A uni student in the UK, Alex Tew, decided he wanted to fund his way through university. So he came up with the idea of selling pixels via his website http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/
No-one could have predicted the amazing results. Within the last month he has sold over $250,000 worth of pixels!
The rationale is actually quite sensible and relies on a catchy idea and viral marketing.
The goal of marketing is to get your product in front of as many eyeballs as possible. The Million Dollar Homepage succeeds at this admirably. People see the website and are so amazed at how ridiculous it is that they tell their friends about it either through online forums or email. The meme spreads and soon enough, the site is receiving a huge amount of traffic.
Now a virtuous circle ensues. Because the site is getting lots of traffic it makes the pixels even more valuable. Pay $100 for a square of pixels and you'll instantly have your ad in front of many people. Thus more pixels are sold which leads to more amazement at how successful the site is which leads to even more publicity. And so it goes.
Anything successful is bound to have imitators and this case is no exception. Many other websites have sprung up selling pixels at different rates.
One interesting imitator
http://www.mostexpensivepixelontheinternet.com/ takes the idea to its logical conclusion. How much are people prepared to pay for a single pixel? The site is auctioning off a single pixel, thus letting the market decide.
Is it worth it to advertise on the Million Dollar Homepage? The case study available on the site seems to suggest it is.
Will it be long lasting or just a fad? At this point in time, it seems like pixel advertising is here to stay.
Neville Ridley-Smith has been a web developer for 8 years - helping major corporations with their website development and launching various internet ventures.
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