People who got rich and famous from Twitter Part 4
George “Maddox” Ouzouzian hit upon a different route to fame and riches. He decided to become the most obnoxious man on the internet. That’s not easy by any means, let’s face it.
On his blog, The Best Page in the Universe (maddox.xmission.com), Maddox depicts himself as a bearded and eyepatched, pirate-cum-Che-Guevara figure and spouts provocative opinions, using the persona of an intelligent yet vengeful and permanently irate geek. Running since 1997, it made him one of the first internet blogstars, but Maddox received barely a penny for his efforts until 2006 when his book The Alphabet of Manliness reached the New York Times bestsellers list, and topped the Amazon.com chart. Today, his website still brings in two million readers a month despite updates slowing to a crawl.
As you may have gathered, Maddox is a little different from our other success stories. His HTML page design might politely be described as “primitive”, for a start.
“Web design is overrated,” he told us. “There are literally millions of websites that look better than mine. Pretty much all of them, actually, yet my site gets more traffic than most.
“A great example is Google versus Yahoo. Yahoo inundates you with design and content. Google says ‘here’s a search bar, have fun!’ Same thing can be said of Craigslist, and Drudgereport and countless other ‘simple’ sites.”
He also refuses to sell ads on his site or market it in any way. Merchandise sales barely cover his costs of hosting it. “Ads cause self-censorship and they’re annoying and abusive,” says Maddox. “There are countless examples of advertisers bullying content creators to change their opinions to be more favourable towards the advertiser and they’re continually using more invasive methods to advertise, such as audio and video clips that disrupt your viewing experience and slow down your computer. No thanks.”
Money has come though from his book, which consists of 26 mini essays, one for each letter. For example N is for (Chuck) Norris.
“The Alphabet of Manliness changed the publishing industry. Before it there was only one known book on manliness and it was in 1998. My book hit #1 on Amazon.com sales through presales alone, and #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. That kind of success is virtually unheard of for a first-time author. That said, I’m not a millionaire by a long shot.”
Maddox was in talks with US network Spike TV about turning his unique brand of comedy into a TV show, but as talks stalled he took his idea to YouTube.
“Why subject yourself to the heavy-handed editing and censorship on television when you can kick everyone’s face with your dick on the internet,” asks Maddox. “Publishing online lets you produce something once and have it be read or watched by millions of people forever.”
A new book, entitled I Am Better Than Your Kids is coming to a bookstore near you, meaning Maddox’s moneymaking days are far from over.