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Thursday, April 01, 2004

April Fools' Parody Gets Friendsters Goat!
"Goatster" Spoof Makes Visitors Look Twice
My friend Ryan at GoateeStyle.com goes out of his way to give a 'gotcha' to his site visitors on April 1st -- April Fools Day. This year Ryan must have spent several hours crafting his Friendster-look-a-like layout (prominently featuring his goat-buddy, Pan) in order to create "Goatster." Parodies of past years have included American Goat and Goats Gone Wild.

GoateeStyle is essentially a personal website and blog, but with an obvious focus on the hairy facial fashion of "The Goatee." When I asked Ryan why he started a site called GoateeStyle, he responded with a well thought-out concept that reinforces the idea that this man is in the process of creating a very unique brand that has drawn (by accident or design) a very loyal following of friends, artists, and facial-hair fanatics.

In 1996 Ryan became known among his college buddies for his goatee. While creating his first website, he decided that "goatee" HAD to be in the title somewhere. This site was originally conceived for friends to look and laugh at. Ryan's core concept is that to grow a goatee means you live life with a certain outlook. A hip fun attitude that only the goateed can really understand.

For a couple years, the site simply featured artwork and silly journal entries -- no actual goatee-related content. But then GoateeStyle started to achieve top placement on the list for "goatee" search engine queries, so naturally he received a lot of emails from people that were confused by the title vs. content. Ryan eventually decided to give in and create some goatee content, but rather than post facial hair grooming tips (he's really no expert) he tried to make the goatee pages entertaining for anyone. (Checkout the evil twins idea and wanna-be paper goatees!)

It seems facial hair has been good to Ryan. Being seen as some sort of goatee guru has gotten Ryan interviewed by several newspapers, and even credited in the book "One Thousand Beards."

How does Ryan personally feel about this goateed monster 'growing' out of control? "I can't turn my back on the follicles that built me. But at the same time, I want to be seen for more than my face fuzz. I want Goatee Style to be an entertainment site. I want to become known for my comics and Flash cartoons. Humor and art."

Visit GoateeStyle.


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