rock meet paper; suspicion meet apathy

posted by tom / February 14, 2006 /

I was pretty wary when Mike pointed me to ob/eybuttersti/ck.com (googleproofing to avoid encouraging them). WHOIS revealed that John Hl/inko owned the domain. He's a PR guy, and had bought ads for it on Atrios and DailyKos. That's a serious amount of money for something this stupid. He responded to emails asking what he was up to with too-cute dodges. I was afraid something nastily commercial was coming.

Well, as of today the seemingly-random countdown timer has reached zero, and the site has officially launched. It looks like the threat is overblown. T-shirts rehashing various well-tread "underground" memes are being sold, and there's a "posse" functionality that appears to run a technorati or similar search on butterstick and rank the sites that come back. The site's also using CafePress, and claims to be donating "a portion of the proceeds" to panda-related charities. All in all, not the commercial juggernaut I'd feared.

I apologize for my misgivings, John. Welcome to the exciting and dynamic world of unprofitable panda websites.

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