XBiz' Year In Review: 2001

Stephen Yagielowicz

As 2001 winds down this evening, I thought that today would be a great opportunity to look back upon the porn odyssey that this past year has been. Here are a few highlights:

There's No Place Like Home
I'll begin where I got on board: When HELMY's became XBiz ~ The Industry Source. I joined Alec's team after the June 2001 InterNext to help develop a broad content base including articles, editorials, and enhanced resource listings. Along with the fabulous work that Marsha (Princess) has been doing for some time now, we all hope to bring you the finest adult Web business resources available; a mission that will continue into the future as we evolve to serve you better.

One of the most innovative new features that we've brought to you is XBiz' Newscaster, a helpful tool for companies wishing to get their message out to as many adult Webmasters as possible. This handy tool lets you broadcast your press release to all of the major adult Webmaster resource sites quickly, conveniently, and effectively. While Newscaster is seriously helpful, its appeal is focused, unlike the broad appeal of XBiz' popular Cosmic Village Community.

Our Cosmic Village Webmaster Message Boards provide the ultimate community for the sharing of knowledge and development of professional relationships. With the addition of the new Article Dialogs and AVS Avenue message boards, there is something for everyone here at XBiz. A fact that we proved in 2001, and that we'll reinforce in 2002. Stay tuned!

A War On Terror, Not On Porn
One of the most significant "non-events" of this past year was the (lack of) realization of the "Great Crackdown." Many of us in the online adult entertainment industry foresaw a sea change resulting in increased obscenity and trade law prosecutions by the new administration.

Early in the year, a lot of digital ink was spread about Attorney General Ashcroft and his desire to impart a personal moral vision upon those who would exercise their freedoms by providing adults with erotic entertainment in the privacy of their own homes. Rampant was the fear that our freedom to choose for ourselves what was appropriate entertainment would be quashed, but the events of September 11th changed all of that.

While I won't say that adult businesses are no longer under the microscope, because rest assured, they still are; but I will say that the focus has changed, and we are now on the "back burner," and that the threats our industry faces are more as a result of collateral damage from the War On Terror, and not as a result of a direct frontal assault on porn.

Personally, I feel that any government that condones the wholesale, willful slaughter of millions of infants under the perverse guise of "freedom of choice" has absolutely no business telling me, or anyone else, that they should not be allowed to look at pictures of naked women. Think about it: it's ok to poison, chop up, suck out, and flush down the toilet, one of "God's little Angels," but Heaven forbid you look at them naked if by some stroke of luck they reach adulthood. I don't get it, but I digress. While I think that 2001 signaled the end of "business as usual," I also see a bright and better 2002 on the horizon.

Errata & Addenda
The changing of the guard at SexTracker and the YNOT Network, the ongoing sagas of and Yahoo!, the evolution and maturation of our industry as we further invade the mainstream, and the mainstream further invades porn, the bursting of the dot com bubble, the growth and disruption of broadband, and the continuing globalization of the Internet, dialer dilemmas, and the glut of free porn, all made headlines this year.

Still, I believe that the issue that most directly affected adult Webmasters this year was the declining economy and the resulting decline in conversions, sales, and retention. Sure, some of this can be blamed on excessive free porn and a savvier consumer, but economic factors as well as post 9-11 fears have impacted the industry in ways that few business or marketing plans could have foreseen or mitigated.

I don't wish to paint a picture of doom and gloom however, as many of us (including myself) had our best year yet in 2001. Heck, I found and married the girl of my dreams (and fantasies), while successfully launching a number of profitable new projects. While I think that 2001 signaled the end of "business as usual," I also see a bright and better 2002 on the horizon.

Like many of you, I'm a bit burnt on all of this right now; but in 3 more days, Dawn Elizabeth and I will be on our way back to 'Vegas: InterNext is looming large, and there's really no better cure for the "Is this all worth it?" doldrums than the "Big Show." Thank you all for a good 2001, and let's work together for an even better 2002! Have a safe and Happy New Year! ~ Stephen