Blogging Rants Technology

AdGator Copies Text Link Ads [Blatant Design Piracy]

The single most irritating thing about South Africans, the interwebs, and web 2.0 is that nobody can dream up a single original idea and build it. (Except for, I’m hoping, this guy). We copy muti from digg, amatomu and afrigator from technorati, Synthasite from [choose-your-lame-site-builder], Blueworld “social network” (ahem!) from myspace, AmaGama/iBlog from, Zoopy/YouTube, the list goes on, and then we slap some really stupid justification like “we are localising it for a South African audience“.

Yeah, localising it for what South African audience? The one that uses the *other* internet that we have in SA, not the *real* Internet? Come on.

Yes, you all suck on originality, copycats, and that pisses me off.

But there’s a new one. And oh, how the mighty have fallen!

After bitching and whining and moaning and circle-jerking in a great hoohaa about how Regator kinda sorta maybe looks a bit like Afrigator, yes I’m looking at you Mike, and Stii, and Justin, and co, you have the nerve to launch Adgator on the site design of Text Link Ads. That’s pretty low. And Lame. You couldn’t even change all the text…

Did you honestly think nobody would notice? Or was I surfing on that *real* Internet that doesn’t have an audience in SA and this is a better more “localized” version?

Sorry to be so blunt guys, but you just fucked yourselves. How do we take you seriously now, when you’re being hypocrites and copycats? Even worse, I don’t want to be angry – I like you guys!

Go on! Click the image below: See for yourself.

(BTW, I’m not against a South African ad network – that idea does make sense. Yes I do want to use Adgator to sell ads on my site, I think its a great thing, but it’s risking being horribly spoiled by some designer laziness.)

Of course I’m looking forward to the entertaining comments and excuses… 😉

[I’ve just seen that Chris M spotted this a couple days back…]

17 replies on “AdGator Copies Text Link Ads [Blatant Design Piracy]”

Hi Shaun

I’ll copy the same response I left on Chris’ blog when this came up.

Geez you guys are sharp and on the ball – there’s no getting away with anything!!! 🙂

Text Link Ads was my inspiration due to the simplicity of the layout and design and I’d be lying if I said we didn’t copy the code.

To be honest we didn’t really expect the site to be going live so quickly and we needed something up and running ASAP. With Mark Forrester on leave (planning his wedding) I was left at the web design helm and this is what you get when you let a business/operations guy to do the design!

Yeah, it hurts! 🙁 We were stupid and foolish and CLEARLY not thinking. It does happen, though. To me more than others, by the looks of it, but as in the past, it never killed me and it does learn one valuable lessons! Mistake made. Lesson learned. Sorry for pissing you off!

Dude: “Yes, you all suck on originality, copycats, and that pisses me off.” and then “Even worse, I don’t want to be angry – I like you guys!” – I’d hate to be on your bad side! Seriously… scares the shit out of me!

@justin: Fair enough, lesson learned I hope?

@Stii: I’m a harmless little puppy dog, dude, but I suppose on occasion I spout some pretty heavy vitriol.

I guess I’ve just seen enough of this type of plagiarism (see’s woes) and didn’t expect it from you guys at all.

@Shaun – for sure we’ve learned the lesson. I can honestly say it wasn’t done with any malicious intent. I’ve loved TLA for some time now and they know how to get the message across which is why I wanted to be as impact full with Adgator.

I’m to blame here – not the other guys and trust me when I say it won’t happen again. I did actually think we would be ok until Mark had a chance to look at the design but you know what they say about “assumptions” 🙂

Hi Marc – because it was such a great idea and we had great response from potential advertisers we thought we had to get it out so we could try and do something before the end of the year.

We needed to get the bloggers’ buy-in so that we could start to work with them to get code implemented on their site and start earning them some revenue. Had we waited on it we would never have been able to offer anything before the end of the year.

To be honest, next year was just too late in our opinion.

You need to check your facts. SynthaSite was the very first AJAX Sitebuilder to launch, way back in September 2005. We then took it back into private Beta. Check TechCrunch to confirm.

Vinny, I’m afraid Google fails to corroborate that statement. If you took (the rather extreme measure of putting) Synthasite back into private beta, what does that say about the product at the time? Was it a true AJAX Sitebuilder, or maybe just a few dhtml/jscript snazzies for editing html?
To be honest I don’t even really know how one truely defines an AJAX sitebuilder anyway. What level of dynamic ability must it have to be AJAX? One xmlhttprequest somewhere in a page’s script would make it AJAX. If that xmlhttprequest causes an html element to be created somewhere, you’ve got a sitebuilder.
Besides, sitebuilders bore me.

So you take a little youtube, add some flickr and writely, spice it up with an mp3/mp4 upload or two and you’ve got an original idea? Really? No seriously, really???
Can’t you do better than that?

Zoopy TV is nothing like It’s not about streaming video but rather about self-produced shows visible online and via mobile, ranging from iWitness News to Out & About to a whole lot more on the way. Hope you’re starting to get my point! 🙂

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