Monthly Archives: November 2009

6 Crazy Internet Money Making Ideas (That Worked)

Written by Son

girlmoney

Everyone loves cash money and the Internet has allowed many businesses with great ideas to become filthy rich. But among all those great thinkers there have also been a handful of people who have managed to make money with ideas that would have been described as ‘dumb-assery’ if they had pitched them to you. These people didn’t just think outside the box, they also lit the box on fire and peed on it, all the way to the bank.

1.
Extreme Home Trade

Kyle MacDonald was a Canadian and one day he decided he was getting tired of having to run away from polar bears and having snow dumped on his head for 360 days out of the year. He felt the best solution was to get himself a house.

Problem was, he didn’t have things like money, lumber or tools. However, what MacDonald did have was a paperclip and it was red and beautiful and he figured he could trade that paperclip for a house. So in 2005 he posted an ad on Cragislist offering to trade his paperclip.

A couple of ladies saw his ad and decided they liked his brand of crazy and offered him a pen shaped like a fish. After such a suck-tastic start things were looking grim for MacDonald because as we all know Polar Bears don’t give a damn if you have a pen in your hands because you would still be delicious.

'Quick!Someone throw her a pen!'

“Oh my god, this pen is useless!”

Yet amazingly, over the course of a year he managed to make a series of trades that eventually had him meeting Alice Cooper and Corbin Bernsen who traded walk on role on his show for the snow globe Cooper had given MacDonald.

Finally in July, 2006 he was offered a two story home in exchange for the walk on role. MacDonald felt like winner despite the fact that the house was located in Kipling, Saskatchewan.

MacDonald, with plans for an even bigger paperclip.

MacDonald, with plans for an even bigger paperclip.

2.
High Tech Begging

Bosnak was a Gucci wearing yuppie working in New York making a six figure salary . Gucci ain’t cheap though and she managed to rack up a $20,000 credit card bill right before she lost her job. She decided that the best thing to do was beg people for money to help her pay off her debt because finding another job and paying off the debt herself seemed like a lot of hassle. The problem was, she didn’t want to get her nice Prada shoes dirty by standing in the urine covered street s of New York so she took to the Internet.

'This is so humiliating, I'm just going to beg for money.'

“This is so humiliating, I’m just going to beg for money.”

Setting up a site called ’savekaryn.com’ she told people about her situation and asked them to send her whatever they could. Apparently nothing moves people’s hearts more that the thought of a young woman dressed in expensive designer clothing and, inexplicably, money began to flow in. Screw pictures of starving children, Unicef should be holding runway shows with starving models to raise money.

Within twenty weeks she managed to raise $13,000 from total strangers on the Internet. Shockingly, she did not once have to send anyone nude pictures of herself (she claims). Between the money she raised and cash she got from selling her clothes and accessories she managed to pay off her debt.

Of course some people felt that she was just another self entitled, spoiled brat. These haters were probably even less happy when she announced that she got a book deal. We also doubt they will be going to see the movie being made about her story.

For god's sake have pity, those are last season's shoes!

For God’s sake have pity, those are last season’s shoes!

3.
Tiny Little Dots

Alex Tew was living in England and wanted to go to University. Unfortunately his family couldn’t afford the tuition and waiting on tables wasn’t going to cut it so he turned to the Internet. Unlike Kyle MacDonald though Tew didn’t even have a red paperclip to sell or trade.

What he did have though was a computer and the crazy idea that companies will pay to advertise anywhere, even on a site which consisted of a million pixels on one page with ads too small to be easily readable. He put his plan in action by creating ‘The Million Dollar Homepage’ selling each pixel on the page for $1.

Microsoft PowerPoint - Presentation1

At first we are sure people just laughed at Tew, and initially he only sold to friends and family. The turning point came when his story was picked up by the BBC and suddenly his website was gaining in popularity. When this happened he began selling pixels by the handful, or whatever it is you use to sell pixels. This proved that people may love ridiculing other people for their stupid ideas but they hate feeling left out even more.

In five months the web page was sold out and Tew had made over a million dollars. This was more than enough to fund his dream of attending University, which he did……for one semester….before dropping out, cause you know, screw it, he had a million bucks.

'See I can put you riggghhtt, there.'

“See, I can put you riggghhtt, there.”

4.
Purity for Sale

Natalie Dylan (not her real name) was a 22 year old with dreams of making some money to pay for college. While she didn’t have any business experience or an amazing product to sell she did have some thing even more powerful, a new vagina. It seems that she had managed to keep her vagina wiener free for all her 22 years and decided it was time to put her asset to work.

lock-vagina

She also had some action figures still in their original packaging for sale.

She hit on the idea of auctioning her virginity after deciding that the alternative, giving it away to some pimply douchebag for free, pretty much sucked. She went to Nevada and enlisted the help of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, a legal brothel, to get the word out that her goods were for sale as going door to door was not producing results for her.

After the story broke reactions were mixed. Some people thought the idea was a huge set back for women everywhere, perpetuating the idea that they are just a commodity. Some felt that she was actually empowering women. However, the overwhelming majority of people just wanted to know if she was hot.

Answer: Yes

Answer: Yes

After a few months of bidding it was determined that the price for hitting it with a hot virgin in the U.S. is $3.7 million, which is way above the usual four wine coolers average. The winning bidder was from Australia, but Dylan has apparently not yet sealed the deal though because he backed out after his wife found out.

5.
Imaginary Houses

Ailin Graef was living in Germany when she started playing ‘Second Life’ the Internet based game where people log on to do pretty much what they do in real life, except they can pretend they are much better looking than they really are.

Like this.

Like this.

She decided that running around talking to other shut ins wasn’t very exciting though and hit on a plan to make money off other players.

After finding out that people would pay real money to buy pretend houses and land she set out to become the Donald Trump of geeky loners. Graef, going by the name ‘Anshe Chung’, started buying ‘land’ directly from Linden, the game developer. She would then subdivide the property and selling lots to other players at a markup. She also collected $20 a month in stupid land tax from each player.

Somehow she managed to convince enough grown people to shell out money for the electronic equivalent of a doll house to make herself a millionaire. People apparently like to buy from her because she keeps tight controls on her developments, which is apparently important when you are building your imaginary house. This is understandable because the last thing you want is someone’s fake balcony blocking the fake light shining on your fake patio.

'My other house is my parent's basement.'

“My other house is my parents’ basement.”

6.
Dirt. Seriously, Just Dirt

Pat Burke knew that it was stupid to think you could sell ice to an Eskimo. On the other hand selling dirt to the Irish was completely plausible and so he started a company to do just that.

It seems that Irish people around the world really love Ireland, not enough to go back and live there mind you, but enough to spend money for a bag of real Irish dirt. The dirt is shipped from a warehouse in Long Island where it is packaged by Hispanic workers, which really gives it that authentic Irish feeling.

'Top o' the mornin' to ya.'

“Top o’ the mornin’ to ya.”

People are paying $10 for a one pound bag of the dirt which is dug up from a field in Cahir, Ireland. We assumed that the dirt would be put to a good use like maybe for growing a patch of grass in backyards or something. Turns out that most of the dirt ordered is being used to fill holes in the ground. Those crazy Irish are paying good money for dirt so they can throw it into graves during funerals.

One guy even bought $100,000 worth of the stuff for his own funeral. We’re no geniuses but we figure that for that price you could probably be buried in actual fucking Ireland with real leprechauns dancing on your grave singing ‘Danny Boy’.

Still, something about the Emerald Island makes people crazy for it and the company ships about $2 million dollars worth of the stuff to the U.S. Every year. Meanwhile in Cahir, some Irish guy is slowing watching a giant hole being dug next to his house.

'What.The.Fuck?'

“What.The.Hell?”

5 Impressive Real-Life Google Wave Use Cases

Written by Jennifer Van Grove

The Google Wave invite rollout extravaganza started more than a month ago. While in some respects the buzz around Google Wave has started to subside, the term is still constantly one of the top trending topics on Twitter, and new gadgets, extensions, and applications are now starting to appear on a daily basis.\n\nEach day more and more people are ‘;

breaking waveThe Google Wave invite rollout extravaganza started more than a month ago. While in some respects the buzz around Google Wave has started to subside, the term is still constantly one of the top trending topics on Twitter, and new gadgets, extensions, and applications are now starting to appear on a daily basis.

Each day more and more people are opening up their email inbox to find an invite to Google Wave. With that shiny new invite comes the inevitable quest for ideas about to how to put the medium to good use.

Should you happen to be one of those people, we’ve got a number of different resources that you can use to get up to speed with Google Wave. This time around, however, we wanted to look at how people are actually using it now. From process modelling and customer service, to project collaboration, annotation, and gaming, the examples listed here highlight the power of the newborn medium, and in part, showcase what we can expect as the platform matures.


1. SAP Gravity: Modeling within Google Wave


Understanding the power of real-time collaboration and its relevance to clients, SAP Research in Australia has developed a business process modeling tool called Gravity that works within Google Wave.

The sophisticated tool, which can be embedded within a Wave as a gadget, allows for team members to remotely build complex models in unison, or after catching up via playback, without having to leave Google Wave.

Gravity and Google Wave work together harmoniously to create a modeling environment that appears to be just as robust as, if not more flexible than, expensive desktop software built for the same purpose.

We think SAP is certainly on to something here, and we encourage you to watch the video demonstration of Gravity in Google Wave in action.


2. Salesforce: Google Wave for Customer Service


Salesforce, like SAP, has figured out that they can use the Google Wave platform to support client needs and tackle real-life problems. As such, Salesforce has created a Google Wave extension that clients can use to help automate, and even personalize, the customer service experience.

Watch the demonstration video to see how the Salesforce extension gives customers the ability to use Google Wave to interact with an automated support robot. Of course, customers can request assistance from a human within the Wave as well.

What makes this example stand out is the fact that not only is the Google Wave dialogue being stored as a case record within Salesforce, but, because the robot is connected to the Salesforce Service Cloud, the robot can access previously stored customer data for tailored service. Ultimately, Salesforce has found a way to potentially save clients money on customer service efforts, all the while maintaining active records, with the assistance of Google Wave.


3. Mingle: Integrated Project Collaboration


mingle

Mingle is a project management and team collaboration tool developed by ThoughtWorks Studios, who realized that they could add Mingle’s project management metadata to conversations in Google Wave.

The integration is still a work in progress, but a demonstration of the concept was highlighted at Enterprise 2.0, and the basic idea is to give Google Wave users/Mingle clients the ability to bring their Mingle task data, which takes the form of cards, into Google Wave. Existing Mingle cards can be embedded into Wave conversation threads, and new Mingle cards/tasks can be created within Google Wave.

This particular use case highlights how Google Wave can work with existing project management systems for more streamlined and cohesive communication, creating parity regardless of where the user is accessing project data.


4. Ecomm Conference: Annotating a Live Event


Just last week our CEO, Pete Cashmore, wrote about how the savvy people behind the Ecomm conference doled out Wave accounts to attendees so that they could collaborate, in real-time, to annotate presentation content. The result was arguably a much better way to consume conference content than attempting to follow hashtag tweets on Twitter.

You can read the full account, which was documented by Charlie Osmond, on the FreshNetworks blog, but here’s an excerpt that we think drives home the utility of the use case.

“Here’s what happened: an audience member would create a Google Wave and others in the audience would edit the wave during the presentation. The result would be a crowd-sourced write-up of the presentation: a transcript of key points and a record of audience comments.”

We happen to think this particular use case is genius, especially for content-rich seminars and events where attendees are typically taking their own individual notes. With the shared Google Wave experience they can combine forces to create a more meaningful and accurate recounting of information shared in conference sessions.


5. Gamers: Google Wave RPGs


rpg index

A very detailed Ars Technica post highlights that there’s a growing collection of Google Wave users who are using the medium to play wave-borne RPGs (role playing games). As mentioned in the post, there’s a even a Wave dedicated to serving as an index for all the Wave RPGs currently in existence, and the last time we counted it included upwards of 300 contributing members, and a combination of 30 different ideas or full-fledged games.

traveller

According to Jon Stokes, the author of the post, Google Wave is adequate for some RPGs, but it could certainly be improved to allow for a more enjoyable experience. In the excerpt below, Stokes describes the current RPG experience within Google Wave:

“The few games I’m following typically have at least three waves: one for recruiting and general discussion, another for out-of-character interactions (”table talk”), and the main wave where the actual in-character gaming takes place. Individual players are also encouraged to start waves between themselves for any conversations that the GM shouldn’t be privy to. Character sheets can be posted in a private wave between a player and the GM, and character biographies can go anywhere where the other players can get access to them.

The waves are persistent, accessible to anyone who’s added to them, and include the ability to track changes, so they ultimately work quite well as a medium for the non-tactical parts of an RPG. A newcomer can jump right in and get up-to-speed on past interactions, and a GM or industrious player can constantly maintain the official record of play by going back and fixing errors, formatting text, adding and deleting material, and reorganizing posts. Character generation seems to work quite well in Wave, since players can develop the shared character sheet at their own pace with periodic feedback from the GM.”

Image from watch4u on Flickr

The 5 Most Common Facebook Fails

Written by Will Zweigart

Thanks to Facebook, mobile devices and impaired judgment, we’re only a few seconds (and clicks) away from staining our entire extended social network! That’s piece of mind in your pocket. To make sure you never appear on Facebook Fails, follow our how-not-to guide of the five most common Facebook faux pas.

1. Married Schmoopy Fail

Why whisper sweet nothings when you can shout hot garbage? Why practice safe sexts when you can PDA with your PDA? Excessive spousal schmoopiness is easily the most frequently occurring fail (at least in my circle), and the primary reason Facebook should create a “dislike” button. There’s even a specialty site for repeat offenders called STFU, Marrieds.

2. Mom Invasion Fail

She’s reading, she’s typing, she’s commenting and liking :). She’s poring over details, discovering secrets and crushing your game. And wherever Mom goes, Big Daddy is right behind.

(via Oh Crap. My Parents Joined Facebook)

3. Relationship Fail

It’s not officially awkward until it’s on Facebook.

4. Grammer Fail (sp?)

No spell check or auto-correct functions can stand between the fast-typing, carefree status updaters and the passive-aggressive grammar cops who love them.

5. Darwin Fail

Special thanks to the folks who enrich our lives by failing to grasp the basic concepts of food safety, unknowingly exploring the subtle joys of double irony, etc.

Send your friend’s status slips to [email protected].

40 Seriously Funny Print Ads

Collected by webdesignerdepot

Print adverts need to get a message across with a single image and without the recourse of interactivity that we find today on the Internet.

As interactive media expands, attention spans are getting shorter and shorter every day.

For any company trying to get their product or service out in print format, the task is ever more challenging and difficult.

Humorous ads remain one of the few effective ways to engage an audience in a very saturated advertising market. This is an area where the audience is far more receptive and still willing to pay attention.

In this post, we’ve gathered 40 hilarious and really creative ads for your enjoyment…

1. Kayaking Jumbo Peanut: Choking

2. Ambulance – Listermint Mouthwash

3. EPhone: Snakebite

4. Wolf Hot Sauce: Hand dryer

5. Hospital – Lazer Helmets

6. Utopolis, Group of Cinemas: Titanic

7. McDonald’s: The Real Milkshake

8. Nikol Baking Dish: Jacuzzi

9. McDonald’s: Billboards 200m-197m

10. Aquafresh Flexigel: Ear

11. Denver Water: Hose

12. Fresh Step: Cross-legged cats

13. Coca-Cola Light

14. KitKat

15. Mag-Lite: Buddha

16. Mischief Scissors

17. Boecker Public Health: Toilet

18. Fish – Tolnaftate cream

19. McDonald’s: Individuals

20. Fairfax/The Sydney Morning Herald: Size Change

21. BBDO Düsseldorf Recruiting: Join us

22. Utopolis, Group of cinemas: Free Willy

23. KISS FM 97.7: Father

24. Nutri Balance: Husband

25. Tesa: Bush

26. General Tire: Wrapped by Adventure

27. Covergirl Teens: Anime

28. Softlan Ultra: Wrestling

29. Oranges – Wonderbra

30. Breath – Pedigree

31. Lion – Zoo Safari

32. New Job – Career Builder

33. Zoom – Olympus

34. Sharp – WMF

35. Truck – Pepsi Light

36. Mask – Gear Drop

37. Magician – Glassex Window

38. Overloaded – 3M Scotch

39. Playground – Wonderbra

40. Pies – Pocket Pies

Which ones did you like best? Know of any other great examples? Please share them below…