The Useless Sites of the Useless Web

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The Pigeon

By WANTED Visit The Pigeon

The Pigeon is one of the most perplexing sites on the useless web, I have done a lot of digging and haven’t been able to come up with any information. I was under the impression to have a .org domain you needed to be an organization.

 
Who is the pigeon, and what do they want?

If ANYONE has any information on this site, I have a lot of questions. Please send me a hot tip.

Endless Horse

By Colleen Josephson and Kyle Miller Visit Endless Horse

When I first stumbled onto Endless Horse I laughed out loud. It was such a unique and ridiculous idea with the domain name to match it. I scrolled down for a few minutes to see how endless it really was (bottomless pit endless in the answer) before opening the web inspector to see how it works.

 
Its creators, Colleen Josephson and Kyle Miller were both studying their PHD’s at the time (Electrical Engineering & Math) who found time to create some weird at a hackathon!

What were the circumstances behind creating your site?

The idea of an infinite horse came to me in 2014, when I first heard that .horse was going to be a TLD. I joked about creating a website called infinite.horse. In 2015 we participated in the “Stupid Shit No One Needs & Terrible Ideas Hackathon”, which was organized by some friends of ours, so the time to make infinite.horse was nigh (or neigh, if you prefer).
 

What came first, the domain or the code?

The domain. The scrolling code was a quick hack by Kyle using an infinite scroll library by Facebook – the best part is how legs.html works.
 

How did you settle on the domain?

At the hackathon some of the sponsors gave coupons for discounts on domain registration and hosting. Either infinite.horse was already taken or too expensive, so I brainstormed some alternatives and polled other attendees for which sounded best. Endless.horse obviously won.
 

How long ago did you launch the site / what are you working on now?

We launched the site in 2015. Since then, I started a PhD in Electrical Engineering (Kyle was already in his first year of a math PhD), and we’re both close to graduating. Also, fun fact: we’re getting married this May. Well, maybe. The coronavirus situation might throw a wrench into our plans.
 

What is the weirdest thing that has come from owning/running such a unique-not-really-having-a-purpose site?

The press coverage and popularity were unexpected, and we had no idea we were part of a nascent meme. Some of my favorites include hours-long youtube videos dedicated to people scrolling on endless.horse, being included in a lecture at the Parsons School of Design, and a request from a student in Germany that we add https functionality to the site (which I eventually did, see secure.endless.horse). As I mentioned, we’re PhD students so it’s been kind of funny being more known for this website than our academic research.

Cat Bounce is one of the very first websites on the useless web, and has been on the site right from the start of time, delighting millions with falling cats from the sky, which, if I’m honest, we all need every now and then.
 
The mastermind behind Cat Bounce, Tara Sinn is an incredibly talented artist, designer and all round creative who’s work will always be the kind I get excited about.

What were the circumstances behind creating your site?

I made Cat Bounce in 2012 when I was fooling around with a physics engine in Flash. I decided to replace the balls that bounced around the screen with cut-outs of cats because I’m a cat freak. I also recognized the Internet-popularity of cats and I wanted to see if I could make something that would be a hit on the Internet. The working title of the site was ‘Internet Crowd Pleaser’ but I ended up calling it Cat Bounce because it was less of a mouthful and it was WYSIWYG (more or less).
 

What is the weirdest thing that has come from owning/running such a unique-not-really-having-a-purpose site?

The weirdest/most surprising thing about Cat Bounce is that it’s had an incredibly long shelf-life. In 2019 it won a Webby Award and I still get tons of email every week from people who either love it, hate it, or want me to make a site like it but with dogs. I also got a job at adult swim after they saw Cat Bounce, so I can attest: cats are Internet gold.
 

What got you into web development? What are you working on now?

I started making websites in the late 90’s, my first website was on Tripod.com, and it was an offshoot of one of my zines. In the early 2000’s I started making websites for friends, started getting hired to make websites, and a few years after that, I began exhibiting websites as installations and browser-based art. I still make websites but nowadays most of my time is taken up by graduate school, I’m getting a masters degree in philosophy, poetics and mysticism.
 

What is your favorite site on the internet?

Hands down, my favorite websites are Reddit, Archive.org and are.na