A 10 Minute TGP

Stephen Yagielowicz
There's been a lot of talk lately about how the proposed changes to the 18 USC 2257 statute will negatively impact adult webmasters, and TGP owners in particular. There is of course an easy solution to the record-keeping dilemma – the "text only" TGP...

AutoGallery is the "lite" (and free) version of JMB Software's popular AutoGallery Pro and AutoGallery SQL TGP scripts. Offering fewer features than the Pro and SQL versions, AutoGallery is marketed as "a good starting point if you are just entering the TGP scene." While no technical support is available for this script, detailed instructions are provided, making the installation and operation of it straight-forward enough that most folks shouldn't encounter any problems.

Although this script is not as robust or feature-laden as JMB's other TGP offerings, it will allow you to automatically accept thumbnail gallery submissions, verify that the gallery URL is functional, and then queue the gallery for approval. There is an online control panel that allows administrators to review the submitted galleries, and then individually approve or reject each one.

The look and feel of your AutoGallery TGP is easily customizable through the use of HTML templates, which are accessed through the control panel using your standard web browser.

All that's needed to get started is the free download, a Unix or Linux based Web server with Perl 5.005+ installed on it, the ability to use .htaccess password protection, and a basic level of admin privileges on your server. These privileges include: "...being allowed to execute CGI and/or PHP scripts, write files to any directory in your web space, change permissions on files and directories, and use sendmail or SMTP to send e-mails from a CGI or PHP script."

After downloading and extracting the zip file, it's a simple enough task to upload the script set to your site's cgi-bin, set a handful of permissions, and then initialize the script before logging into the control panel. In fact, the biggest problem that you might face is in correctly typing in the URL to the init file in your browser's address bar!

Once you open the control panel, you'll be able to manage your gallery categories, edit your page templates and process your galleries. Although this is a feature-limited script set, AutoGallery allows you to have a helpful degree of automated control over your submissions, including the ability to eliminate duplicate gallery URLs, ensure that a text description was provided, and to manipulate that text in order to ensure consistent capitlaization rules across your listings.

After verifying and saving your options in the control panel, simply click the "Build All Pages" link, and then the "Go To TGP Page" link to see your new (and empty) TGP.

While there is a gallery submission form where webmasters will be able to submit their galleries to your TGP, it won't work until you've specified at least one category for submissions to be displayed under. These categories could be gallery types (i.e.: "Photo Galleries" or "Videos") or they could be niche types (i.e.: "Teens" or "Toys" etc.). Even after you have specified your gallery categories, don't expect an overnight flood of submissions; since you will face a "Catch 22" of sorts, in that webmasters won't bother to submit galleries to an empty TGP, and your TGP won't cease to be empty without submissions.

Fortunately, there is not only an abundance of sponsor-provided "free hosted galleries" (FHGs) available, but you can use XBiz' own Gallery Booster tool to initially populate your TGP. This is made easy by selecting a category that fits your site, and a date range to pull galleries from, from within the Gallery Booster tool. This will give you a listing of galleries which can then be formatted according to the needs of the AutoGallery software and imported directly into the application. This process is fully explained in AutoGallery's help files.

If you grab many files, realize that only the first 100 will be displayed on the main gallery page, with additional galleries moved onto the archive page – a process that will continue with each newly approved submission – until your archive reaches 1000 galleries, at which point the oldest galleries are dropped. As a side note, allowing access to your archive in exchange for the surfer's e-mail address is one quick way to build your opt-in mail list...

There's a lot more to the profitable operation of a TGP in today's market, but this will get you started and provide a great learning experience that could potentially make you a handsome amount of recurring revenue – but that's a story for another day...

While experienced TGP operators might find this setup to be rather limited, it does provide a low barrier to entry to first-time TGP builders or for those wanting to test the waters of profitability with a text-only TGP. And as the title of this article suggests, you can be up and running with AutoGallery in as little as ten minutes, and with no "out of pocket" expenses.

Good luck, be compliant, and have fun! ~ Stephen