If you own a website or are familiar with blogging, the title of this article will have confused you. How can a website be worth a million US dollars? Let’s take a look into it.
Alex Tew, former Wiltshire student, came up with this business idea in order to raise money for his university education. He created a website under the domain http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com. The site consists of a million pixels, arranged in a 1000 × 1000 pixel, the smallest addressable element in an all points addressable display device grid or a a physical point in a raster image, and sold them for US$ 1 per pixel in 10 × 10 blocks. Every image is referenced with a link. His goal was to sell every pixel on the website and make as much money as possible.
On 26 August 2005, when he launched this project, even he didn’t know that this would turn into a phenomenon. The peak of his web traffic reached 59,582 as of 1 December 2013. According to alexa ranking, that was number 127 in their ranking list. On the first of Janury 2006, the final 1000 pixels were put up on Ebay for auction. Ten days later, the winning bid of $38,100 brought the final tally to $1,037,100 in gross income.
The media went crazy and called this business idea “An astonishing example of the power of viral marketing”. It’s simplicity is what made it so popular. They referred to the site as a TV channel full of commercial and a magazine with no content but ads. To put it short, many were amazed. We’re there people who didn’t like the idea at all? Of course there were. “A cheap, mind-bogglingly lucrative marketing monstrosity, an advertising badlands of spam, banner ads and pop-ups”, is what Don Oldenburg of the Washington Post called the million dollar homepage.