The Best Page in the Universe
Type of site
|Created by||Maddox (George Ouzounian)|
The Best Page in the Universe is a personal satirical humor website created by George Ouzounian, better known as Maddox, of Salt Lake City, Utah. Launched in 1997 without any high expectations, the website became known by word of mouth.
History and status
"The Best Page in the Universe" originated from a text document that Maddox wrote in 1996 aptly named "fifty things that piss me off!" He gave the list to several people on EFnet's #coders, and the positive response led him to create the website.
Maddox decided to name his site "The Best Page in the Universe" despite his knowledge that at the time Yahoo! blocked sites with the phrase "the best" in the title from inclusion in its search engine.
On July 15, 2009, Xmission.com, which hosts The Best Page in the Universe, had an Alexa rank of about 16,000, and TheBestPageInTheUniverse.net, which works as an alternative domain for Maddox's website, had an Alexa rank of about 33,000. Maddox himself wrote an article in 2002 illustrating that despite all traffic being generated by word-of-mouth alone, his site was still ranked ahead of major corporations such as McDonalds and Pepsi, who spend millions of dollars on advertising every year.
He launched a competition for people to send him cartoons about himself or his website, most of which are attacks about emails for "more updates." Later, he parodied this himself by stating that now that he's finished with the comic book, he'd be able to "Not update the site more regularly." Entries included a depiction of Maddox leaping out of a computer monitor and smashing two fans' faces together, and a comic strip of a boy checking the website for new content only to find a cartoon of himself that he had posted ten seconds earlier.
Format and content
The Best Page in the Universe's layout was made sparse primarily to reduce bandwidth costs. Maddox also stated the sparsity protested the many websites containing "fancy HTML" but lacking substantial content. The page is headed with an image of Maddox's face superimposed over a bust of Che Guevara. In the image, Maddox is wearing a beret emblazoned with the Jolly Roger, and an eye patch. Maddox uses this image as a parody of the revolutionary icon. Maddox says that Che Guevara is remembered as "Che the revolutionary," not "Che the pinko", and claims to be neither socialist nor communist. Instead, he often proclaims himself to be a pirate, and typically portrays himself as such in his articles and artwork.
Maddox has compared reading black text on a white background to "staring at a light bulb." The site uses large, light-colored text against a black background to, in the stated opinion of Maddox, reduce strain on the eyes.
The site contains advertisements only for itself: it sells merchandise, such as stickers and apparel, that bear phrases from its articles. Maddox chose to not use advertisements because he thought they could end up censoring him by dropping ads.
Many of Maddox's articles include MS Paint illustrations, with touch up done in Photoshop. Images include elderly people being fired into the Sun, hippies being killed, and Maddox's testicles drawn larger than basketballs. Maddox maintains a section in which he criticizes hate mail his website has generated. When posting his replies he breaks the e-mail down and ridicules points which use fallacious logic and also corrects grammatical or orthographical errors. The site contains several "hidden pages", many of which are unfinished works or first drafts of articles that were moved around.
- "It's a man's world." Salon
- Maddox. "The Best Page in the Universe: FAQ"
- Maddox. "100 million faces rocked". The Best Page in the Universe. March 18, 2005
- XMission.com ranking on Alexa.com
- Thebestpageintheuniverse.net's rating on Alexa.com
- Maddox. "Holy shit! I'm writing a book!". February 19, 2005. The Best Page in the Universe. (Archive.org).
- Kiyan, Randy. "Week of 11/01/05". The Best Page in the Universe. November 1, 2005.
- Horus. "Weekly Submission". The Best Page in the Universe. November 2005.
- Maddox. "The Best Store in the Universe".
- "Maddox Addicts :: Secrets". Maddox Addicts
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