E R I C H V
So... after a three year break from the web I'm sitting around thinking "Why not make Bud Uglly a real design company?" I mean, I didn't really think about it at the time but Bud was pretty popular. It sunk in, "Hey, I'm one of those web big shots!" We were getting thousands of visitors a day, hundreds of e-mails, awards, newspaper, magazine articles... Hey, I'm one of those web Big Shots!
1996, I'm making the first version of Bud Uglly, it's 2:00am and I'm really punchy. I figure okay, the thing's sort of an "in joke" if you've surfed a lot of homepages. I figure "Billy Joe Newsweek.com" probably won't get it. I put it on-line and next thing you know I'm getting like a hundred e-mails a day telling me they can't stop laughing. The Dallas Morning News runs a half page article on the front page of their Today section. Great, I've got a popular page. The thing is, I'm an artist, not a business guy. How do you make money off this thing? So what do I do? I just keep working on the pages adding more and more stuff, fake clients, pictures of the Bud Uglly team. I loved working on it so that's what I did. Three years, never put a real banner ad up or even tried to make money off it. It was like a large pointy beast that I just kept riding.
I always thought the "Bud Uglly" concept was a great idea. I knew if I could just promote it, it would turn a profit. You know like, T-shirts, mouse pads, maybe replace Martha Stewart at the Kmarts, TV show, who knows, the sky's the limit! Okay, maybe I'm just an idiot.
C H I C A G OThere were these three sites me and Spanky were working on, wwwVoice (later to be renamed "Clog" later to be renamed "Sp@ckle", finally to be renamed Ow!), the I Hate Frames Club with 3000 members, and Bud Uglly Design. The whole renaming thing was a running joke 'cause at the time the web was suddenly crawling with single word 'zines like "Stim" "Suck" "Tweak" "t@p" "feed" and "Salon". We just wanted to be hip too.
I'll tell you, maintaining one site is really time consuming, but trying to keep up with three sites is downright ridiculous. So we closed up the I Hate Frames Club in June of 1998. It was really sad because we had so many members and it was very interactive. For those of you who aren't familiar with the web at that time, everybody was using Netscape 3.0 and for most of us with average computers the frames would crash our browsers about half the time. Always just when you wanted to "back button" to that "free stuff" website.
Right after that we started getting 200 question submissions a day to "Ow!" and we decided we needed a life. We closed up "Ow!", left Bud Uglly up, and just let the domain name run out (I think it's owned by some link page guy now, sheesh, we weren't even good enough to be taken over by porno!). One of our regular visitors, Elvis Shortliver, took the Bud Uglly pages and set them up at his site, wackyadvice.com calling it The Bud Uglly Foundation. Spanky and I left the web and that is that.