The King Of The Pixels
October 10, 2005
By now, you've probably heard about The Million Dollar Homepage, the Web site on which Alex Tew, a 21-year-old Englishman, is selling 1 million pixels of banner-ad space at $1 per pixel. (The page is divided into 10,000 squares of 100 pixels each; the minimum buy is one square for $100. The image here is a detail from a corner of the page.) So far, Tew has made about $250,000. But the real fun is to peruse the banners themselves. Among the advertisers: a Web site called The Rich Jerk (several buys over $2,000; headline on one is, "I'm rich, your [sic] not"); a south Florida limo service ($100 buy); a DVD set called The Book of Cool, which teaches you dozens of neat tricks ($4,000 buy; inexplicable headline is, "Even monkeys fall from trees"); a Tenacious D fan site ($100 buy); and lots and lots and lots of gambling sites, including (of course) Golden Palace.
It's an ingenious idea, and in the six weeks that it's been up, it has spawned imitators including Another Million Dollar Homepage, The Million Penny Homepage, The Million Euro Homepage and The Million Yuan Homepage. Tew is OK with that, though. He writes on the site, "I think any copycat sites will only have pure comedy value, whereas mine possibly has a bit of comedy plus some actual pull in terms of advertising dollars. I will be able to afford swanky socks; they will only get to buy crappy ones, probably! They could have my old ones if they like." Plus, he adds philosophically, "in many ways the act of copying, perhaps more on a subconscious level than anything, is the basis of all creativity."