August 22, 2010

Million Dollar Homepage - Concept by Alex Tew

Unique Heart
Image by WolfS♡ul via Flickr
The Million Dollar Homepage is a website conceived in 2005 by Alex Tew, a
student from Wiltshire, England, to raise money for his university education.
The home page consists of a million pixels arranged in a 1000 × 1000 pixel grid;
the image-based links on it were sold for $1 per pixel in 10 × 10 blocks. The
purchasers of these pixel blocks provided tiny images to be displayed on them, a
Uniform Resource Locator (URL) to which the images were linked, and a slogan to
be displayed when hovering a cursor over the link. The aim of the website was to
sell all of the pixels in the image, thus generating a million dollars of income
for the creator. The Wall Street Journal has commented that the site inspired
other websites that sell pixels.

Launched on 26 August 2005, the website became an Internet phenomenon. The Alexa
ranking of web traffic peaked at around 127; as of 9 May 2009 (2009 -05-09), it
is 40,044. On 1 January 2006, the final 1,000 pixels were put up for auction on
eBay. The auction closed on 11 January with a winning bid of $38,100 that
brought the final tally to $1,037,100 in gross income.

During the January 2006 auction, the website was subject to a distributed
denial-of-service attack and ransom demand, which left it inaccessible to
visitors for a week while its security system was upgraded. The Federal Bureau
of Investigation
and Wiltshire Constabulary investigated the attack and
extortion attempt.

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