The "original" Cool Site of the Day
December 12, 2000 9:32 PM   Subscribe

The "original" Cool Site of the Day has been offering a monthly contest, with a grand prize of $10,000 worth of spam courtesy of PostmasterDirect. This goes beyond pathetic; it's just plain evil. It was bad enough when CSOTD started accepting payola for their awards after Glenn Davis left to helm Project Cool. It was even worse when they started charging a $14.95 fee to submit your site for review. But encouraging "direct marketing" is inexcusable. (While you're there, look at the nominees for this month's award. The first is Comet Cursor, the silently-tracking-your-every-move browser plugin and an active sponsor of CSOTD, as featured on their front page.)
posted by waxpancake (14 comments total)
I meant to link to the main Cool Site of the Month page. This is the page with the contest prize and this month's nominees.
posted by waxpancake at 9:35 PM on December 12, 2000

It's really a shame. I remember when I discovered CSotD sometime in 95. At that time, I was new to the web, didn't know how to get around/find interesting stuff. CSotD managed to keep my attention and entertain me for a long time. Too bad the site seems to be getting worse by the day and makes press only when it pulls some stupid crap.
posted by Witold at 10:01 PM on December 12, 2000

Where's Powazek and Zeldman? They both know Glenn Davis. I was wondering if the site was wrestled out of his hands or if he voluntarily sold it. And how long have they been accepting payola for links?
posted by waxpancake at 11:00 PM on December 12, 2000

Glenn Davis quit Cool Site of the Day in 1996 (or more accurately, Infi.Net, the company that owned it) to move across country and start Project Cool. My memory is fuzzy, but I think he quit because he wasn't given some ownership in Cool Site of the Day.

Richard Grimes ran Cool Site of the Day for Infi.Net for a couple years, and did a reasonably good job with it. It was sold to C Notes Interactive in 1998 and quickly sank to its present condition.
posted by rcade at 11:09 PM on December 12, 2000

Hey, look! The C Notes website was featured on Cool Site of the Day! What a coincidence.
posted by waxpancake at 11:40 PM on December 12, 2000

I recently discovered Cool Home Pages for myself. This seems like an honorable site which has quality links.
posted by crog at 11:41 PM on December 12, 2000

I hate CSOTD as much as the next guy, but I think it's maybe fair to point out that PostmasterDirect is a legitimate business that doesn't actually send spam. A lot of companies claim to have opt-in email lists that they'll mail to on your behalf, and of course 99.9% just have harvested spam addresses, but PD actually have real opt-in lists.

I personally wouldn't join one, but the people on them have actually opted-in, so I'd say it's not really accurate to call them spam. maybe 'useless' would be better.
posted by beefula at 12:08 AM on December 13, 2000

I hate CSOTD as much as the next guy, but I think it's maybe fair to point out that PostmasterDirect is a legitimate business that doesn't actually send spam.

I was about to say the same thing, but PostmasterDirect recently started offering a service where webmasters can trade opt-in e-mail addresses with each other. The CSOTD contest is basically giving a webmaster $1,000 worth of e-mail marketing to someone else's opt-in list. Does that sound like fair opt-in marketing?
posted by rcade at 1:28 AM on December 13, 2000

I enjoyed CSOTD for a little while, but I found Mirsky's Worst of the Web to be more satsifyingly entertaining. (No wonder I ended up doing a weblog.)

The emblematic CSOTD, for me, was The Spot. In so many ways.
posted by dhartung at 9:55 AM on December 13, 2000

After some research, it appears that Postmaster Direct is actually a responsible company. I'm going to sign up for some of their opt-in lists with a temporary e-mail address, give them some time to sell my address to their customers, and then try to remove myself from their lists. Let's see if they're as responsible as they claim to be.
posted by waxpancake at 10:50 AM on December 13, 2000

rcade: yikes, weird, do you have a url? i was under the understanding that a very basic tenet of theirs was never to give their addresses to anyone, so i'd like to see how they're doing this.
posted by beefula at 11:16 AM on December 13, 2000

I don't know if it's fair opt-in marketing or not, but it certainly raises the sliminess factor of the practice to trade e-mail addresses with other webmasters.
posted by rcade at 12:04 PM on December 13, 2000

Ah yeah, that definitely is a bit off. Too bad, PD seemed pretty good until I read that.

One small thing: I'm pretty sure they won't actually trade email addresses, I'd bet anything that PD will just give one site a form they can use to mail to the other site's people, without giving the actual addresses out, I think if they actually started giving out the addresses they'd be making themselves less essential. But that's just a semantic thing, I'm not saying that this isn't sort of sleazy, yup.
posted by beefula at 12:37 PM on December 13, 2000

A quick follow-up to this old thread, if anybody's reading:

I signed up with Postmaster Direct with a temp e-mail address, they sent only the e-mails they said they would, and when I subscribed a month ago, they haven't sent me anything since. Neither have any of their customers.

So they get my seal of approval.
posted by waxpancake at 12:56 AM on April 9, 2001

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