SCOBLEIZER -- Mar 4 -- At the Northern Voice conference I met Markus Frind, founder of Plentyoffish.com. He's Google's #1 Adsense user in Canada. His site is pulling in more than $10,000 per day from Google, he told me, and has millions of passionate users. Tens of millions of page views EVERY DAY. What's the secret to his success? Ugly design. I call it "anti-marketing design." He says that sites that have ugly designs are well known to pull more revenue. Google. Is it pretty? No. Craig's List? Pretty? No. MySpace? Pretty? No.
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Mark Brooks: It's not the fact that these sites are ugly. Consider further. The winning formula is that the sites appear anti-commercial, humble, and non-pushy. These sites appear to users like a person or group of smart people doing them a favor without hawking too hard to them. Most users don't realise that Craigslist makes $10 million+ a year from charging for job postings in a handful of cities...the average user never posts a job. Craigslist just looks like a cool nerd doing everyone a favor. How refreshing. Same deal with Plentyoffish. And Google? A lot of very smart, passionate, 'do no evil' nerds.