Archive for January, 2008

XXXJay and Others Suing Tube Sites

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

XXXJay of OC Cash and Jays XXX Links announced yesterday the he and some other heavy hitters will be filing a class action lawsuit against many of the tube sites that use stolen content. This is interesting and potentially big because it is the first time anyone from our industry has actually stepped up and done something about these sites. There has been a lot of complaining, now there is action.

I have always thought that tube sites, at least the ones that give away full length movies and hours and hours of video, were a business model that was born to fail. When you give away that much content you cant sell memberships to other sites. This leaves you with limited income options and eventually those advertisers will get stale and the income from your site will start to drop drastically forcing you to either change your model (IE give away less) or close down. Many of the big tube sites are for sale. The owners are trying to cash in on them while they have a ton of traffic and are making some money but even industry giants like Vivid arent buying because they see no way of profiting long term from these sites. If you add in that many of the biggest sites illegally use full length videos from other peoples members areas it brings about just that much more potential problem.

In the long run I think tube sites will always be around but I think they will be more like TGPs where they offer much smaller video clips and they use only licensed and approved content. In the mean time they are causing harm by teaching the surfers that you can, in fact, get hours of video free so there is no need to pay.

Jays class action lawsuit may not shut them down, but it could hurt them and encourage them to start just giving away an acre, instead of the whole farm and that is a very good thing.

Organizing Your Sites

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Here is a little tip that might save you some time in the long run. I didn’t do this when I first started then went back and did this later and now keep up with it. It took me some time, but it is worth it. If you are the type of webmaster that runs one or two big sites this won’t be much use to you, but if you are like a lot of us and you have tons of small free sites and galleries you might find it useful.



What you do is create a spreadsheet that has several columns. In the first column put the url of the site. The second column put the niche the site is in. In the third column put if the site is a free site or if it is a gallery, blog or whatever. In the last column put what sponsors you use on the site. Of course you can add any number of columns you want for any information you may want to keep on these sites. As you build new sites and galleries add them to this spreadsheet and keep it up to date. I personally keep a different spreadsheet for each domain I own, but you could also do it all in one spreadsheet and add a column for which domain the site/gallery is on.



I first found doing this useful when in the matter of two months I had two different sponsors change up their linking codes. They sent out an email saying that the old codes would no longer work and I spent many hours looking for sites and replacing links. Then shortly after that another sponsor closed down and I had to replace all the links I had going to their sites as well. The first few were a pain in my ass because I had to hunt down each site/gallery that had the links and change them. Once I got the spreadsheet up I was able to easily find which sites had that sponsor on them and I was able to change it fast. It is also useful if you ever want to try a new sponsor on some of your sites because you can quickly see what sites you have in what niche and it can also be useful if there is ever a question about a site you can quickly look it up and see what content is on it and what sponsor you use for it. I have found myself using this spreadsheet periodically and it has saved me some serious time and headaches. Once you have it together it only takes a few minutes a day to keep updated/

 

Hot free open source software

Friday, January 25th, 2008

I wanted to share some sites I know that give free open source versions of popular and expensive software. Want MS Office or Adobe Photoshop but don’t want to pay the steep price? These programs are free and many of them work just as good, if not better.



Open Office is a suit of programs that is meant to be comparable to Microsoft Office. It has a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation builder and many other features. I have used some of the features on this product (mainly the spreadsheet and the word processor) and can say that they are very good. They don’t have every feature you get with office, but they also don’t cost a dime which is a very good price. I use this on a second computer I have that I didn’t want to buy another copy of Office for.



Another cool site is OSALT. This site lists many different free open source versions of various programs. They have open source versions of Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator and many others. I use a video editing program they suggested and works very well. Again, all of these programs are open source projects so they are free. This software is very good, is regularly upgraded and has some great documentation including, in many cases, an entire community of people using it and posting in forums answering each other’s questions. 



Whether you are building a second computer and don’t want to drop 1000’s of dollars on new software or you just want something new and cool and don’t want to have to pay for it, these two sites will give you a ton of great tools to help you run your business smoothly.

Think Before You Act

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

We are all human and none of us is perfect. It is easy to see oneself as a rebel or a revolutionary when you sit anonymously behind a keyboard in an industry where few know your true identity or actual location. This can sometimes give people an altered sense of reality and justice.



I say this because the other day there was a post on a webmaster board from a guy claiming a sponsor had bounced a check to him. When asked he did reply that he hadn’t yet contacted the sponsor but was doing so. As the thread grew there were many people that now claimed they would never send traffic to this sponsor and calling them out as scammers. This guy made the same post on many different boards all over the place so the word was spreading fast. Over the years I have had a couple of sponsor checks bounce. One was just a mistake and the other happened when the sponsor’s bank closed their account without warning. In both cases I was paid and reimbursed for any fees I may have incurred. As it turns out this guy had a similar situation. The company had recently changed accountants and a few wires got crossed. They overnighted him a new check and all was good. Except, of course, for the numerous industry wide threads slamming this sponsor. The person did go back to each thread and post that everything had been taken care of, but by then half the threads were buried and few people paid attention. The damage was already done. I have seen companies nearly go out of business and incur major losses because of stuff like this.



We all make mistakes. Unlike the real world, in the virtual world I can’t drive to your store or office and talk to you face to face to solve a problem. Our business requires a higher degree of trust than many others. Mistakes are bound to happen eventually and things get mixed up. If this happens to you, relax, be smart and go first to the sponsor and ask them about it. If you get the reputation as someone that badmouths people on the boards a lot of people simply won’t do business with you. By acting professionally you can help your reputation and help preserve the reputation of others and not destroy either or both over a simple clerical error.

Cool Free Google Tools

Monday, January 21st, 2008

I want to use this post to talk about a couple of cool tools Google offers for free that I find very useful.



The first is the Google Toolbar. Many of you may already use it but some may not. You can install it on both Firefox and IE and it has some cool features including a built in spellchecker so you can spell check any posts you make on boards or forms or whatever. It also has the Pagerank reader that tells you the PR of any site you are on. While the importance of Pagerank is shrinking it is still a good indicator of overall link popularity so people trying to do search engine optimization will find this useful. You can also use it to bookmark pages and then access those bookmarks from any computer in the world. You simply sign into your free Google account and you can see your bookmarks there.

The other cool tool is called Google Notebook. This tool lets you copy and past text and links from a page right to a notebook and save them for later. You simply select whatever you want to save then right click and copy, open up Google Notebook and paste it. If there were links in anything you selected they will get copied too. If you are using Firefox you can download the Notebook addon for Firefox that will let you copy information off of pages without even opening your Google account. Just selected the text, right click and in the menu click on “Note This (Google Notebook.) I do a lot of research for articles and such and in the past I have bookmarked sites with information I wanted to use later only to go back to them in a few weeks and find they have changed and the information is gone. With Notebook I can copy the information in a matter of seconds and I will have it whenever I need it. The coolest thing is that when you save some text from a site Notebook will automatically put link at the top of your saved text telling you where you got it from. This tool has saved me a ton of time and headaches. Hopefully you will find these simple to use, free tools helpful in your daily webmaster life.