opinion

Are we slackers????

Colin Rowntree
I read in one of the adult board articles in the last week the opinion of the author that the adult industry has slipped very, very far behind from being the innovators of new technology on the web, to a stagnant pool of pornographers basically doing the least amount of work possible to make the most amount of money possible.

Having been around since the adult internet started, here is my take on that:

Back in "the day" (1990's to about 2001), our industry basically forged ahead with all new technology for web deployment of content. Remember the early days of "video" on the web? JPG push at one frame every 4 seconds as that's all that the pipe could handle. Chat rooms? Wow! We perfected that! Streaming video in 2000? We invented it! In short, the adult industry created the market for Cisco and the the backbone tech providers to create the technology to deliver porn, and that is a big reason why the internet grew up so fast.

But, here we are in 2007. Mainstream has in so many ways surpassed us. The really cool concepts like MySpace and YouTube now come first, and then are cloned by adult versions.

To make it all just worse, many of the best and the brightest graphic designers, programmers, and other folks we have always relied upon have figured out there is a LOT more money in working for non-adult than we can provide based on the shrinking market share and money that comes into adult. I certainly don't blame them for heading off into mainstream, but it is a growing trend for these guys to sign on to much more lucrative projects than what is offered in the adult world.

So, were do we go from here? At present, we have, in my opinion, a stagnant adult content world as far as the introduction of cool new features, faster ways to deliver content, etc..... Perhaps this is just "the way it is" and at this point, the adult content world can just never keep up and should be proud of what it did to build the internet, and continue to spend five times more to convert the same traffic from any source. The unfortunate result, however, is that to compensate for this, the content offered just gets more and more extreme to set itself apart form "the pack", but invites obscenity rulings every step down this dark path to be "special".

I seriously just don't know any way we can continue to be the "for-front" of technology. But, a few things I DO know:

1. For our current business model to work, we need to get rid of ALL hardcore free content sites. TPG's, hosted movies, etc. Compelling text and banner links and softcore tpg's will do the trick. Sorry, but this is what I have been bitching about for the past 6 years. Hardcore content provided by sponsors as TPG material basically is like giving the cow away for free, including the milk. Let the paysites do their thing to do the conversions. If the surfer jacks off and logs off on TGP content, why would he/she buy a membership?

2. The new version of 2257, if enacted, will pretty much end the TGP game for a lot of reasons. Sure, there are a few TPG gamers that make really good money, but the majority make less than $300 a month and it's just not worth the risk for them to face jail and litigation time to defend the house of cards they are working out of to possibly defend a justice department investigation. So, there goes 95% of that traffic if they bail out. These players can quickly adapt, though, to text links and softcore content if it comes to that.

Sorry to be so glum, but I've been around this biz for 14 years now, and the current state of affairs is bugging me a bit!

Cheers, Colin

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