One of the memes going round for the moment is a guy whose girlfriend will let him live his dream (a threesome) if his website pleasemakethiswork.com receives 5.000.000 hits by the end of this year. It’s a bit like the million-dollar-page but with a (sexy) twist. I first read it through Littl’ Q (where she gets her info from, that’s a mystery) and when I saw it hitting the Belgian mainstream Standaard Blog, I took a look at the page.
As one would say in French: “plutot sympa”. You see the couple: Richard Green, an ex-cricket player and Rachel Greenwood both smiling in the camera while they draw up the paperwork. They look like ‘regular people’. The site is very simple (1 page, 1 image of the contract, and a small home video of the two confirming the deal) and the layout looks like it might have been done by a non-webdesigner. To be honest, real beginners tend to be overenthusiastic with fonts and colors but this site is not like that.
But then: a text ad for a “hardc0re video” on top of the page, a banner for “Lucymail free p0rn” on the bottom and a mentioning of the bandwidth hosting by Original Blue Pill. Not that sympa anymore. So I dug a bit deeper.
Let’s take look at the HTML code. It’s obviously not written by hand, the excess
font tags and design with
tables make me think of some WYSIWYG editor like Frontpage. So that still fits the amateur web author profile. But then at the bottom: a Websitestory HBX counter. That is not a free web statistics service, like most amateurs would use, but a high-end rather expensive tool, something professionals need. The customer code of the HBX counter points to a company NetCollex. This company, based in Thames Road, Barking, Essex, is specialized in adult web sites, and quite well-known for it. Doesn’t sound that innocent anymore, does it?
The site is hosted by Mistral, a large UK hoster. That does not tell us a lot. The DNS Whois lookup, however, is more revealing:
The address does ring a bell. Thamesroad.co.uk is one of the NetCollex domains. Richard seems to be quite close to these guys.
Depending on how much faith you have in humanity, I have 2 theories for you:
- 1. NetCollex are nice people
- Poor Richard. His girlfriend just promised him a threesome with another girl, but only if he can make a website that gets 5.000.000 hits. That sure sounds like a lot. He calls up his old school buddy Martin because he’s doing some kind of internet stuff. “Hey Martin, you know me, I only know how to drink and chat up girls, I wouldn’t know how to make a site. Can you help me out on this one?” Martin, who works at NetCollex, pitches the idea to his marketing manager who likes the idea. “OK, we’ll make the site and pay for the bandwidth, but we will put some ads on the page. Nothing too offensive. Is that OK with him?” Martin agrees, they all have a Guiness or four, and one week later pleasemakethiswork.com is on-line.
- 2. Netcollex are shrewd people
- “Hey boss, have you seen this milliondollarpage site? I bet you I could make something viral like that, and it would make us money.” Boss agrees, and Martin writes down the scenario: he needs 2 actors, they can be a couple,but that’s not necessary, who should look insuspicious (no boob job or piercings in odd places). The site should be not too professional, as if it were created by the guy himself. The angle of the story should be simple and sexy, in a playful way, not too kinky. Key points: it should look authentic, and it should be the first of its kind. There’s no money in being second.
Their casting process comes up with a nice couple: he’s a former sports jock, she’s cute but not too stunning, they both have an ‘normal’ thing about them, and they need the money. They agree on the price for the initial viral campaign, and on the fee for selling pictures and videos of the threesome, should it go through. The site is launched and announced in the adult newspaper Sunday Sport that NetCollex owns. The news is taken over on June 11th by LSE and the rollercoaster ride begins.
Call me a cynic, but my money’s on theory 2.