Feeds

Smut set still teaching retail crowd

Pay to play

Top three mobile application threats

SXSW The likes of Amazon.com and the Gap still have plenty to learn from pornographers, starting with lesson number one – pay your associate chums well.

Many traditional retailers and even online types like Amazon hand associates who send sales their way a small percentage of the good sold as a result of a link. Pornographers, by contrast, with their massive associate networks that fixate on moving large volumes of user traffic can pay very good money. One could, for example, clear about $50 for pushing a paying customer to a sex site.

"You have to make the payout big," said porn consultant of sorts and blogger John Halcyon Styn, speaking here at the SXSW conference on a panel about how the normals can learn from pornographers. "This is your sales force. You can get people all over the world selling for if you can motivate them with huge cash."

The non-porn crowd seems to view associates as a type of gravy poured over their core online business. They toss a few bones here and there to keep the masses happy.

Pornographers, by contrast, whip their minions up into a frenzy where real rewards can arrive for those able to pry open the wallets of their users. Porn site operators will reward their best associates with prominent links that up the associate's traffic, turning that person or company into a mini-superstar. And the porn operators will even link to rivals, thinking it better to make an associate sale than no sale at all.

Creating an affiliate army could be key to navigating a more competitive online world, according to the SXSW panelists.

They expect independent news and store sites to go somewhat by the wayside in the coming years with networks of sites taking control.

Early examples of such networks are prevalent in the porn world where sites offering access to different kinds of fetishes bond together. That translates into one payment and loads of porn for consumers.

Mainstream types like the Wall Street Journal, Barrons and the Financial Times have tried a similar approach by uniting forces.

The staid set could also learn from the pornographers by choosing function and comfort over ultra-style with their web designs.

For example, take porn-celeb Seska Lee, who films herself swapping juice with her husband and other women and men that happen to stop by the house.

"I have not updated my design since 1998," she said. "It's ugly as sin. I am embarrassed by it, but it works.

I Halcyon

"I decided that I'm just going to (spend money and effort on) shoot(ing) content because that's what's going to sell. People connect with me because they think, 'She really made that.' If you look slick, people aren't going to connect with you."

Sites that look too professional can put off potential spenders with the customers thinking the company or, um, porn star already has enough cash.

And, of course, the pornographers agreed that the content crowd should do away with DRM (digital rights management) technology.

"Several years ago, that's all everyone in the adult industry was asking about," Styn said. "Then, they pretty much decided universally that the frustration on the consumer end and the loss of sales did not make it worth the amount of lost product sales (to theft)."

Here's us guessing the music and film industry would prefer to make life tougher on consumers and lose sales.

To Halcyon and Beyond

The grandest part of the entire porn panel may have been running into this Halcyon character. We've spent the last few days oscillating between thinking of him as a freak weird creature and a very nice, bright fella.

Halcyon apparently spent a couple of years video taping his "every shower and masturbation session" as part of an internet porn experiment. When not doing that, he organizes a weekly group hug.

The entire world that is Halcyon can be found here. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.