Feeds

Confessions of a porn site boss: How I got it up on the 'net

Part 1: VHS tapes, dialup connections and sexy nekkid ladies...

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

NSFW Going to a sex shop in itself can be embarrassing at the best of times, but when I knew that I was going to ask about dodgy video tapes from dubious sources, it got a whole lot worse.

"I'm looking for some more interesting kinky stuff, know where I can get any?"

This was the early '90s and VHS cassettes were the norm. DVD porn didn't exist.

After much suspicion and haggling I was the proud owner of a VHS cassette with some pretty kinky porn. To be fair it was good stuff, and in the day, worth the £65 no-questions-asked cash price.

No one knew at this point that within the next 20 years you would be able download thousands of high-quality digital porn titles from your always-on 100Mbit internet connection for free, if you had no scruples.

Even better: I could browse super-hardcore porn without ever visiting a physical shop or having those sweaty-palm moments of taking my purchase to the counter and facing the inevitable "Will there be anything else, Sir?" as though I didn't have enough embarrassment at that moment.

My dodgy video dealing was about the same time as the first 28.8k modems came out and the whole new web frontier was beginning. Within 24 hours of jumping on the internet I was on porn sites. This got me a taster of what I could get for just $30 a month. I signed up and was very disappointed with the content, but saw that there was money to be made. Slowly, I waited for each image to load, hoping it would be better than the last.

Within a few months, barely old enough to legally view the porn I was purveying, I had a website set up. It was easy money, though the setup wasn't cheap. Even shared web server accounts came in at the mid three-figure range at that time. I spent my days creating what were by today's standards very simple pages and uploading them over my super-slow modem. It became a habit to log in every morning and see how much money I had made while I slept.

For adults only

Obviously no one wanted to pay to get their jollies if they could avoid it. This brought about the rise of the porn pass. For a one-off fee of $20 per year, a person could visit all the sites under the porn pass scheme. To verify their age, users needed to show their credit card. I got 65 per cent of the payment and I only had to put up the bare minimum content to get the user off. I really didn't care if I saw them again. This was known as pay-per-sale or PPS.

Live-streaming camera sites, some of them fairly (ahem) "niche", can quickly and directly charge the viewer for a "personalised" experience.

One-off payments from signups were OK, but there was more money to be made. You could set up your own porn site, but the hassle wasn't really worth it unless you had the contacts. The way forward was to promote other people's sites via affiliate schemes.

Signing up to promote sites, I usually got a choice of PPS or revenue share. If I found a site that visitors loved, I could make more on a revenue share agreement where I would take a percentage of the monthly take from the signups. A good site could be a goldmine.

The good times couldn't last for ever. Consumers grew wise; the free pass stuff started to look a little dated and wasn't the best value from a punter perspective. People made do with short, grainy video clips and although sites started to evolve, becoming more fan based (and niche based) downloading was still slow...

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Google opens Inbox – email for people too stupid to use email
Print this article out and give it to someone techy if you get stuck
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.