09 October 2005

A Million Copycat Creeps

You know that scene in the first film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy when the hobbits are hiding from a 'dark rider' whose presence draws hundreds of bugs and creepy crawlies out of the ground?

Well that image keeps coming to me when I hear about more cynical 'million pixel' webpage authors crawling out from under their stones.

I could be wrong about this, but don't seem to be. As far as I can make out, 21-yr-old Wiltshire student, Alex Tew, came up with the MillionDollarHomepage.com in late August. It first started appearing in local news stories in early Sept, and sales began to viral (sic) out of control from that point.

That also seems to be the moment when dollar (and cent, and penny) signs began to light up in the eyes of scammers all over the world, from the USA to Belarus, who in some cases even design their cynical copycat sites to look exactly identical (no doubt to pass themselves off as the original).

The world is full of creeps.

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PS. Why do I mention it? Well, yes Travel Lists does have a single block on the original.

Go Alex! Let's hope the get-rich-quick-on-other-peoples'-talent merchants crash & burn!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hear you, but one could argue that if there were not any copy cats in the world, we would all be driving cars like the Cubans still. And what kind of computers would we be using today. Believe it or not, copycats improve the world.
Now it's one thing to be a copy cat and to have the exact same thing that the original is. That's what most of them are, exact replicas including the milliionpennyhomepage. Which by the way might reach it's goas before alex does. I found a really interesting one this weekend The billiondollarbuzz.com one of the most creative out there. If you're going to be a copycat, improve on the Idea. Now this I agree with.

Alastair said...

Yeah, good point. I can go along with some of that, and bdbuzz does offer some technical improvements on the original idea, but it sounds like we also agree that most are just copying somebody else's work for a quick buck.

onliner said...

Well things have moved on for Alex Tew. As of yesterday (26/10/05) he broke past the half-way point with over 500,000 pixels sold, and says there are now over 350 copycat websites.

In his blog he says: "I'm quite flattered. By some of them. Some people have been creative - they've taken the concept and added a new twist (the foundation of many businesses), and those sites have been quite interesting to look at, and some have even made a bit of cash. Quite a few sites have given me credit as the originator of the pixel-advertising concept, which is cool. Others, however, have fully ripped off my site - copying my design and text to the letter. Lame! Those sites are not cool."

I think he's being too laid back about the latter category (then he can afford to be can't he!). I think they are creeps, plain & simple.