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Can A Dollar Save A Dwindling Dot-Com?

The saga that surrounds several Internet sites' struggle to reach profitability has been well-documented. But it seems as though the story has taken a turn reminiscent of the final round of a game show, during which the winning contestant is stuffed into a plastic wind tunnel full of floating dollar bills. Amazon.com, perhaps inspired by their understanding of what its like to flounder in the red, has initiated the Amazon Honor System to facilitate "tips" to some of your favorite sites.

The Amazon Honor System ( www.amazon.com/honor) is based on its One-Click shopping technology, and Amazon states that it can have an affiliate signed up and collecting contributions in less than 15 minutes. Perhaps the best news for Web site fans is that the buck can be refunded — with no questions asked — for up to 30 days, thanks to Amazon's innovative Unpay feature. Amazon will take a transaction charge and a percentage of the donation in exchange for its services.

The service has initially been launched on more than 50 sites and includes streaming sites such as www.adcritic.com, the popular site which chronicles and streams television commercials, and hearingvoices.com, an obscure streaming audio site. Several animation sites also joined on including, jibjab.com, killfrog.com and perhaps most ironic — given its original intentions of Hollywood grandeur — Icebox.com.

Word on the street though, has the Amazon honor system weighing in a day late and a dollar short for Icebox.com. Webnoize reports that this Friday may be the last day for Icebox.com, as it failed to close a $10 million round of funding. Perhaps the refund feature will prove important after all.

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