by Susannah Patton

Websites With Ideas You Should Steal

Dec 01, 20012 mins

It should come as no surprise that this year’s Web Business 50 judges spent a lot of time online. Between visits to serious news and technology sites, they occasionally wandered, landing on some lesser-known, off-the-wall Web addresses. Here is a sampling of their favorite sites that didn’t make it into the Web Business 50 winners’ list but offer (besides entertainment value) some compelling lessons.

Website What it does Idea you can steal
Dancing Paul,

Paul struts his stuff to tunes ranging from Michael Jackson’s “Beat it” to “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats. Site visitors control Paul’s arm and leg movements as well as background scenes and backup dancers. Use interactive Web technologies to keep surfers hooked.
The Dialectizer,

Instantly converts English text to several comic dialects from Cockney to “Swedish Chef.” Hilarious. Quick response time for any Web application keeps visitors coming back.
New England Lost Ski Areas Project,

Chronicles the history of now-defunct New England ski areas. Well-organized and researched content will create a Web following, no matter how obscure the topic.
Web Economy BS Generator,

Makes fun of technology jargon with an application that instantly generates hilarious phrases. Add clever and fun applications to your website to create a loyal following.
Guess the Dictator/Sitcom Character,

A just-for-fun site that offers a “Who am I?” quiz for sitcom and current events aficionados. Know your audience.
The Onion, Satirizes the daily news. Clean presentation and sharp content plus humor equals Web success.