You should have heard about the MillionDollarHomePage most likely already as it is the 3rd fastest growing site on Alexa's index.
This is not a technology story, but about viral marketing and the Internet. And this is a topic I find very interesting. Alex Tew, a 21 year old student from the UK launched a page called MillionDollarHomePage.com (site). He is selling 10x10 pixel block banners for $100. He has 1,000,000 pixels available. If he sells all his pixel inventory, he has made a cool Million Dollar. Now you might think, that never works. He already sold 180,500 pixels ($180,500). On September 22nd when BBC News reported about the million dollar homepage, he was at $74,000.
His sales more than doubled in less than 6 days.I decided to buy 200 pixels ($200) to see if those tiny ads are actually working. What should I say, it is performing excellent. It is the tinniest ad I ever placed in my life, but it works.
The pixel ad is up since Monday evening and has generated about 1,000 clicks until now. So the current CPC rate is $0.20. The CPC rate is of course sinking, meaning it will get cheaper.
I placed the ad in the upper left corner. I promote our monthly Gadget model gallery (see photo above to find it). I assume my ad performs average. There are sure some with higher CTRs. Buying more pixels sure also helps.
Many other companies already placed ads, including Golden Palace, who join every crazy thing on the Internet.
Several other copy cat sites have appeared, but I am questioning their success. An ad will only work on the original site, because of the enormous traffic. The copy cat sites will not spread that fast or most likely will not spread at all.
The Alexa page rank for the million dollar homepage is currently 679 (Compare this with Slashdot's Alexa rank of 811). Which is amazing. If that kind of traffic is available lots of things are possible, even selling 10x10 pixel ads...
More details on The Million Dollar Homepage in the FAQ.