Spottt Brings Back Memories

Spottt (yes, that’s three t’s) is a free banner advertising network. Those who were active building websites on the internet in the mid-nineties must be familiar with this concept. Especially when I say one (what we would now call wiki-) word: LinkExchange.

LinkExchange was, like Spottt, a banner exchange service. You upload your banner and put some HTML code on your own website that displays banners of other people on the network. Every banner display on your own website earned you a credit, every 2 credits earned you a banner display on another website on the network. A great way to advertise your website for free. A great business for the banner exchange service too, because every other ad displayed on the network was a paid one. Hence the 2:1 ratio. At the time there were dozens of such banner exchange networks, some with better ratio than the 2:1 that LinkExchange offered, but there was something about LinkExchange. It was classy. Classy in its own peculiar ugly way.

Class. At that time I felt a website wasn’t really a website without a huge 468×80 (or whatever the size was) banner on it. LinkExchange’s banners were a bit too small in fact. A big banner signaled that you were serious, that this website was not just a homepage made by some teenager — which I was — but a real website. A banner said: “Hey, we have a business plan!” Even though my websites did not get a lot of hits I signed up for all kinds of banner exchanges and paid banner ad networks. Of course I got around maybe 10 visitors a day back then, but hey that was like 300 a month, right!

Then Microsoft bought LinkExchange and the bubble burst.

Thankfully there is Spottt, to bring us back to the nineties, except with smaller banners and gayer colors.