And actually the idea predates the web itself, with an Internet-enabled Coke machine devised by the uber-geeks at Carnegie Mellon University as early as 1982.
As the wikipedia entry points out, cheap domain names and cheap hosting have made it basically free to slap something together and chuck it on the web, almost always as a joke, and to see what happens. Whether you want to provide people with a constant status on Abe Vigoda’s vital signs or help the people of earth spell “definitely“, the world is your oyster.
And now brands are getting in on the game, with Converse kicking things off with a whole set of possibly entertaining, definitely time-wasting, video-based single serving sites, each serving up one piece of content. Topics range from when the Marquette b-ball team will be back in action to tips on how to get a hot girl from a girl that’s even hotter than that girl.
The strategy is basically built around the idea of snackable content, creating lots of individual bits of content that are easy to consume and spread, with the hope that a few of them will go viral within various segments of their audience. And given the sites are all connected together, if you get people in one site, the likelihood is pretty high they’ll click the next one. It’s spread betting brought to branded entertainment. They’ve made it really easy to just enjoy some random content, brought to you by Converse.
And that same strategy is being employed by a slick little YouTube mashup that’s been rolled out by Poke New York, upl8.tv. Which makes the second branded single serving site in less than a week.
UPL8.tv is a cool idea and with a great execution. Let the wealth of random YouTube videos wash over you, hit space bar if you want to skip one. And as Iain points out over on Crackunit, it’s even programmable by URLs. 80’s pop videos?. Hockey fights? Kenny Loggins? Check, check, and check. It’s all there for the taking.
It is the best kind of single-serving site: it does one thing, really well. There’s no clutter or distraction.