Wednesday, June 08, 2005


The Internet is a strange place

Have you seen these Web sites in your e-mail inbox lately?

Forget-me-not panties: Ever worry about your wife cheating? Want to know where your daughter is late at night? Need to know when your girlfriend's temperature is rising? These panties can give you her location, and even her temperature and heart rate, and she will never even know it's there! Unlike the cumbersome and uncomfortable chastity belts of the past, these panties are 100% cotton, and use cutting-edge technology to help you protect what matters most.

The Brain Freeze: A Web site filled with video clips of people getting the infamous "Brain Freeze" or ice cream headache from Slurpees (Snack Mommy, this one made me think of you!)

Blogebrity Magazine: A celebrity Webzine just for bloggers! Are you in it? (And more importantly, how do I get in it?)

and last but not least,

Crying While Eating: View video clips of people crying while eating. Text blurbs beside each still photo tell you what they are eating and why they are crying.

Aside from being some seriously weird shit, these Web sites have at least one thing in common: they have all been created to be entries in a viral marketing contest called the Contagious Media Showdown. The contest, designed to study how ideas spread on the Web, has been running for a couple of weeks and ends tomorrow (June 9). Each Web site's unique visitors and Technorati ranking are tabulated and they are ranked by popularity.

In an article in the Media Daily News Jonah Perretti of contest sponsor Eyebeam explains the contest was put together to determine what kind of virulent virals Web-goers could come up with, and the common characteristics of content with very high pass-along rates.

According to the same article, by day six of the contest, Crying While Eating had more than 150,000 unique visitors, although according to today's ranking Forget Me Not Panties has pulled ahead. There have been some vetches that by publishing a live list of the rankings, Contagious Media have tampered with the results - people visiting the rankings tend to only view the top sites and perpetuate their ranking.

And as for Blogebrity Magazine? They're actually thinking of launching the Webzine and used their contest entry as a trail balloon. I wonder if they're looking for a cover girl? (insert coquettish eyelash flutter here)