"Instant Oil Spill" Covers Your Favorite Websites in Crude, Eye-Catcher or Time-Waster?


Screenshots from using InstantOilSpill

Wonder what it's like to be an endangered sea turtle in the Gulf of Mexico right now, to be bobbing along and suddenly your vision is filled with oil? A Cleaner Future has created Instant Oil Spill, an interactive website that provides just such a perspective by showing crude oil bubbling up on any website you choose to visit. We wrote about it a few days ago, and now we question: Is it an eye-opener, or a time-waster?Instant Oil Spill states, "That's right, now you can have all the same disregard for the environment (albeit virtual) that big oil does everyday! Why should they get to have all the fun? Simply enter the web address of the site you'd like to contaminate and watch the spill happen. Note: This doesn't really harm other websites. We're not complete a**holes! ;)"

It doesn't harm other websites, but does it actually do any good?

Huffington Post covered their website in oil, and I checked out what it looks like on the homepage of the current mecca for social networking, Facebook. Once the screen fills with black, you get a quote:

While the "instant oil spill" makes sort of a point, it is more of a time-waster than an impactful statement. The bigger statement made by Instant Oil Spill is the frightening realization that the oil spill is so big and so long-term, and now so much a part of our cultural literacy from now on, that we're already making time-waster games based on it.

Instant Oil Spill does is lead us to a good thing -- A Cleaner Future's website, where you can learn more about volunteering or donating for the oil spill clean up. But couldn't something more be done with an attention-grabbing tool like this?

Ideas for more impact:


  • Rather than a quote, display the oil footprint of the company upon whose website the crude has just been spilled. Yes, aggregating this information would be tough, but wouldn't it make it truly eye-opening?

  • Rather than a quote, display some statistics about average American's oil footprint, along with options for how to decrease our use of oil on a daily basis

  • As the crude fills the screen, show a counter displaying the actual amount of oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon well in real time.

This is just a handful of ideas, and we're sure you can think of a whole lot more to make a basic time-waster have a much bigger purpose on the web.

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Tags: Activism | Corporate Responsibility | Electronics

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