Unique Site Nets College Student $1 Million - InformationWeek

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12/30/2005
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Unique Site Nets College Student $1 Million

The idea: sell a million pixels for $1 each. Once all are sold, the creator promises to maintain the site for at least the next five years.

A 21-year-old British university student has turned a brainstorm into nearly a million dollars in just four months by selling ad space on his Web site pixel by pixel.

Appropriately dubbed The Million Dollar Homepage, Alex Tew's site is within shouting distance of selling out its inventory of 1 million pixels. As of mid-day Friday, the site's count noted that only 53,500 pixels were still up for grabs.

Or maybe not.

"We're currently facing a 48,000+ pixel order backlog, which means the million mark will be almost certainly be reached within the next few hours," wrote Tew on his blog. Tew, from Wiltshire, England, is a student in business management who began The Million Dollar Homepage as a way to pay for his college education.

Tew's idea -- sell the million pixels on the home page of his site at $1 per pixel --first garnered media attention in October. Since then, the hodgepodge "billboard" has attracted name-brand customers like The Times of London as well as a host of online casinos, dating sites, and penis enlarging herbal remedies.

"Everything is still quite surreal," Tew wrote in another blog entry. "I can't believe I'm actually closing in on the magical million figure."

Once the million pixels are sold, Tew promises to maintain the site for at least the next five years. "The idea is to create something of an Internet time capsule: a homepage that is unique and permanent," said Tew on the site. "Everything on the Internet keeps changing so fast, it will be nice to have something that stays solid and permanent for many years."

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