Tag Archives: internet work

Lame Pixel Ads

This whole pixel ad thing is getting lame pretty quickly. Pixel ads, for those who haven’t been following, are web pages where each pixel of the screen is sold as ad space. It worked well for UK student Alex Tew, who made $1 million from his aptly named  MillionDollarHomepage.com. As with all things involving money, people quickly saw a quick buck. The only problem is: Tew didn’t make his money because he sold pixel space, he made money because of the buzz he created about his new idea.

This hasn’t stopped folks. Google Pixel ads and you get 8 sponsored ads and nearly 900,000 hits, including BuckAPixel.com, MillionPixelClick.com and ChistrianPixelAds.com. Here’s the latest “twist”: Mosaicpixelads.com., which claims to have an edge by creating a, er, work of art from all the pixels it sells. “We took the original pixel ads concept and made it in to a mosaic art form, in the process creating the first internet work of art,” co-site creator Martin Westwood says in a press release. The idea is that the resulting pixel picture will be a mosaic, according to the FAQ.

Lame, lame, lame. The original worked because it was, well, original. People wanted to go visit the page because it was a new idea. The rest will just die slowly, and, hopefully, quietly. BuckAPixel, for example, which tops the Google hits, has had 25 visitors today and has so far sold 11,300 out of 1 million pixels. You do the math. It’ll be interesting to see just how short a lifespan these kind of ideas have. It’s because they’re novelties. Repeat after me: Novelty does not a good business model make.

VoIP for Dial-up?

How well does Voice over Internet work for folks who rely on dial-up?

I’ve not had much luck with Skype — it comes across as crackly, jerky and fenerky (I made up the last word.) A company called NetZero is now offering a VoIP service it says works well for dial-up users:

“We believe consumers should not have to have broadband Internet access in order to enjoy the price savings and feature content of Internet phone calling,” said Mark R. Goldston, CEO of United Online, the company that owns NetZero.

While a broadband connection is still recommended for the best voice quality, NetZero claims that users with a 56k modem would be able to make calls successfully by using the company’s proprietary technology it has created to reduce echo, latency and other issues.

I haven’t tried it yet but I will do. Some folk commenting on the above BetaNews story ask what is the point of VoIP over dialup — if you’re using dialup you’ve got a phoneline already — which is easy to enough to respond to. Just because you have a phone line doesn’t mean you want to be making expensive interlocal or international calls on it.

Anyway, this is potentially good news for folk in the developing world who only have access to dial-up. I’m going to check it out. The only problem, of course, is that NetZero folks can only chat to NetZero folks unless you make a SkypeOut type call.