Thursday, October 05, 2006
Before I start, let's take a few moments to look at this style of advertising, and why it caught the imagination of lots of journalists. Simply put, the webmaster Alex Tew came up with a unique idea and made a fortune off it. With the Million Dollar Homepage he sold pixels, for a dollar a pop and made a mint.
The press loved it, and webmasters like us slapping our head for not thinking such a simple things first. It was simple, unique and most of all, fun. It wasn't long before a 1000 webmasters with dollars in their eyes copied the model, none of them realising the boat had already sailed. As is want to happen on the web, it wasn't long before scripts, topsites and PixelAdvertising slots were being advertised and spammed everywhere.
Nothing quite said Million Dollar Knock-off like a quickly thrown up PixalAdvertising site. Usually characterized by a near blank page with one or two adverts, usually the owners default ads or those of his friends. PixelAdvertising seems to be a fad that's now passed in its original form. The LinkExperiment may play on the same ideas of as the PixelAdvertising, but it's moved on to some new conceptual ideas and a slicker and cleaner webpage.
There were some nice quirky variations on the original idea that really impressed me, as well as other quirky advertising schemes that were obviously inspired by the Million Dollar Homepage, but went on a completely different tangent. It's this area that will no doubt continue to be a place where new knock off idea are born, and that's a good thing.
So, here's my list of 10 Million Dollar Homepage Knock Offs, I've seen, been spammed with and even covered here in the past. They're arranged in order of my favourites with an actual winning slot for the best knock off, in my humble opinion.
10: Billion Dollar Homepages - No site here, just a SERP. Obviously there was a land rush of greedy webmasters planning on going one big number bigger than the Million Dollar Homepage. Shame the horse had already bolted the stable - which would explain why so many money dreams are now parked pages.
09: Pixel Blogs Of The World - This one actually looks like a lot of work has gone into it. A PixelAdvertising page for various nations of the world - sub divided into political groups and occupations and more. That must have taken a lot of time to think up and implement. It's a shame the owner didn't spend some of that time looking into the collapsing market for PixelAdverts, it's bare.
08: Million Link Project - Hat's off for dressing it up like a directory, and the Web 2.0 stylings, but at heart it's Million Dollar Homepage knock-off. At 0.000111% complete, that's only another 999,889 links to go.
07: PixelWords - Proudly announcing it's more than just a PixelAdvertising site, this one makes a game of the now widely ignored advertising flash-in-the-pan. Either way, it's time someone turned to the answers page and filled in all the blanks.
06: 500 Spots - Another non-PixelAdvertising site with the PixelAdvertsing spirit, we have a million dollar tag cloud instead. A good idea shouldn't be limited, it should be moved to new arenas with impunity - and thus we have a through and through Web 2.0 PixelAdvertising implementation.
05: Million Dollar Jerks - A humorous attempt at a sarcastic Million Dollar Homepage, knocking the sort of standard adverts and advertisers these quirky hits get. But if I was an advertiser, I'm not sure I'd be too happy about having my site dissed in the hover over. At least this one know's it's fighting a losing battle, so props for that.
04: The Mile Wall - It's like PixelAdvertising, only turned on its side and called a wall. The great one about this, is I can travel a mile in literally a second, grab that bar and watch those adverts fly by.
03: Stuff And Me - Ok, so it's not strictly a PixelAdvertising site, but come on - webmaster thinks up quirky way of selling advertising on his site and goes for it. You got to take your hat off - it's a nicer way of getting your message out there than those ugly, gif heavy Pixel sites. And from the same guy and in the same spirit, let's not forget Make Me Watch TV.
02: Fill My Room - this one really appealed to me at the time, so much so that I actually forked out $50 for a spot on it. It turned the PixelAdvertising model away from websites and into the real world. You bought lego blocks for their room, to get an advert on the landing page - they were going to try and fill it up - but not long after the domain was down and it's now parked. There was a variant of this where you bought Beer cans, but I can't find that now. Still, this one appealed to my child like spirit and I so wanted them to succeed on it.
01: Watching The Web Fly By - Speaking of adverts flying by, this one just made me giggle a lot and is charming in an old school sort of flashing gif way. To my limited knowledge it was one of the first fully animated knock-offs I saw. I love that site - it makes me smile every time I open it up.
There you have it. So what'll be the next big advertising bandwagon - answers on a postcard please.