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August 3, 2001
2:26 PM   Subscribe

Interesting sellout. About.com has changed the "o" in their name to a Life Saver throughout the site. That's some desperate advertising.
posted by endquote (37 comments total)

 
Why stop there? They could sell their "ut" to the University of Texas.

Hook 'em Horns!
posted by ColdChef at 2:31 PM on August 3, 2001


and the AB to the ab roller

however, I think this kind of advertising is a lot better than say, changing their content to have biased reviews.
posted by starduck at 2:32 PM on August 3, 2001


"Desperate"? How about creative? I think it's pretty nifty, and why the hell shouldn't they? If it helps float About.com, it's a good thing. It's not like it's an x10 popunder, after all.

Butter Rum = Best.Flavor.Ever.
posted by davidmsc at 2:34 PM on August 3, 2001


Remember this?

"Experience the full wonder of Hotwired.com with HP color"
posted by mathowie at 2:34 PM on August 3, 2001


First miningco.com becomes about.com,
then about.com serves pop-under ads,
and then the "o" becomes a life-saver.

Something's going dooown.
posted by kchristidis at 2:36 PM on August 3, 2001


Whoa my!! Did you get a load of the guide of the day?
posted by a3matrix at 2:41 PM on August 3, 2001


Is it significant that some pages are cherry, some, lime and others, lemon?
posted by caraig at 2:50 PM on August 3, 2001


Birds nest in his hair.
posted by Mo Nickels at 2:50 PM on August 3, 2001


my favourite was the "powered by duracell." you'd click a little icon and it would load an image of the site that resembled what you'd see from behind the monitor w/ a duracell battery pack. cheesy goodness!
posted by heather at 2:57 PM on August 3, 2001


Hey now. I happen know the guide of the day and he's a
good guy, so y'all just back off.

Lifesaver for the "O" does = death rattle, though.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 3:27 PM on August 3, 2001


They're using a Life Saver? Well, that sucks.

sorry...
posted by mrbula at 3:28 PM on August 3, 2001


It's funny how this thread almost went from mocking About.com for selling out (is that really possible?) to making fun of some dude who likes board games.
posted by Doug at 3:34 PM on August 3, 2001


About.com will be gone by year's end. How do I know this? Because I've never had any desire to use the site.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:39 PM on August 3, 2001


I move that Matt sell the "aF" in MetaFilter to Abercrombie and Fitch.
posted by rschram at 3:40 PM on August 3, 2001


i'm getting a register4less.com holder page when i try to go to about.com.

and ebay.com

what the hell?
posted by th3ph17 at 3:42 PM on August 3, 2001


How could they sellout like that? They should stay pure.
posted by geronimo_rex at 3:42 PM on August 3, 2001


I appreciate the fact that WebWasher now recognizes the logo as an ad and refuses to show it. Heh.
posted by smackfu at 3:52 PM on August 3, 2001


"Desperate"? How about creative?

I wouldn't go as far as to call it creative...inventive maybe, but for it to be creative I think it would have to actually have some style.

I don't mind so much when companies find new ways to actually make money so they can stay afloat, I just wish that they could find ways to do it that aren't so cheesy.
posted by Hackworth at 3:56 PM on August 3, 2001


I'm with davidmsc. This is much, much less annoying than the popunders that caused me to avoid that site before, and their content is above average. If that ad is the only cost to me for all that yummy free content, then bring it on. These folks have taken a pretty original approach to a vexing problem. If it keeps 'em off f*ckedcompany for a while, more power to 'em.
posted by swell at 3:58 PM on August 3, 2001 [1 favorite]


why is about.com and other sites called sellouts? does anyone understand that it costs money to run a business and provide content? i can deal w/the fact that they changed the "o" in their logo to a Lifesavers "o." i'd love to see one of these people who accuse others of being sellouts run a server or multiple servers and pay for the equipment and bandwidth when you have 5/10/100 thousand people a day viewing and using your web site that they consider to provide them value. hell, i wish everything was free but you need to grow up and realize _nothing_ in life is free. it's just a matter of how you pay for it. personally, i don't like about.com and never have. if they go out of business i could care less considering i never used it in the first place. on the other hand if metafilter needed to replace the "met" w/a NY Mets logo and it it became "Met"afilter(okay maybe that is a lame example but it's the first thing i thought of) but still provided the exact same page and content but allowed him to pay for bandwidth and hardware costs i could totally understand.
posted by suprfli at 4:07 PM on August 3, 2001


I actually find About.com quite useful in certain limited contexts. It was, by far, the best source of orienting information and references for planning my (upcoming) trip to South America and last year's honeymoon in Italy.

And the ad placement is clever. Hell, I feel like buying a package of LifeSavers and I haven't had one in years!
posted by MattD at 4:41 PM on August 3, 2001


It seems like the ad placement is working, seeing as how this link on Metafilter has probably sent a whole bunch of people to About.com's site.

As for whether it's increasing the sale of LifeSavers, I don't know.
posted by Tin Man at 5:10 PM on August 3, 2001


The problem is that a lot of About sites are valuable. They're a bit too clogged with ads to be all that useful to me as a power user, but the Interactive Fiction about page (read: Adventure games and their ilk) is basically the central portal for the entire IF community. What will happen when it goes down?
posted by tweebiscuit at 5:54 PM on August 3, 2001


I wish all these folks who run webwasher, etc. would just not surf the sites that have these ads they hate so much. Otherwise you're basically leeching.
posted by owillis at 6:17 PM on August 3, 2001


Hell, somebody had to do it...





Matt -- this one's free, but any further consulting will be under my regular fee scale. :P
posted by Dirjy at 6:52 PM on August 3, 2001


I'll take this over paying per month any day. Hell, I'll take any ad over paying per month, X10 or otherwise.
posted by Mark at 7:07 PM on August 3, 2001


About.com will be gone by year's end. How do I know this? Because I've never had any desire to use the site.

Uh, gee, there is room on the web for stuff you never use.

About.com has plenty of good resources and info. No need to prognosticate its doom just because you've never wanted anything from it.

Wouldja believe some of my co-workers never heard of Google? They've never used the site-- Google must be in trouble!

Pah.
posted by Zettai at 8:45 PM on August 3, 2001


The Life Saver is rather like the adverts during World Cup football (soccer) games. It is rather unobtrusive yet creative.
posted by vanderwal at 8:59 PM on August 3, 2001


Here's Dirjy's new MeFi logo, in case you don't want to deal with Geocities no-leech policy:

posted by dogwelder at 9:08 PM on August 3, 2001


Looks like the NY Mets logo. Boy they are painful to root for...
posted by ParisParamus at 9:24 PM on August 3, 2001


Thanks, dogwelder -- I didn't know Geocities did that. You're a Life Saver.™
posted by Dirjy at 9:36 PM on August 3, 2001


I don't particularly care for about.com but I'm sure someone does. We hate advertising on our screens, but the simple fact is that nothing is free and some kickass sites have already gone under because of the lack of profitability. If a rotating life-saver is going to help a site stay afloat in rough seas, god(dess) bless 'em.
posted by tankboy at 10:16 PM on August 3, 2001


Last I heard, About.com was actually a profitable site -- unlike so many of their brethren, they actually expanded rather modestly, kept costs low, and kept their mission pretty simple.
posted by ph00dz at 9:11 AM on August 4, 2001


I wish all these folks who run webwasher, etc. would just not surf the sites that have these ads they hate so much. Otherwise you're basically leeching.

Yeah, and all those bastards who hit the "mute" button when commercials come on television, or actually leave the room, are clearly worthless scum who would go through their dead grandmother's pockets for loose change.
posted by webmutant at 10:25 AM on August 4, 2001


When you're really good, people call you a 'crackerjack'.
posted by justgary at 10:36 AM on August 4, 2001


webmutant: totally different paradigm. One more person tuning in or out of NBC doesn't cost them a dime. A freeloading user creates an actual cost for the webserver. For television/radio your distribution costs do not increase in proportion to your audience, while on the web it most definitely does.
posted by owillis at 12:29 PM on August 4, 2001


owillis: thanx for defending my comment before i could. you stated exactly what i was thinking so there's no need for me to reiterate my point. =]
posted by suprfli at 1:24 AM on August 5, 2001


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