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There are good sites, bad sites, and then… the worst sites. However, let us talk about content here, not design.
The worst site, in many people's view, is MySpace.com. Why? Remember the three ingredients of Web 2.0? It breaks all of them. MySpace is a waste of space. It is a hub for spyware, viruses, flame wars, and so many other anti-social, destructive behaviors that it, in many people's view, should be ripped down and never reconstructed.
The second worst site is CyberRebate.com. This site offered to refund your money – all of it – for electronic goods. There were two stipulations, however – that you allow them to hold on to your money for ten weeks and that you paid up to ten times their normal retail value. CyberRebate was hoping that people would forget to apply for the refund. Very few did. CyberRebate filed for bankrupty in 2001, owing more than $60 million in refunds. Gives new meaning to the phrase, "The check is in the mail."
The Cartoonnetwok.com (nope, not a misspelling) is the third worst site. Mainly because the owner was deceitful in many aspects. He deliberately chose the misspelling and registered the site to attract the visitors of the real Cartoon Network website. When visitors would go to the misspelled site, the site would pop up spam (varying in degrees from porn to online psychics) in the worst way – even hitting the back button resulted in at least seven new pop ups. Ironically, the owner of the misspelled website ended up in the federal prison for five years.
Remember CDUniverse.com? This hit the list at number four because of their lack of security when it came to client and credit card information. In 1999, their databases were hacked into and over 350,000 were stolen. Ironically, the thief requested a ransom. CDUniverse (owned at the time by eUniverse) refused to pay. 25,000 of the numbers were then posted to a website. Anyway, their website is like a candy jar left on the counter with the lid off in a room full of children.
AllAdvantage.com reaches number five on the list. Their idea was to pay users money to look at banner ads and to sign others on to the site. They succeeded in bringing in over two million people on their list. Their advertisers did not see the advantage of paying minimal amounts of money to selected people. This site is no longer online.
Next on the list? Pixelon.com. Well, according to some experts, it is more of a dot con than a dot com. Its claim to fame was that it produce a top of the line media streaming software. However, its owner of the business cheated friends and family out of $1.5 million dollars, and investors out of $16 million dollars. He created Pixelon.com out of the backseat of his living quarters.
These sites – and many more – are perfect examples of what you should NOT emulate for your business website. You want your site to be a legal, profitable entity that people can trust. Good quality products, excellent customer service, and attention to detail will make you succeed. Good luck.
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