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Milliondollarhomepage - A Dissection
anand84

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 5:45 am on Dec 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

There are many of you here who have been making astounding amounts of money; and that is through real hard work on the sites that you maintain. But I want to discuss about simple sites like the above. A simple concept that got a 21 year old to become a millionaire.

Even I have though about a few such sites, that are simple in logic but can pick up great interest and revenue. Can somebody tell me how to go about promoting them. Obviously, SE marketing and other conventional ways would not reach the correct persons.

 

lgn1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 12:43 am on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

If an idea makes you a millionare its not stupid.

Blame stupidity on people, not ideas :)

BadSense

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 12:45 am on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Over $21,000 now with over 8 days to go.

Keep riding that wave, Alex. :-)

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 9:58 am on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

If an idea makes you a millionare its not stupid.

Ideas don't do anything. His idea was stupid. He, however, is not.

old_expat

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 10:26 am on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Over $21,000 now with over 8 days to go"

That should buy a few textbooks!;>)

trillianjedi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 11:59 am on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

His idea was stupid. He, however, is not.

I know what you're saying, but you're only correct if you look at it in pure isolation as a long-term business model.

The truth is, I don't think the guy is a marketer and nor was he looking for a long-term business. He simply thought "this seems like a good idea that won't take a lot of effort and might work if I can get the press behind it".

That is a good idea. Actually, it's a great idea. And I don't think that any more thought went into it than that. The marketing was handed to him on a plate by the press - he didn't make that happen, they did.

A lot of WebmasterWorld members make a lot of money, and have made a long-term business, out of having a succession of "stupid ideas". If you can keep 'em coming, then you have a business. Then you're a marketeer.

TJ

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 12:49 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Almost any site will make a lot of money if it gets tons of free press (unlimited free advertising in the national media) behind it.

The marketing was handed to him on a plate by the press

So, a bit of luck didn't hurt. I still can't see how the idea itself is a piece of genius. If it wasn't for the publicity it attracted hardly anyone would have bought pixels. To me that means

Idea = Stupid
Publicity = Stupendous

trillianjedi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 1:05 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

"piece of genius" is pushing it too far, but any novel or creative thinking that results in something different and naturally attracts marketing as a result, is a good idea.

I don't think that its creator realised just how good an idea it would actually prove to be, but that doesn't automatically make it a stupid idea.

If I understand your posts correctly, you're ascerting that if an internet marketing professional had come up with that idea, it would have been dismissed and never got off the ground.

I disagree with that ascertion. An internet marketing professional would have immediately understood the value in it's novelty.

TJ

trillianjedi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 1:13 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

If it wasn't for the publicity it attracted hardly anyone would have bought pixels.

I think you're trying to separate the "idea" from the "publicity" too much. They're completely dependant. The idea is the publicity, and the publicity is the idea.

To quote the original creator from his blog on the day of launch (pre-publicity):-

I thought, this could be something crazy enough to work! Because I think people like crazy/quirky ideas. If this captures people's imaginations and people check out the site, then the pixels on the homepage will have value - and people will buy them (to display their ads etc). That's the theory anyway. The way I see it though: I've got nothing to lose by trying. And I'm sure it'll be fun.

(emphasis is mine)

What's so flawed with that thought process that makes it stupid?

Seems to me he was proved absolutely correct. Even if he had failed, there is nothing wrong with the idea.

TJ

anand84

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 3:25 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

After this site, there is seemingly another 'student' who wants to sponsor his studies by offering SomeOtherMillionPixelsWebsite. This, everyone can safely assume to be a stupid idea. As it is, not a single pixel is sold still.

But, when you can actually think you can create a hype that lasts for a year which can make you a million, why not. For that matter, you now have one full year to think over another trend setting stupid idea.

By the way, I would like to know from you if not for press, how 'should' we go about promoting a site like this. Is success on a site like this, besides press, impossible?

[edited by: trillianjedi at 3:31 pm (utc) on Jan. 3, 2006]
[edit reason] obfuscated domain name - that one actually exists ;-) [/edit]

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 7:40 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's not his thought process that I called stupid. As Spock would say: Considering that a there is a tendency among a percentage of humans to see value where it doesn't exist it is reasonable to assume that, given enough human traffic, he will sell all his pixels. Completely logical. There is no flaw in the reasoning.

just how good an idea it would actually prove to be

The page is popular, not good. I think we'll have to agree to disagree. :)

trillianjedi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 11:23 am on Jan 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think we'll have to agree to disagree.

Hehe - I respect your posts far too much to ever pick a fight with you anyway OddSod ;-)

I posted a couple of times to clarify as I thought we might be at cross-purposes, eg:-

The page is popular, not good.

The product/page is rubbish, no-one's arguing with that. It's the idea behind the product that I'm arguing is good.

Good ideas often outsell good products.

TJ

old_expat

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 11:42 am on Jan 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Good ideas often outsell good products."

A 60's marketing guru coined the phrase, "Sell the sizzle, not the steak."

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 1:31 pm on Jan 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

The product/page is rubbish, no-one's arguing with that. It's the idea behind the product that I'm arguing is good.

Semantics really. Personally, I don't think the site's design is too bad. However, our main difference seems to be on the inherent value of core idea itself. As I've stated, I believe the idea is stupid. A marketing plan - or a confidence that the marketing plan will work - does not add any merit to the underlying idea itself.

I need to go somewhere now but I will come back to your post in a bit, TJ. In particular it would be interesting to discuss where an idea ends and marketing begins. Hopefully, that will be very much on-topic.

trillianjedi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 1:44 pm on Jan 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Semantics really.

Possibly.

Also, I wasn't referring to design - I was referring to the likely performance of the adverts for the advertisers. The "product" is rubbish.

However, our main difference seems to be on the inherent value of core idea itself.

It's inherrent core value is a given fact by the very nature of the design of the idea. It's something less or equal to $1,000,000 less overheads.

As I've stated, I believe the idea is stupid.

Whereas I believe it was a good idea. A very good idea, for the following reasons:-

1. Built in a few hours
2. Very low overheads
3. Catchy name and novel/unique idea has capability to catch press attention ("poor student has idea to pay for education" etc).

If it didn't have #3, I would say it was a stupid idea and a waste of time (current spate of copycats failing miserably is testament to that). That #3 is where the line is drawn between steak and sizzle (thanks for the reference OE ;)).

TJ

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 3:33 pm on Jan 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

The "product" is rubbish.

We agree, then, that there's rubbish. Perhaps it's just a matter of what we see at the "product".

There are a lot of stupid ideas made successful by clever marketing. It could be argued that any idea that succeeds via savvy marketing is a good idea because it was designed with qualities that gave it a competitive advantage for marketing success. I don't buy that.

A couple of new ideas found today on Digg:

Click Here You Idiot (spoof sales letter) [digg.com]

A guy selling the meaning of life on eBay [digg.com]

Not brilliant ideas but there are a lot like these about, and every one has an angle. Any of them can get lucky and if one newspaper picks it up .... it could snowball from there. It's marketing + luck and very little to do with the idea.

trillianjedi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 4:17 pm on Jan 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

We agree, then, that there's rubbish.

Yes.

Perhaps it's just a matter of what we see at the "product".

Yes, looks like it.

I'm looking at it from the perspective of the sites creator and his original idea. From the advertisers perspective the product is rubbish, in my opinion, as it's unlikely to produce much traffic (of any quality) or ROI.

However, from the original site creators perspective, it was a great idea. The lack of value for the advertisers did not put them off buying the ad space. They bought the sizzle, not the steak.

Any unique idea, achievable at low-cost with an interesting marketing angle and clear revenue stream is a great idea from your perspective if you want to make money from it.

This guy had a moment of inspiration. That moment of inspiration did not come from thinking about how to provide a great service to the internet advertising masses.

It came from thinking "how do I make some money?". And his idea aced it.

TJ

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 4:32 pm on Jan 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hmm, maybe those examples above are better ideas than I thought they were. One has hit the headlines at The Register [theregister.com] today.

Indeed, as CHYI CEO explained: "An extended survey was conducted into the likely revenue generation from the voluntary model adopted here and it was conclusive in its findings that people may or may not use the website to complete transactions and make payment."

Whether or not Mr Vaiste O'Tyme is ultimately proved right is up to you. Proceeed directly to (the site). You know it makes sense.

... and wastes time ;)

moTi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 5:39 pm on Jan 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

one additional key to success is how the boy was percieved by the public, namely as a friendly and clever character, typically like those students a little short of money, but NOT as the needy one begging for some bucks.

a good idea, emphasized by a pleasant appearance both in the media (who obviously like him) and in his own blog on the website round down to a congenial image.

to this kind of guy, i gladly hand over my advertising money, i'll help him to get his degree even if my roi is crap (which i don't realize, because i'm too blinded)..

contrary, all those "me too" s*ckers that want a piece of the cake.. they will never succeed. this idea was unique, or at least he was the first to come up that heavily in the press.

crashingflwrgrl

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 1:24 am on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's the 'Pet Rock' all over again!

jessejump

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 3:19 am on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think it was a brilliant idea -

Ana- pet rock, rubik's cube, paris hilton, chia pet, singing bass , jib jab..... it goes on and on.
Think up your idea, tell the press, don't let anybody stop you with any "ROI" nonsense. Go for it.

USAandUK



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 9:23 am on Jan 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

$160000 and going

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 2:26 pm on Jan 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

USAandUK, I've no idea what you are talking about. I'm sure nobody wants to turn this thread into a soap about Alex's site... so here's the original question again:

Can somebody tell me how to go about promoting them. Obviously, SE marketing and other conventional ways would not reach the correct persons.

penfold25

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 2:54 pm on Jan 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I dont understand the delusion in this forum. It is total luck, i dont think he anticipated anything like this. The idea is not brilliant, or good, its total rubbish based on no logic. It basically shows the media can make you into anything it likes. Thats what it shows, it decided to pick him this time. Since you people think this guy is such a guru or smart (which he isnt). Why dont you go practice what he did and see how far you get.

nick5313

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 8:35 am on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Right on. This guy had a NOVEL idea (not necessarily good or bad) and he MARKETED it effectively. In fact he got an early mention in Guardian online (UK) and everything snowballed from there. Advertising on the site is (was) only worth something if it gets loads of traffic and it only got loads of traffic because the Guardian said, hey this is a NOVEL site worth visiting.

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 9:24 am on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

OK, glad you guys agree with me and all that, but....can we please stop going off topic?

This thread is about how to market such ideas. Any thoughts, anyone?

nick5313

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 5:56 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hey. I was right on topic. Get the Guardian to say how great your idea is and you might make a million.

anand84

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 4:04 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was going through one of the popular Adsense blogs and got to peek into his Statscounter. I could observe that most of his links were from the popular bookmarking sites. I feel this is one area that has not been spoken in length with regards to marketing the sites. I would like experienced people here to talk about their success in using this.

Because, one thing also remains that unless yours is a popular site, not too many would care to bookmark yours, which takes the topic back to adding contents and more contents, which in this case the 'novel' site is not likely to have. Cannot think of better ways to market my own potential novel site..

walkman



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 4:11 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> Does that detract that this is largely a con

Huh? How is it a con, when "you" agree to buy the pixels trying to con Google?

oddsod

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 4:16 pm on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> largely a con

You quoted me out of context. Blatant marketing promises, exaggerated claims and all that.

when "you" agree to buy the pixels trying to con Google?

I don't recall where he admitted that it was conning Google ;) If he didn't admit it how else will companies like The Times newspaper know about it? :)

anand, in 2006 "viral" does work a lot differently to how it did a few years ago. Now, you'll have the blogs, diggs, reddits etc to pour fuel on the link fire. If you can make your news buzz. Maybe the trick is to register enough reddit/digg profiles to get your news to the frontpage. Or sign up some bloggers to generate the talk. But there must be "cleaner" ways.

anand84

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 5:29 pm on Jan 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

oddsod..yes, I did realize that diggs and reddit can do wonders. But the thing is these kinds of publicization would only last for say a week. Because, by then the pages would go behind. That means I would have to keep concentrating on getting them back to the top page. In the sense that in this kind, the reward for your work is short lived.

Also, another point I noticed when I used digg for one of my blog is that the comments that one guy made that I had selfishly used digg to promote my own site lessened the number of clicks thereon.So, if I were to use digg for a site like MillionDollarHomePage, my site can get a bad reputation due to comments like these.

PS: Alex was back on TV.This time on BBC. I really feel awed that a guy only as old as I am is making so much news while I am here..

ronin

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 10598 posted 4:50 am on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Going right back to 1994 there aren't too many sites I can think of which have had as much media buzz.

1) The Turkish guy who said: "I kiss you"?

2) The Ukrainian girl who rode her motorbike to the edge of the Chernobyl exclusion zone?

3) boo.com after it collapsed?

Alex has a major weapon now in that whatever he wants to promote next can be tagged as: "From the guy who brought you milliondollarhomepage" and of course the media will want to take a peek.

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