News recently broke that Meowbook is a thing. “Meowbook is a cat-friendly community,” said Meowbook’s founder, Thomas Mai. “And cats can add each other as cats.” This of course is a parody but, shall it remain so long? One way to diminish the apparent ridiculousness of Meowbook is to cast an eye toward the ridiculous websites of the past which were anything but parodic. (Or at least self-consciously parodic.)
Perhaps one of the more recent strains of web kudzu to invade the internets, Nyan Cat combines a rainbow-shitting poptart cat flying through pixelated outer space with a sickly infectious “Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya” synth track to become the #5 most-viewed YouTube site last year. Since then, it has gone on to inspire thousands of cover versions, ringtones, apps and even a legit video game, aptly titled “Nyan Cat Adventure.” Not bad for something that originally spawned from helping out the Red Cross, huh?
Hot or Not
It’s a cold, hard, fact of life: people are shallow. So why not take that to the next level and create a site where you can rate user-submitted shitty camera-phone-in-the-bathroom-mirror photos on a scale of 1-10? Enter Hot or Not. Finally, there’s a comprehensive way to score your outer beauty in real, diplomatic fashion! Now I know why there was such an upsurge in job loss for the last few years: we were all depressed after getting a 2.7 not-hot score on that carefully-scanned prom picture. Sigh.
Remember this little gem from high school? No? Well, consider yourself lucky. Since November ’96, the puce-pink page with the pixelated hearts in the corners has been calculating the attraction rate of any name you punch in. Hell, it doesn’t even need a name: we punched in “alcohol x caffeine” and only got an 18% attraction rate. Sorry, 4Loko. It also seems to have won numerous awards for its contribution to society. I mean, who wouldn’t want a USA Today Pothole jpeg of honor?
Million Dollar Homepage
Warning: the amount of neon bursting out the seams of this page might just melt the first layer off your cornea. This site is essentially a virtual moshpit of reject ads: back to front to side to top. It’s chock full of wall-to-wall ads—from mini 2-millimeter long personals, a you-found-waldo banner, to an offer for a Thomas and Friends train catalogue. Miraculously, all the $1 hosting slots are sold out, so at least someone is profiting from the eyesore. If you’ve ever wanted to see the black hole of web advertising at its finest, look no further—seriously.
You Are in a Forest
Basically a lazy man’s Space Quest (everyone born after 1995 is excused from this cultural reference), You Are in a Forest creates another endlessly constructive way to waste time on the nets: by navigating through pastel colored pages of sentences like “You hear the sound of insects and notice the gentle swaying of the trees.” But how to get out of this easter-hued forest? By clicking right or left, of course, in an endless circle of html wizardry, what fun!