Upon revisiting the classic Ask thread What Is This Creepy Site Advertising?
(a.k.a., the thread where tons of Mefites congregated for weeks to solve the puzzle behind an unusual viral marketing website), I discovered something intriguing about the site in question.
posted by jeudi to MetaFilter-Related at 8:26 PM (33 comments total)
4 users marked this as a favorite
"thepurification dot org" was once home
to a bizarre countdown that captured the imagination and research skills of MetaFilter users, only to lead to a disappointing conclusion: this strange website that had caused so much controversy ended up
being a shill for a ski resort in Taos, NM.
Lately, if you visit the website in question, you'll find something very different -- namely, a plug for a novel entitled The Purification
. The author of said novel? None other than Bart Cleveland, one of the original designers
of the viral marketing website. (The bio on his blog
even mentions that he "created a story for an online alternative reality game that featured a mysterious clock counting down to zero".)
This seems to lend an even more interesting twist to the initial saga. Was Bart inspired to write the novel based on his experience with the viral website? Did he just use it as a title since he was hanging onto the domain name? Or was this a case of viral marketing for his novel set up years in advance?
[Disclaimer: I have no affiliation whatsoever with Bart Cleveland and no interest in selling or promoting his book.]