Execs of the 2017: Digital Media Players Discuss Value of Community

Execs of the 2017: Digital Media Players Discuss Value of Community

As part of XBIZ World’s “Execs of the Year” special issue, prominent members of the digital media community share their thoughts on the trends and strategies that drove success in 2017.

Each of the executives we spoke to below has one thing in common — they are among the finalist nominees for Community Figure of the Year in the digital edition of the 2018 XBIZ Exec Awards.

I’ve always had the feeling that our industry was more a community rather than a market. I see it as a safe space where we can exchange, ask, talk and grow, even with competitors. -Alex Lecompte, Juicy Ads

These individuals represent the spirit of our industry and are a shining example of strength, character and business acumen.

How did you foster a stronger sense of community this year?

Alex Lecompte
Juicy Ads

“I’ve always had the feeling that our industry was more a community rather than a market. I see it as a safe space where we can exchange, ask, talk and grow, even with competitors. We can find many people struggling with Facebook trying to draw a line between business partnerships and private friendships, it’s because we are really facing mixed feelings towards many of our peers. Whether in business or private matters, most of my industry friends are here to advise and support me, sometimes even more than my mainstream friends and family. I am really thankful for being part of this. Working here brought me wonderful and priceless friends. The real value of our community is the honesty and goodwill of most of its members, it really feels that we are here for each other in order to face business challenges easier.”

Brad Mitchell

“I think the most basic obligation of any person who wants to build a stronger sense of community in our industry should be participation — physical and virtual, as well as helping others whenever he or she can do so. Digitally, I regularly devote my time to people of the industry, clients, and non-clients, in an effort to create new opportunities and build bridges between parties that I introduce. Physically, I have attended 12 industry events this year and took on responsibilities of either speaker or moderator wherever I could provide valuable input. Furthermore, this year I had the honor of co-hosting the Live Cam Awards in Sitges. I have always felt a strong sense of responsibility in our industry, giving back to its members and representing us as a whole as well as possible to the outside world.”

Morgan Sommer

“Fostering community means you make a commitment to be part of something bigger than you. It does not mean I have to be the best, the richest, the most powerful, or the leader of a group. It just means I will contribute all that I can to help make a thing better. For me that means I focus on my community in West Hollywood, my local charitable causes (and I try to support other people in theirs), I devote myself to my responsibilities in business and other aspects of life, I work at being a better partner to Michael. It means I try not to become so self-satisfied and believe that I am so awesome my evolution has reached its apex. My life is a work in progress.”

Norman Hauwert
Lease Web

“The key is to be open to anybody and treat them with respect ... You will get respect, trust, and biz back from the community!”

Jimmy Foreman
Juicy Ads

“Being a veteran of the industry, I think it’s very important to take time mentor many of the newer members in the community, to share my experiences with them, so that they can become successful in the business as well. My role with JuicyAds and being an XBIZ Ambassador gives me the chance do this almost daily.”

Michael Plant

“This year has been my busiest year ever, show-wise. I’ve been to pretty much all the events on the calendar and visited so many new communities inside the industry. Being able to visit them in their countries, gave me the opportunity to meet and have quality time with so many more new people than I ever had. Our industry is so divided into many verticals now, not only in terms of niches but also in terms of markets. Back in the day, we were working in adult, we had paysites, cams, and dating and that was pretty much it… Now we have CPA agencies, traffic brokers, mobile, etc. — and so many sub-markets that our industry is now very, very broad, which means it includes more and more people with so many different specialties, knowledge, and expertise ... Since I’m used to doing this at our QWEBEC Expo event, I always make sure to introduce my people, old and new. When I meet someone, maybe someone in my network might have an interest in what this new contact needs or has to offer.”

Holly Ruprecht

“One of the best things about working in this industry is how we are such a close-knit community. The shows help foster this feeling, as well as and like sites. I also believe the non-sponsored gatherings I arrange provide a sense of community. At these events, we get together to talk shop, new technology, or really just unwind with our colleagues. We can all relate to the challenges this industry is facing, and by relating action is often born, making the community stronger and better! We come together as one industry.”

Steve Winyard
ICM Registry/AV Secure

“After seven years of treading the boards with ICM, I have been fortunate to make many friends and enjoy the wonderful mix of characters that this industry has at his heart. In addition, I have been able to follow my own personal interests and have been representing the thoughts and concerns of the entire industry at Westminster in U.K. Government by keeping close to all the regulatory issues and in particular the Digital Economy Act and age verification specifically. Having a good understanding of the industry has allowed me to create AVSecure, my new business delivering an age verification solution to the industry as a whole which I am excited to be able to present and launch in January at XBIZ L.A. Community to me is truly encompassed by having a breadth, understanding, and appreciation of the people in this amazing industry and I hope that I can show just how much I will continue to support one and all with my new business which in turn, is due to the huge support, trust and kindness that has been shown to me over the years.”