The 25 Worst Web Sites

Worst Sites #10-#6

10. MyLackey.com

This Seattle-based site offered to walk your dog, pick up your dry cleaning, and do all other manner of scut jobs for a fee. (Isn't that what kids and younger siblings are for?) The dot com contracted with local service providers for the dirty work, but apparently applied the "lackey" notion to its own employees as well. An infamous memo from cofounder Brendon Barnicle berated the company's 65 employees for not putting in 11-hour days, making MyLackey a symbol of the dot-com work ethic. Sixteen months after it began, the last lackey still standing closed the doors and shut off the lights.

9. Hamsterdance.com

Quite possibly the most irritating site on earth. Earplugs recommended.

8. BonziBuddy

This animated purple gibbon called itself "your best friend on the Internet," but many who downloaded this free program weren't feeling too friendly afterward. Buddy could tell jokes, recite your e-mail, manage your schedule, download files, and more. But the grape ape also tracked users' surfing habits, hijacked home pages, and installed several of his adware buddies. Depending on your browser settings, merely visiting Bonzi's Web site or clicking a banner ad could install Buddy on your machine. In 2002 annoyed Netizens had enough of this monkey business and sued Bonzi for deceptive advertising. By 2005 Buddy was history.

7. Pets.com

Who let this dog out? Back in the heady days of 1999 it must have seemed perfectly normal to spend $175 million making a sock puppet famous. But the notion of saving some coin on kibbles and kitty litter never caught on with consumers, and by November 2000 Pets.com had been euthanized--going from IPO to liquidation in just nine months. Before it got sent to the pound, however, the dot com filed suit against Triumph the Comic Insult Dog for allegedly defaming its moth-friendly mascot. Apparently, even sock puppets have feelings.

6. Pixelon.com

More dot con than dot com, this streaming media company boasted of a revolutionary new technology that would deliver high-quality audio and video over the Net. But Pixelon CEO and founder "Michael Fenne" was in reality a grifter named David Kim Stanley, who spent the majority of investors' money--some $16 million--on a launch party in Las Vegas featuring Tony Bennett, KISS, and The Who. Prior to starting Pixelon, Stanley had pleaded guilty to swindling friends and neighbors out of $1.5 million; he was on the lam and living out of the back of his car when he founded the company. Pixelon's revolutionary new streaming technology was equally spurious.

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