There’s a LOT of Shoe Toss content out there. Besides the original buzz, a lot of the meme can be traced back to a game called SockAndAwe that was created by Alex Tew.
From TechCrunch Europe Dec. 17, 2008
Alex Tew, the Uk entrepreneur most famous for creating the Million Dollar Home Page, has stumbled on another hit, almost by accident. Tew is currently working on PopJam, currently in stealth mode, but came up with a viral game to promote the site’s launch in the new year. The smartly named SockAndAwe lets you throw a shoe at President Bush, referring his recent escapade at a press conference in Iraq. However, the game itself is now proving to be a smash hit in its own right.
Today the site got half a million unique users only two days after launch. Now Tew has put the game up for sale on eBay as a further promotion. Bidding starts at £100 GBP.
Of course, the eBay listing will simply add fuel to the PR fire. It’s certainly a novel way to raise financing for a startup.
Here is the information from the eBay listing:
SockandAwe.com has gone viral on a massive, global scale. Here are some visitor stats (at time of writing, 9:02pm UK time, 17th Dec)
– 1,161,825 Absolute Unique Visitors since launch on 15th Dec
– 1,680,465 Pageviews since launch on 15th Dec
– 823,906 Unique Visitors so far today alone (17th Dec)
– 9,533 sources and mediums of traffic (that’s a lot of inbound links!)
Oh, and in the game itself: over 21 million virtual shoes have successfully hit president Bush’s face so far!
UPDATE: Entrepreneur Brendan McLoughlin has bought the game for £5215 on ebay.
SockAndAwe.com is now owned by Fubra who seem to be a development company that builds niche product social sites. They have over a hundred sites and seem to be fairly evolved. They’re hiring for instance. Some pretty sophisticated flash stuff. Check out their FubraWorld site. SockAndAwe seems to be about collecting (optional) email addresses from players. I don’t know anything about online games but I suppose this is how a viral game has value- a percentage of the players will leave their email addresses.
So what am I going to do with ShoeToss? A little late to the party? Considering that throwing your show at someone is a common insult in the Arab world. We can expect there to be more incidents. Perhaps the next incident will inspire a new game. In the meantime I’ll use this page to build a little directory of everything Shoe Toss and see what kind of traffic it generates. I’ll also be brainstorming the ultimate Shoe Toss game. I’m looking for a talented Flash game/widget developer.
Bush Shoe game at Mind360.com