Working The Cocktail Party
In the realm of the Adult Webmaster, this is especially true. For like most parties, there are always the concerns of under-age attendees, party crashers (hackers), and those dreaded conservative neighbors who may call the cops.
Like any good host (or guest), we must be wise about our guest list ~ we should never tease minors or lure them into our festivities. We ought to do our best to not only be on the look out for the uninvited, but have plans in place in the event we do need to toss someone out as well as repair the damage done by such unwelcome guests. And we should do our best to make sure our party doesn't disturb our neighbors, or otherwise incite them into causing us legal problems. And if one angry person does make the call, we should have all our necessary papers at the ready (2257 etc), so that the interruption doesn't last long.
After we have done all that, we can relax, join the party, and work it for all it's worth.
As you slink, strut or slither through the large crowd, seek out those persons you need to talk with ~ both those you know, and those you have yet to meet ~ all with the goal in mind of how you can improve your business.
I'm talking about networking here. The way to play on the boards, newslists, topsites, groups & chats. It's how business is done. But you have to learn not just how to network, but who to spend your time with, which parties to attend. Just like at real world parties, there are many types in the room. Who are you going to spend time with?
Posers: Like any party, there are always those folks who try too hard. They over-present themselves (often covering up their best points, which is a pity) with gold chains over hairy chests (or on the web, they may use flash everywhere). They talk too loud, usually about themselves & their business, and act larger than they really are. In fact, some folks will purposefully misrepresent themselves. In this business, it may seem like everyone is a poser, at least at first *wink* But over time, you'll see who they really are.
One-Hit Wonders: Just like the guy who regales you with this high school quarterback fourth-quarter-saving-score-to-win-the-conference, these folks are the one who still manage to parlay one great thing into an invitation to the party. And just like that old QB, he’ll grate on your last nerve, boring you with irrelevant history. Be polite, but disengage them asap, and move on to someone who lives in today, and hopefully is planning for tomorrow.
Mr. He-Has-Potential: Like a young lady with a romantic heart, a newbie can easily be sucked in to this sort of person. He will seem like he has all the great ideas, all the right passions, & just needs a little help from you to get things going. After all, he's a genius who has suffered from bad luck or a tragic fate (or a sorcerer's spell, maybe?) If you help, surely those ideas will become powerful magic of their own, right? No way, sister. You'd be as naive as a school girl dreaming of some tragic hero if you try to save this one.
I know, I know you'll be tempted to partner-up fast, thinking you can motivate, encourage & help him all the way to greatness (& big bucks). But spare yourself the bad break-up. Just like falling in love with this type, you'll invest all your time & energy in his 'potential,' and never, ever, see a return on it. If these guys had the 'best idea ever' and were worthy of any investment, time or otherwise, they'd already be in there, kneading the flour to make the dough. Don't partner up with this guy. Make ~ and keep ~ all your profits yourself.
The Wallflowers: These folks are definitely the hardest to spot on the Internet (no walls here!), yet I assure you, they are here. In large piles. They are the lurkers. There are two types of wallflowers in attendance at our adult web worker parties: Workers, and Consumers.
The Worker Wallflowers are either new (& learning as they are silent), or the pros who like to keep in the circle, but don't need to ask a lot of questions. At first, it's just best to treat everyone with polite respect, as you learn to differentiate the two. The first will likely be eager to swap links, & cross-promote with you. The latter is who you *need* to get the (positive) attention of. If you behave & act intelligently, run a decent site, the latter will let themselves be know to you... If you're lucky, they will help you too.
As for the Consumer Wallflowers, they are also good to know. After all, they are trolling boards, lists & the like for 'insider information.' If you allow them to trust you as a professional, & make them hot enough, they'll subscribe, buy and pass along your great site to others.
Talkers: These folks usually travel in groups, but love to flit around talking to everyone ~ probably because in a group of talkers, no one is listening. They all act as if they know 'everyone,' and live to drop names. These folks are worth a few minutes of eves dropping. Don't worry, it won't be hard; they always talk very loud. The reason I say to listen is that while they may not know everyone, they will know *of* everyone who is, well 'anyone.' They are always at the parties, right? In other words, you'll find out quickly who the masses think are the 'biggest & the best.' This is an excellent way to find out what parties you need to be attending, as well as who you should be inviting to your own! (They may even help you find Wallflowers!)
The Teases: These folks make plenty of promises. They'll assure you they are gonna put out ~ everything from free content to great volumes of traffic. Best case scenario, they never show up or contact you as promised. Worst case scenario, you enter into an agreement which is rather like a coyote date ~ you'd rather chew off your arm than live with the agreement. Just like those you meet at a bar or party, if it sounds too-good-to-be-true, it probably is.
The Smarmy Folks: Similar to teases, they are everywhere. They will offer anything to get in your pants. This is no euphemism, all they really want to do is get into your pants. While the Teases promise you untold business delights, such as traffic, software, content, the Smarmy only use business talk to get your clothes off. The only 'valid business' they can offer you is screw you & take photos to be content on their sites. Some Smarmy folks are easy to spot. Others are quite clever with their lures.
Remember, if you accept their drink they'll insist on taking you home, so be polite, but decline the offer. It is easier to type a rebuff & ignore them than it is to continue to have them insistently trying to slide their hands down your pants. Being an Internet professional, this is much easier than it is as a 'real' cocktail party.
The Whores: If you're ready to have a good time, skip the Teases & Smarmy Folks, and take home a whore. OK, you need not take her home, but you should partner up with her. Yes, these little darlings won't be giving away the goods for free, but you'll find out their services are worth the price.
Who are these sluts I want you to couple with? Why media whores, of course!
You give them free products, free passes, & the like (free to them, but obviously, there is a cost to you), & in exchange they tell everyone how good you are ~ and boy, do they get around! (There's nothing like having a great whore do all the bragging about you, while you just give them your own goods!)
Just like considering the services of a real sex professional, make sure they are healthy: Make sure their publication, message board, blog or whatever they use to broadcast with, isn't sick or has Scabs*.
The Party Pooper: Every party has a pooper. In the world of adult webmasters, writers, models etc, there are more poopers than in an anal site. Poopers are not just those 'annoying Christian flamers'; no, unfortunately, most poopers are newbies & folks who don't run their sites well.
These are the folks who spam, don't read FAQs, let the minors in, and show no respect for the party host &/or other guests. Don't let yourself become a party pooper. Spend some time at adult webmaster groups as a wallflower yourself, lurking.
Follow the rules of the host, be respectful, and look for the people you want to meet. When you are ready, mingle!
The only difference between a real party & one on the Internet is that you cannot count on your cleavage, batting your lashes, or tight pants to make the other person venture over to buy you a drink. You'll have to make the first move.
An email, message board posting or other form of contact is what you'll have to do, & you'll likely have to be the first to do it. But hey, it's cheaper than buying them a rail drink, and you won't have to take them home either. (Well, at least you normally don’t have to sleep with them, but hey, it's your business, your party!)
* More on Scabs at a later date.
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