"Networking" is an important part of being a successful Adult Webmaster. No, I don't mean the "10-Base-T" kind, but the "spending time with your peers" kind.
Whether online or in person, the more exposure to new ideas and information you obtain, the better off you will be, and in this business especially, it is often the personal relationships that spell the difference between success and failure. After all, you are more likely to help (or be helped by) a friend than a stranger:
The simplest way to get acquainted with other Adult Webmasters is to become actively involved with the discussions on our Message Boards. Our extensive "Cosmic Village" Adult Webmaster Community is one of the most popular communities on the Adult Internet, and will give you plenty of opportunities for interaction.
If you're new to the world of message boards, it's best to "lurk" for awhile, seeing the practices, personalities, and "tone" of each individual board before you post. Proper board etiquette is a subject unto itself, and one that will be covered in a future article, but in the meantime, stop by and see how your fellow Webmasters are sharing their knowledge and opinions:
Live Chat Events
This type of networking opportunity takes many forms, from simple chats to audio and in some cases, video shows. Several sponsors and resource sites offer weekly themed chats where a specific topic (or range of topics) are discussed. Attracting a variety of personalities all interested in the same subject, these focused discussions provide an excellent opportunity for you to learn from, teach to, and interact with your peers.
(Inter) National Events
There is nothing quite like the experience of hitting 'Vegas for InterNext. This, the largest of all Adult Webmaster gatherings, is a spectacle beyond description, where if you survive, you will return home wiser, and motivated to excel. Almost everyone who is anyone in the biz makes it to this event, where sponsors woo passersby and seminars educate newbies and inform pros alike.
It is the parties however where the bulk of networking can be accomplished. Not necessarily the large "noisy" affairs, but the smaller "hospitality suite" get-togethers where you can exchange ideas with your peers in a comfortable environment. Breakfast and luncheon dates are always popular relationship building exercises, and many a sweet deal has been struck over a "4:20 bone break" or "lap dance" as well.
CyberNet Expo is also a popular event, providing a much more intimate atmosphere than does InterNext; allowing longer conversations at the expense of less vendor exposure. Each show has its pros and cons, but both are definitely worthwhile.
Regional Webmaster gatherings provide an excellent opportunity for those who are unable to travel to the larger events due to scheduling conflicts or family and employment commitments. They are also attractive to those able to make the larger events, but needing a "local" boost to their networking endeavors.
A great example of a "regional" Webmaster gathering is Hosts4Porn's Toronto Networking Party happening on this Thursday, Sept. 6th. I am going to be there (coming up from New Hampshire), as will my friend Erik from SobeGirl (coming up from Miami). Even though this event is targeted towards meeting and networking "with others in the Toronto area who work in the online adult industry" its appeal will draw many folks from far and wide who wish to interact and spend quality "face time" in a more intimate environment than is usually possible at a major show. As busy Adult Webmasters, we need all the help they can get when it comes to tracking the many educational events...
Stay in the Loop
As busy Adult Webmasters, we need all the help they can get when it comes to tracking the many educational events available in the Adult Web Industry. So, how can a busy Webmaster stay informed about all of the latest gatherings and live chat events?
Easy: with the XBiz Calendar of Events! From weekly live chats to regional, national, and international conferences and conventions, the XBIZ Events Calendar will keep you informed and up to date. Select an event and receive a reminder via email from 15 minutes to 1 day in advance. You'll wonder how you ever got along without it!
Regardless of how you find out about upcoming industry events, the important thing to remember is that networking is the foundation of a successful career in online adult, and you are never too experienced -or inexperienced to participate. See you at the next show! ~ Stephen