A woman named Wendy found an old set of Weight Watchers photo recipe cards from 1974 while cleaning out her parents’ basement. She scanned them into her computer and on March 13, posted them online with some wry commentary and told her friends about it. The week of April 4, the site got more than 1.4 million hits.
I could try to justify pointing out to this site to you by saying that it’s a testiment to the potential power of your own content archives, no matter how dusty you think they may be, if they can be digitized, put online and allowed to develop a following. It could also be a lesson in the power of the Internet to reach millions of people for literally only a few hundred dollars, or a cautionary tale about several large corporations trying to compete on an even playing field with the multitudes of personal Web sites.
I could also note that a search for “Weight Watchers” on Google now brings up this page as the number three item, just below the actual international organization founded in the ’60s, so it could be an opportunity for me to mention the double edged sword of online popularity: Weight Watchers could do a lot of PR damage to itself, or potentially convert some of Wendy’s popularity to their own benefit, if they’re paying enough attention to the Internet space.
Maybe this is worth looking at as a reminder that you don’t have to go back thousands of years to find fascinating cultural relics, and that sites which investigate various slices of pre-Internet time will often be popular if only because the Internet is so tilted towards what has happened after its own inception.
Or it could simply be hilarious. Really, you gotta check it out.
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