My (Fake) Content Strategy Destiny

Dawn Bovasso   May 27, 2009
ryt-hospital-websiteRYT Hospital is a fake; male pregnancy remains a dream. (via PhilB.com)

I have a friend who owns a small design agency. We were recently chatting about his clients, and he said, “Well, mostly these days I’m doing fake sites.”

Ummm, what? I got crazy excited. I love fake sites and have been compiling a list of them, like the ones that LOST has for Ajira Airways and the Dharma Initiative. The idea that I can both create fake content and strategize it is like CS nirvana.

Apparently, my friend has been doing fake sites for domain squatters. Say back in 1998, you bought scattergather.com for no reason other than it sounded cool. Now, let’s say Microsoft comes knocking and wants to buy it from you for their corporate blog. Apparently, your powers of negotiation are quite a bit higher if you have a somewhat believable site live.

So imagine then if Microsoft came to the former owners of scattergather.com, and instead of getting a squatter page, they owners could, in all seriousness, say, “Well, we are serious experts regarding fine confetti and its scattering” (or something like that) and had a site to prove this. They could have demanded a price that reflects the fact that they have to give up their serious business site.

I want this job, immediately. I want to make crazy, fantastic, innovative sites with ridiculous domain names, and try to come up with content to match it. For example, when the UX team was creating the Ajira Airways site, they must have had a serious conversation about the error message you get when you search for a flight—as if it were a real, serious error message.

Imagine the taxonomy and content modules I could do for a Hogwarts site! Or for the Rambaldi artifacts! Or what if we did a site for something that made no sense at all, but had an amazing name, like bloodsugarsexmagik.com? So much CS/UX potential… and then someday, someone famous just might want that domain name.

I’ve found my dream job.

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6 Responses

  1. Traci Armstrong says:

    Would love to see you publish your compiled list of fake sites!

  2. This is delicious. We do the same thing with stories but have rules like: you can only change the primary noun of the story or make all the actions related to flight. But this is nirvana.

  3. Chris Boese says:

    Hey! Hogwarts is REAL! Maybe you just can’t see it, you know, because of those muggle-repelling charms…

  4. Dawn: I think that’s my dream startup. Want to ditch Razorfish and join my (fake) company? I can offer you an extremely high (fake) salary, a generous (fake) benefits package, and a supportive yet professional (nonexistent) working environment.

    Think of the fun we’d have making up our own clients. Whew.

    Elena

  5. Dawn Bovasso says:

    Thanks, everyone. I’ll definitely blow out the list of fake sites and post it – could be interesting to have everyone add to it and see how it relates to CS/UX. Or it could just be really fun…

  6. Annie Rex says:

    This is so meta it’s perfect.

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