens everywhere. Provide access, and housing magically sprouts.

          • Buses are great and all, but if they always run less than a quarter full, they're actually less efficient than cars (because they are so much bigger).

            The only way public transit would work in the US would be if people stopped moving out of cities and started moving back. Good public transit requires that kind of clumpiness.

            I assure you the town I live in is plenty 'clumpy' enough to support a good public transit system, however I doubt any of the bus routes here have more than a quarter full for more th

      • The kid got people to throw money at him with an idea NOBODY else thought of and all you can do is whine about how he is not a genius, can barely drive and basically doesn't deserve it because it was "easy" money. What a fucking wet blanket, in ten years you will probably be working for him.
        • in ten years he will have spent all his million dollars rying to get his internet ad firm off the ground and realize after it's gone that his idea was just randomly lucky, like the first person to sell a ghost in a jar on ebay or the first hundred or so people to sign up for a free ipod/plasma tv/ mac mini
      • Once again proving that it isn't how smart you are or how hard you work but who you know. It sounds like he got his start by knowing friends and family that could pour a little money into his idea and help get him started. THAT is what is needed more than a really clever idea.

        Not saying that this kid isn't smart but just that this doesn't really prove anything. It's more luck and connections working in his favor. Charging per pixel is a reasonable idea but is it really so much better than any other pricing
  • by Kickboy12 ( 913888 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @01:58AM (#14362960) Homepage
    ...cause I didn't think of it first. :(

    It's so simple! *bangs head on table*
    • That's OK, here's an idea you can take and run with. Sell 5 second sound bites to advertisers, so that when you bring up your web page you will hear this cacophony of voices clamoring for your money.

      I mean, if that guy can make hundreds of thousands of $'s with his idea, then this ought to work too.

      Good luck!

    • It's so simple...

      that someone else copied the idea

      And advertised for it on the orignal guy's site.
      Is that sneaky or what?
    • by Urusai ( 865560 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @03:19AM (#14363250)
      Other bright ideas:

      - Beg for money on your website (with a handy PayPal link)
      - Sell square inches of lunar real estate
      - Sell naming rights to various stars in the galaxy
      - Sell prayers (or better yet, indulgences)
      - Sell "homeopathic" remedies (tap water)
      - Start a "blog" (really a BBS), charge subscriptions for people to entertain themselves
      - Make lots of toast, sell on Ebay as "Virgin Mary and/or Jesus and/or Elvis Toast"
      - Declare yourself an independent country and sell people citizenship
      - Pose as an ousted Nigerian dignitary, promise people a cut of your ill gotten gains, take their money and run (possibly illegal in some jurisdictions)
      - Make a bunch of finger paintings, fake your own death, sell your work as high art
      - Make some lame Flash cartoons, create an Internet meme ("Badger..", "Trogdor...", etc), sell T-shirts
      - Create a blog, sift through a couple of common sites and "aggregate" articles, then post to other people's blogs citing your blog as a news source
      - Threaten to kill some cute animal if people don't buy something from you
      - Stop bathing, acquire some army-surplus accoutrement, stand on street corners looking dazed with a cup in your hand
      - Do something stupid, get humiliated on national TV, do the talk show circuit, become a regular guest on some low-budget game show
      - Get a job. But only if you're desperate.
    • The competitive response is even simpler.

      Now with twice the pixels!
  • by mge ( 120046 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:00AM (#14362966) Homepage Journal
    The Million Dollar homepage []
    oops forgot the obligatory WOOOT!!! FP
    • Now to simply block that at my routers hosts file... ahhh

      Anyone else see this as being a "topsite" that doesn't fairly rank the sites, just sells out to the highest bidder?

      Imagine if google sold the top 10 slots for each of the top 1,000,000 words searched, i would think they would get more than $1bil, but then, no one would go there anymore :)
  • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:00AM (#14362969)
    $1 buys you a character. I hope to collect a cool $120 by the time this is all over.
  • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <> on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:01AM (#14362973) Homepage
    You can be the smartest guy on the block with many awesome ideas, but it seems to repeatedly be the simplest/dumbest ones which get you rich quick.
  • by Vivek Jishtu ( 905067 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:04AM (#14362986) Homepage Journal
    The site got unexpected high hits from slashdot :) which means more sales.
  • Return on investment (Score:5, Informative)

    by quokkapox ( 847798 ) <> on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:04AM (#14362988)
    I clicked on multiple ads which looked vaguely appealing, loaded their pages in tabs, skimmed over some of them, and bought absolutely nothing. Net result: wasted bandwidth.

    It'd be an interesting way to get your message out to some more people though, if you weren't trying to sell something.

    This Internet thing is tweaking human communication in interesting ways. I like it.

    • Agreed. This page combines everything that is ugly and annoying about the internet and condenses it into a single, visual eyesore. I'm surprised that some spammer hasn't shelled out 1,000$ to have a big, pixelated cock-and-balls with "buy v14gra h3r3!" written on the shaft straight in the middle of the page...
  • by Stickerboy ( 61554 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:04AM (#14362989) Homepage
    ...there's a sucker born every minute.

    Or in this case, at least 10,000 in 4 months.
    • ...there's a sucker born every minute.
      Or in this case, at least 10,000 in 4 months.

      4*30*24*60/10000 ~= 17

      So, that makes a sucker born every 17 minutes...
    • ...there's a sucker born every minute. Or in this case, at least 10,000 in 4 months.

      But can you call them suckers? People are actually clicking through the ads. Seems like they are getting better than they paid for.

  • new server (Score:5, Funny)

    by pvt_medic ( 715692 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:11AM (#14363008)
    Well looks like he'll need that money for a new server...
  • When did increasing the cost of ad space count as an idea? Hey I've got a revolutionary idea - I'll sell you a car for 100x the normal price. Instead of buying the car, you'll buy each individual part. Only buy the ones you need!
    • When did increasing the cost of ad space count as an idea? Hey I've got a revolutionary idea - I'll sell you a car for 100x the normal price. Instead of buying the car, you'll buy each individual part. Only buy the ones you need!

      ever heard of "parting out" a car? check ebay and you'll see a lot of parts from one individual vehicle (if you check a seller's other auctions). it's a viable and profitable business. do you think car junkyards just buy your old clapped out car out of benevolence?

  • by east coast ( 590680 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:15AM (#14363027)
    I think it's a neat idea. How many people are going to scan the page looking at all the various images? You know you have looked at it longer than you've looked at any online ad for a long time.
  • I'd paste all the sites... but for some reason /. doesn't like the idea of 90k worth of text.

    And when I tried to paste half the list: Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.

    Oh well, they paid for their advertising, no point in giving it to them for free.
  • by matr0x_x ( 919985 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:22AM (#14363058) Homepage
    OK - I see all these people asking "why the heck would someone pay to advertise on that?" I paid for an advertisement to my []Mac Poker site early on - and it brought in TONS of traffic. Mind you the traffic was "silly traffic" (aka it was not targetted and most of it was "browsers" clicking a random pixel) but it was still worth it. Now, I got in at about 80K when the site was still hot hot hot. After about 200K there were two many pixels to click and my clicks went down, and after 500K the sites traffic dropped drastically.
  • by drunkgoat ( 927967 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:26AM (#14363070)
    Am I the only one who thinks this site has been blown way out of proportion? Sure the creator promises that your ad will be in place until 2010, but honestly, who is going to view that page more than once ? Especially since in the FAQ it states that you are not allowed to modify your images once they have been posted. This page is going to be stagnet for the next 5 years and the visitor numbers will drop substantialy after the first few months.
  • It's not doing too well though.... []
  • Forethought? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KRYnosemg33 ( 709857 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:27AM (#14363077)
    Call me a cynic, but I wonder... how successful or truthful was Alex's sale of $911k in advertising *before* national press attention (msnbc /. ap etc)?

    Clearly anyone who bought advertising space is cashing in right now, but I wonder if this guy is saying hehas sold $911K so that he can REALLY sell the last 88,200$ in space and actually make money.

    whatever the answer -- creative and cunning...

    It looks like was registered 2weeks after .... DAMN :/ there goes my 1 BILLLLLLLLION dollars
    • Re:Forethought? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by michaeltoe ( 651785 )
      I agree, something about the page doesn't seem right. A lot of those "ads" look like they were put together by a graphic artist, and the same artist, throughout most of the design. It's just too damn balanced for me to believe. And really, "I'm rich, your not" just seems a bit _too_ obvious, misspelling and all.

      But yet, everyone seems to believe it. I don't know what to criticize people for.

      • the "I'm rich your not" guy is an affiliate of a MLM scheme. They seem legit to me, just another crappy ad-infested internet backwater.
  • Page Rank (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hagrin ( 896731 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:35AM (#14363103) Homepage Journal
    What I don't understand is why anyone would pay for advertising here. According to my Google Toolbar in FireFox, the site has a PR of 0. I actually considered buying an incoming link for a dollar since it could have been worth getting alink from a PR 5 or higher site, but it has basically no linked value.

    Maybe after all this press though, we'll see the page's PR go up and then make it highly worth it to buy a 1 dollar block just to get a link on that page.
    • My google plugin for firefox says it has a PR of 7 which is pretty impressive. I had a nice text link on a PR 8 site a few years ago and it was extremely worthwhile.
      • Son of a ...

        I just checked again and it does in fact have a PR of 7. You are correct dear sir and I eat my hat and beg for forgiveness.
      • Re:Page Rank (Score:3, Informative)

        by hugzz ( 712021 )
        My google plugin for firefox says it has a PR of 7 which is pretty impressive. I had a nice text link on a PR 8 site a few years ago and it was extremely worthwhile.

        Yup I'm also seeing a pagerank of 7 (and for some reason i looked at the page on wikipedia [] which also says he has a PR of 7)

        However, I remember reading somewhere that in order to get a high page rank you need to be:

        • Linked to by many sites (obvious)
        • Linked to on sites with high page rank (obvious)
        • Linked to on sites that dont like to many o
    • I've said it before (Score:3, Informative)

      by arrrrg ( 902404 )
      and I'll say it again. Google doesn't give up-to-date PageRank figures through the toolbar (IIRC they update figures every few weeks/months), primarily to hinder the efforts of SEO types. Without instant feedback, it's more difficult to figure out how to game the system. I would imagine that the site's actual PR is quite high, since it already made the rounds in the media quite some time ago and got many links from sites with high PR.
    • shows a pagerank of 7 for me
  • Traffic analysis (Score:4, Insightful)

    by complete loony ( 663508 ) <{Jeremy.Lakeman} {at} {}> on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:46AM (#14363137)
    I read his blog earlier today before it hit slashdot, he writes a fair amount about traffic hits, I wonder if /. will rate a mention...
    C'mon people, visit his page at least once []. Dammit there should have been a link in the summary.
  • My cannidate for the most pointless site ever. Kind of like a prime time show that is nothing but three second commercials. The guy got lucky and a bunch of stupid people bought web space. Yes they may see some return because it hit the news but it's exactly like the casino buying a ten thousand dollar piece of toast because it looked like the Virgin Mary. The item itself is worthless and only has value because some one was stupid enough to pay good money for it.
    • Yes they may see some return because it hit the news but it's exactly like the casino buying a ten thousand dollar piece of toast because it looked like the Virgin Mary.

      You miss the point. the casino did not buy the toast because it looked like the Virgin Mary. They bought the toast because it was a stupid media sensation. Same thing here. As you said, they received some return because of media hype. That's the whole point. Everybody makes money because we are suckers for media hype. You are reading about

  • Yeah but who is going to visit a site that is all advertisements?

    You're paying thousands of dollars for space on a site that will never be visited by ANYONE besides those reading press releases about the millionare you just helped create.

    Good job companies! I have some swamp land you can put billboards on!
    • Ummm... I'll guess you just did, along with a million other Slashdotters. Given that this started making the rounds a couple months ago IIRC, and has been linked from many mainstream news stories [], I'm sure he's seen a lot of traffic. Who cares where the visitors came from once they're there ... there's not even any content to distract from the ads! I'm sure a year from now nobody will visit the stupid page, but I think a few hundred bucks for a few million page views is not a bad deal in the advertising
  • I call hoax (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RajivSLK ( 398494 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:54AM (#14363162)
    Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student from a small town in England, earned a cool million dollars in four months on the Internet.

    I don't believe it. There is no verification that anyone actually paid him anything. I think it's all an ingenious hoax to get the news media (who are known for not verifying anything) to run this story around the world. A stunt to drive traffic to his site and try to earn some money. Ingenious really.
    • Re:I call hoax (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jdbartlett ( 941012 )
      I think I'll wait for Reuters to verify your claim.
    • Re:I call hoax (Score:2, Interesting)

      by aebrett ( 788049 )
      As a friend of Alex' brother, I was initially sceptical of the idea behind this venture, but having followed the site since the fairly early days, and based on his brother's reactions as the whole thing has progressed it doesn't come across as a hoax to me. Looking at the "Press" page on that site, it's generated an unbelievable amount of coverage in the media, so it doesn't seem unreasonable that individual companies would pay a one-off fee to piggyback off some of that media interest. Sure, interest in th
    • Re:I call hoax (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @03:59AM (#14363350) Homepage
      Agreed. The going rate for banner ad impressions is about $100 per million impressions, and that's for a 486*60 pixel ad with decent placement. This guy would charge $30,000 for a standard sized banner. So he'd have to get 300 million hits to be competitive. No way.

      And his is an ad-cluttered site. You probably have to derate the price by a factor of 5 or so. At which point you've reached the English-speaking population of the planet as the breakeven point.

      • Re:I call hoax (Score:4, Interesting)

        by trollable ( 928694 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @05:29AM (#14363550) Homepage
        I don't know where you found your numbers but anyway they are not appropriate. What counts is the number of licks (As an advertiser, the number of visitors going to your website). And precisely, the cost-per-click. Now, you can check all the ways to advertise and compare. On Google Adwords, it is difficult to go under $0.07. On AdBrite and for english websites, $0.05 seems the minimum. So if you pay your ad $100, it means a minimum of 5,000 visitors. Now, there is also the "quality" of the visitors: how targeted they are. AdWords brings you targeted visitors (visitors potentialy interested by your website), the MDHP doesn't. All in all, this is definitively not a hoax. And I think that for the earlier advertisers, it was a very good deal.
    • And why is a UK student selling pixels for US dollars instead of pounds?
  • by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @02:59AM (#14363185) Journal
    ... his cool million will be wiped out by his bandwidth bills.
  • for the brothers and friends that got sold the initial dots. I mean, c'mon, your best friend runs a website that costs maybe $5 a month to host, and wants to charge you a dollar to set a dot color??? Last time I ever lend your my lecture notes!
  • []

    After this /. article, I imagine they'll be millions of pages like these now, but the real money will be the guy who turns this into a "how to make $1MM on the Internet" DVD course for sale for $49.95 on late night cable that tells you "the secret that got me out of my one bedroom apartment and into the babe-infested mansion you see here."
  • //Another blog search engine will release a list of top 100 bloggers. Every blogger on the list will blog the news in the form of: "Wow, I'm honored to have made it onto the top 100 list" with a link back to the list maintainer's blog. The list maintainer will in return blog: "I'm honored to see that the list has been covered by such a high-profile blogger" with a link back to the winner's blog. The link incest will continue for weeks until it has propelled the list maintainer himself into the top 100, at w
  • Very old news (Score:2, Informative)

    by JoseAugusto ( 869000 )
    This is so old news... I am spechless to see so many slashdotters reading this for the first time. Check []
  • He's had a lot of mainstream press coverage before today -- see his Press [] page.

    He has a very high Alexa rank [] of 1480th in the world (ya, not exactly the most reliable source but better than nothing) . His reach per million users is 810, which I think means around 150,000 to 200,000 visitors a day.

    Sure, anything *could* be a hoax, and I am usually pretty skeptical with these things, but I really don't think so in this case. Journalists have seen his paypal account (like from the Times Online []) and verifie

  • Goatse (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 30, 2005 @04:14AM (#14363388)
    ok, who wants to chip in to get a goatse up on this page?
  • Noone gets it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stan Vassilev ( 939229 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @04:33AM (#14363435)
    People still don't get it. There's like 20 ads on his own page linking to copycat sites selling or renting pixels... This is retarded.

    Pixels have no value, cloning his site a million times has no value. It's the original idea that matters, and he thought of it first and implemented it first.

    The rest is internet history.
  • Pagerank 7/10 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lordsilence ( 682367 ) * on Friday December 30, 2005 @04:40AM (#14363449) Homepage
    The site has a pagerank 7/10 which is actually pretty good in terms of internet publicity.
    Getting your own site linked on a 7/10 site will do wonders for your own Pagerank.

    Thus those pixels may be worth more than they seem.

    The question is how google will treat that amount of links, if it will accept them in the PR calculations.
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @05:33AM (#14363566) Journal
    There was a program, if you could call it that, that aired late at night and was just an endless stream of commercials. It was ages ago but I think it was a way to distribute new ads to those who have to watch them for some reason. Like those late night education shows that you are supposed to record if intrested and then watch later during more normal hours. The BBC still has these.

    This is a bit like that. Most "real" ads are carefully placed in an enviroment/surrounding were you already would be looking and hopefully attract your attention. So for instance the huge blank space between the slashdot dupe and the comments, eh I mean the nice blinking ad that I did not filter out because I do not steal from cowboyneal is placed there because hopefully as you scroll down you will see the ad and become intrested.

    This guys adsite however has no content apart from the ads. So why should people visit it apart from pure curiousity. Surely this would not result in any hits?

    TV regulators at least do not seem to think so. The programs that show the funniest ads are usually not regulated as a half hour advertisement blok would be. The BBC and most european channels could not show them if anyone thought that a commercial shown during such a program would result in extra sales.

    I can understand that people might want to pay X amuunt of money to have their face plasterd on times square or something, but to pay money to get your image on a guys homepage with no other content? I truly just don't get it. Either all the "advertisers" see it as a joke OR advertisers are stupid OR and this is worse. This guys site actually works. People really will visit a site with nothing but ads and generate sales.

    This could be bad. If this continues slashvertisements will soon be the only content. TV channels will be nothing but ads with the occasional break for the station logo. And it will work. ARGH!

  • by master_p ( 608214 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @06:09AM (#14363631)
    Almost every post is about "why didn't I think about it first", either directly or indirectly. So all that is left from 5000 years of human history is the desire to ...get rich? if the /. crowd, that is supposed to be geeks and interested in a varied set of interests primarily around science, reacts in that way in the mention of 1 million dollars, then our sociery is really doomed. In a few years, nobody will be left to care about values, about science, about humanity, and those that will do so will be in for the money. It is a very sad day to read Slashdot...
  • Help me out here... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MC Negro ( 780194 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @06:48AM (#14363716) Journal
    I am quite confused by this. I've read the article. I've browsed the webpage and I've read the FAQ. I don't get it.

    Not to be a wet blanket or anything, but I'm completely missing the brilliance here. It seems like he's essentially selling rather overpriced banner-ad space, without any content to drive traffic or visitor click-throughs (I guess relying entirely on the notoriety of the site in the press?)

    I'm having trouble understanding how firms would really think it's a wise investment to spend $x dollars advertising on a website that has zero draw. Who cares if the banner will be up there for 5 years if no one has incentive to visit the hosting website? I skimmed the FAQ, looking for promises of content or incentive for traffic, and here's all I found --

    7. Why should I buy your pixels? Because you will have an image and a link to your site on the homepage of a site that could potentially be seen by millions of people over the coming years. The site will be online for at least 5 years, that's guaranteed, but the idea is to keep it online forever. So you really could own a piece of 'internet history'!
    Um, "Why would millions of people visit this website?" would be a good follow-up question. I imagine that neither I nor many other people stay up in the wee hours of the night to watch collections of paid programming advertisements or flip straight to the adverstising section of a magazine. Why would I go to a website that is just a big billboard?

    I checked out the "Testimonials", which I'm skeptical of, to say the least. Lots of references to making "Internet history". Maybe I'm just completely out of it, but I really don't see how pooling a shitload of static banner-ads onto one page constitutes "Internet history".

    With all this in mind, I once again raise the question how this is "genius". Clever? Sure. Exploiting of ignorance and gimmicky? Possibly. Genius? No. At best, I would say this is a lucky flash-in-the-pan bit that will never work twice, unless browsing websites devoted entirely to advertising space becomes profoundly interesting in the future.

    However, if I've overlooked some massive details, or I'm not making the appropriate connections, please tell me, because I'm still in disbelief that this works on any level. An MBA I am not, so if there's some sort of defined principles for what constitutes genius in the business world, it's lost on me. Or maybe this is genius of the P.T Barnum ilk? Regardless, if this site really is riding on the coattails of its own notoriety, I guess he deserves kudos for creating such a buzz (no matter how gimmicky and seemingly undeserving such buzz is), and at least he's using the money for college (or so it is stated), and not on a new mansion or something completely materialistic in value.
  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Friday December 30, 2005 @09:48AM (#14364155)
    All nice about the money making. I am more interested if he does it all by hand or does it with a script or program. Placing the stuff must be a hell of a job considering not all sqares are the same size. -map.png [] is the image you see.

    Who cares about the money? I want to know how it works.

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