Back in the 1990’s, when the internet was still in the warm up phase of its development, there were very few websites around, especially when compared to today. Pretty much the only TLD that anyone used was the .com. So if you wanted to visit a government site, most people would simply type .com at the end of the name. So what do you think appeared in peoples Internet Explorer browser when they entered whitehouse.com? I can tell you that they didn’t end up on the landing page of the US federal government. Whitehouse.com was a Adult site.
Probably the most recognized government building in the world is the White House in Washington DC. So it would make perfect sense that if someone typed whitehouse.com into their browser it would lead them to the White House website, or at least something very close. But in 1997 visitors to the site would have something very different in store for them when they visited the site. Whitehouse.com was a Adult site! To add insult to injury, it was during the tenure of former president Bill Clinton, and at the height of his sexual misconduct.
Site owner Dan Parisi first set out to design a parody and commentary site of the White House and U.S. politics. But traffic to the site was flagging. Then he heard that some money could be made with online Adult, so he combined the two into a Adult site with likenesses to Bill and Hillary Clinton and Al Gore to name just a few.
Traffic to the site boomed. It quickly rose to 30,000 visitors a day with Parisi having to look for additional bandwidth. He sold the site in 2004 when his son began attending kindergarten, and it has never since returned to being a Adult site. At the time of Parisi selling the site it was earning him $1 million a year.