Single-serving of fun

Heidi Olsen
Senior Developer

I have a pretty badass job.

Not only do I get to create interactive experiences with a talented team, I get to have fun while I do it.
My first week at eROI many moons ago, a few of my coworkers were tasked to present a “learning” to the rest of the company while we shared a pony keg. One group demonstrated what a Tom Selleck Waterfall Sandwich was, bringing to light the single-serving website.

Tom Selleck is majestic

Some of you might be thinking “why is there seriously a full website dedicated to this?”To which I beg the question—”Have you met the internet and its people?” We enjoy stupid things that make us laugh, and even better if it encourages us to play along.

The idea of a single-serving website is nothing new, coined by writer Jason Kottke back in 2008 (if you don’t follow his blog, you should) and made famous by people with far too much time on their hands on a computer, worldwide. Simply, it’s a website comprised of a single page with a singular, dedicated purpose.

One such site is, a favorite among the eROI creative department.
I stumbled upon this website that offered a large red button that when pushed, played a true “Rimshot” sound that could accompany my notoriously bad jokes that occasionally cross the line (to be fair, I’ve only gotten in trouble with HR once). For those who think I’m being a perv, a Rimshot refers to the sound produced by hitting the rim and the head of a drum simultaneously with a drum stick.

I loved this added flair to my ill-conceived jokes so much, I downloaded it on my phone so I could use it on the go and added it to my profile on the eROI “Who” page.

Who page

Oh hey girl, is your name Google? Because you have everything I’ve been searching for… offers other fun supporting sounds such as downer which is ideal to play when someone spills their coffee, drumroll in anticipation for an important announcement and our favorite—reading rainbow when we need to segue between one topic to the next.

Imagine my excitement when our new Account Coordinator Kim Pearson said that she knew Scott Carver, the creator of We met up for coffee so I could pick his brain on why he decided to create such a wonderful site.

Developed back in 2008, was created for the people in Carver’s office. “It would be great if there was an easy way to have sound effects” they thought. Carver realized it would be easy to do and developed a simple webpage with a single red button with a solid white background. He waited patiently for someone in his office to make a bad joke and when the opportunity finally arose, he pressed the button. It was a tiny but immediate success.

Realizing how useful this could be for others, he shared on Digg and other sites before he sent it in to Kottke’s blog, igniting a strong following on Facebook, shares on message boards and even a mention in GQ Magazine. Soon after he started noticing similar sites springing up like and which also featured ads. Realizing the potential to receive more than just a few minutes of internet fame, Carver also incorporated ads to generating some revenue still to this day.

The thought that a simple idea can be really profitable is inspiring. provides a basic utility that people can use and is extremely low-maintenance. Carver has future plans to make the site more mobile-friendly and perhaps add a sharing option so people can easily incorporate it onto their sites, but besides an occasional email from a professional drummer attempting to correct the rimshot sound, the site continues to serve its purpose for not only the person using the site, but for the people around them.
Some of my other favorite single-serve websites:
This site is awesome if you really want to torture someone by getting a song stuck in their head. I just..agh. Why did I click on that again. Quick, another site! Please!
This question comes up often in the winter months. Nine times out of ten its “No”. But sometimes, it says “Yes. PANIC!” As a native Minnesotan I find it adorable how much Pacific Northwesterners freak out when it snows (pats nearby Portlander on the head).
As a developer who sometimes dabbles in design, I can’t seem to get myself to remember the shortcut for the right angle quote in Photoshop (I got the HTML code etched in the back of my skull). Hence, this website comes in handy for a quick Ctrl+C, Ctrl+P.
Don’t judge, snapping bubble wrap is a great stress reliever.

This is handy when I can’t decide what I want from the carts, although one time it told me to skip lunch. WHY DO YOU THINK I’M FAT INTERNET?
Don’t have to tell me twice.
Jeez alright already, settle down internet.
Great for if your boredom has reached an all-time high and you also are in the mood to risk a seizure.

Last but not least, the site is useful when I’m trying to get my coworker Dan’s attention.

Well that was a fun ride, wasn’t it? As creative professionals we strive to devise an all-encompassing solution to our client’s needs. Sometimes these are very complex websites with customized content from header to footer. Sometimes we need to take a step back and ask why in the age of short-attention spans and hyper-consumption of information do we not work harder to focus on simplifying the message, calls to action and overall user experience. Next time you find yourself in a brainstorm session, take a cue from the single-serve websites and attempt to simplify the purpose of your site. You may just stumble on that million dollar idea.

Heidi Olsen
Heidi Olsen, Senior Developer at eROI.