The Internet is supposed to be the world’s most inclusive medium: A miraculous tech utopia anyone can access. Which is why Justin Foley thought it might be funny to make a Web site that was, well … exactly the opposite.
Foley is the man behind MostExclusiveWebsite.com, a site that — true to its name — only one person can visit at a time. You access the site by requesting a “ticket” for your 60-second window and then waiting in line; as of Tuesday night, there were only 40,204 other people you needed to get behind.
“It just sort of came to me,” said Foley, a Columbus, Ohio, web developer, in an e-mail to The Post. “The Internet was designed to be open and accessible; what if I made a website that was the antithesis of one of the defining qualities of the Internet?”
Foley initially launched the site in March, after learning a new programming framework that he was eager to try out. But the line to view the world’s most exclusive site was pretty short until this week, when Johnny Webber, the popular blogger behind Johnny Lists, ranked it first in a round-up of “completely useless websites.” (Runner-ups included purple.com, a 21-year-old site that literally consists of one purple screen, and watching-grass-grow.com, which is both literal and less than riveting.)
From there, the site turned up on Reddit’s front page, where so many tried to access it that the site went down. Woe to those poor souls who’d been waiting all along.
“I waited 8 hours and missed my spot the first time around,” one visitor complained. “Back here again and made it!!! ……..not sure what I should say now.”
More than 300,000 people had tried to enter the site as of Tuesday, Foley said; only 55,000 have been let in. Because you lose your ticket if the site refreshes or if you x-out of the tab, it can actually be pretty difficult to stay in line. On the flip side, of course, that means the line moves much more quickly than the high ticket numbers would imply: Foley says that roughly 8 of every 9 waiters bail before their turn comes up.
But what are we even waiting for? What’s the prize, the big mystery? Foley declined to say, though — based on some comments he made on Reddit several weeks ago — we suspect the site serves up random pictures of an Internet-famous animal that is not, ahem, a goat or a hamster. If you want to find out for sure, though, you’ll have to get in line.
“I [like] the unbiased exclusive nature of the way the queue works, first come first serve and only one person in at a time,” Foley said.
“Although if President Obama called and asked for an exception,” he added, “I’d certainly consider it.”
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