Jan. 19, 2007 – There were 296,410,404 people who lived in the United States in July 2005. At least, that’s what the U.S. Census Bureau says. They used the most recent census data (2000) to estimate the population in July 2005.
What does this have to do with anything? A man who is calling himself “Another Darn Millionaire” is trying to capitalize on each and every person in that census. The Penny Per Person Experiment is a web site that is selling links for 3,141 “counties”. The price? One penny per person.
It works like this. The 2005 estimated population for Anderson County in Texas is 56,408. The price to link from Anderson County, TX on The Penny Per Person Experiment web site is then, 56,408 pennies or $564.08 (US Dollars).
The web site is, like the idea, rather simple. A greenish-yellow box at the top of each web page provides visitors with state and “county” drop-down menus that are linked to advertisers’ web sites.
Is this a front page news story? Not yet. But let the enthralled and cynical alike, add it to their cauldron of molten blogs and watch the viral publicity grow into a rolling boil. Huh? Just give it time. It will grow.
This type of phenomenon requires two key players, the advertisers and the visitors, to achieve a level of hype that feeds itself. Which comes first is probably the sole indicator of success but, the answer to that is anyone’s guess.
It could start when a forward-thinking company decides to make the first purchase. This single act breathes life into the experiment and puts it one step closer to becoming a reality. Now, you have an interesting headline. A few small blog sites post the story. This in turn, sets off a chain reaction of blog postings, eventually winding up on the pages of a seriously influential web site.
The number of people exposed to the experiment grows which correlates directly to a higher number of visitors to the The Penny Per Person Experiment web site. Advertisers take notice and open their eyes to the possibilities. A fair amount of inexpensive or less populated “counties” are bought.
The experiment becomes even larger as the rule of exponential growth takes its course. Then, the unbelievable happens. One of the most expensive “counties” is bought. A company pays over $20,000 and this creates a media frenzy…
Of course, the other possibility is that approximately 5 people a day visit The Penny Per Person Experiment web site for the rest of its 2-year existence.
Stay tuned by visiting http://www.thepennyperpersonexperiment.com.
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