Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Adult Industry Quote Of The Day

"Porn, that most graphic of genres, is nevertheless responsible for the wholesale obfuscation of several terms, especially what it means to be a MILF in this country. Let's say one is an expectant father and wants to know what sex will be like after the post-partum depression wears off. He buys a MILF movie from online porn merchant Gamelink only to discover that the "MILF" is not a mom at all -- she's merely 29."

~ Gram Ponante ~ (NWS)

Labels: , , ,


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

Feeling Like A Mad Hatter

Recently Mike Lynch was asked, "Can anyone make a living as a gag cartoonist?", and he thoughtfully replied with a blog post. Many of his points are applicable to anyone selling their wares, so gag cartoonist ~ any type of artist ~ or not, you can learn something.

Here are a few of my favorite points:
There is also the shark aspect. The idea that you keep moving your cartoons, keep seeking out new markets, carry your business cards with you at all times. And sometimes calling editors to ask where your cartoons are. Promotion, persistence, production! But this is something that is inside of you and something you have to decide to do every day, you know? It's easier just to have a "real job" and dream about it. Much easier.
Our dream jobs are often more work than any other job we've held. Hopefully we are motivated because we love what we do and we want to live the dream, but it's still more work than most realize. "Promotion, persistence, production!" Isn't that the damn truth.

Whenever I meet enthusiastic entrepreneurs, I do try to caution them ~ not dampen their enthusiasm, but alert them to the realities. But if my words dampen enthusiasm, or scare them off, well, perhaps that's just as well.

"Promotion, persistence, production!" is our battle cry, our workload, and without passion we'd barely make it to those pay days (however small and far between they are). You take a sick day, and since no one is there to do anything while you're away, you stumble back to work still less than par and with double or triple the workload. It can be daunting.

Lynch continues:
I was at a business function full of NYC business-types. This was to be expected since it was held on the fashionable edge of SoHo in a huge converted loft. One of the guys came up to me and asked what I did. I told him that I was the guy that did the cartoons for their Web site. He was intrigued, especially when I told him that that was the way I made my living. He told me, "It must be great to be creative all the time."

I smiled as pleasantly as I could. I told him that cartooning was a job. Cartoons don't flow out my hand like water from a faucet. They are work. But, like I always add, this is also a job I love.

Cartoonists can't just draw when inspired if hey want to make money. As for me, I have to produce marketable, salable work at a regular pace. I'm an assembly line, putting out good cartoons at a regular pace. I'm a marketer, aiming my product at clients large and small. I'm the R&D department, finding new ways to get my material out there. You wear a lot of hats, including that Mad Hatter one.

Labels: , ,


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

Monday, November 12, 2007

Relationships With Bloggers

Brian Solis' Blogworld Expo: Building Relationships with Bloggers is excellent.

However, I do take issue with this point:
You don't have the "right" to pitch bloggers, so really think about it before you approach anyone.
As noted later in his post, "The pitch is dead," so I'm going to address this from the point of view of the right to start conversations.

I do think you have the right to start conversations with bloggers ~ with anyone ~ just as in the real world you have the right to start a conversation with anyone. But starting that conversation from a defensive stance, one of justification, &/or with the cocky notion that people will or must give a crap isn't going to work. Unless, of course, your goal is to alienate. But you can start Internet conversations, using the same common sense you would walking about on earth.

Link found via Spin Thicket.

Labels: , , ,


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

Can I Get An Amen?

Editorial: Porn prosecution is a waste of time:
Some citizens of Staunton may not like an adult video store. But it is a legal business.

Staunton Prosecutor Raymond Robertson is wasting time and taxpayers' money pursuing obscenity charges against an adult video store.

Obscenity cases are notoriously difficult to prosecute. Landmark court cases have made the definition of obscenity exceptionally -- and appropriately -- narrow.

To be considered criminally obscene, material must meet several tests, including a lack of any "serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value."

In addition, it must be found to violate contemporary community standards.

The best approach, then, to the opening of After Hours Video in Staunton would have been to leave it alone. If it manages to stay in business, then it obviously isn't violating community standards.
Let me repeat this gem: "If it manages to stay in business, then it obviously isn't violating community standards."

As Steven Colbert would say, let the free market speak.

Labels: , , ,


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

Beware Branding Marks

The New Deal: Band as Brand:
Though [Paramore's] success is in large part due to smart pop songwriting and a fashion-forward frontwoman, music executives and talent managers also cite Paramore as a promising example of a rising new model for developing talent, one in which artists share not just revenue from their album sales but concert, merchandise and other earnings with their label in exchange for more comprehensive career support.

If the concept takes hold, it will alter not only the way music companies make money but the way new talent is groomed, and perhaps even the kind of acts that are offered contracts in the first place.

Commonly known as “multiple rights” or “360” deals, the new pacts emerged in an early iteration with the deal that Robbie Williams, the British pop singer signed with EMI in 2002. They are now used by all the major record labels and even a few independents.
While I post this as a bit of marketing news, I also can't help but wonder what this really means for the word 'artist'. Music is an industry, a business, and certainly celeb status helps push product (both their own product, music, and the products of others), I wonder what this means for those of us who want music. Real music, not 'a brand'.

It wasn't that long ago that 'world music' had appeal for some of these very reasons ~ we wanted music for music's sake, not some commercialized glut.

Admittedly, the panache of posh persons has always been a regular in the marketing and making of damn near anything and everything; but this open move towards acts signing these 360 deals seems to be counter-productive to the current age of transparency... Now we the consumers know what companies, acts and performers are the least artistic. For it's not about the music, getting it out there, but some sort of success measuring stick which must include marketability beyond the main product. In other words, bands are not to be signed unless they are great cash-cows ~ selling more than CDs to music lovers, but shoes, shampoo and heaven knows what else.

In the case of established artists, like Madonna, this is not so shocking. But what of the new artists? Who won't be signed because they either have no track record of being able to push other (non-musical) products at us or are viewed as not being able to reach such commercial status. Shouldn't recording artists be judged solely for their ability to sell records?

In an age of cynical consumers, such transparency could bite the hand that pretends to feed. I know when I see its be-jeweled fingers pushing, I'll certainly be suspicious.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Website Marketing Tips, Anyone?

Kelly at Extreme Restraints has an excellent post in her blog: Tips on a good site and it doesn't have to be an adult site.

Her number one is my number one, and most of it is sage advice. However, I do, as usual, take issue with a few points...
3. Copyright Statements

Everything you create and write on your web site warrants copyright declarations. So include it on every page AND keep it up to date.
Copyright is granted with everything you write or create, so copyright statements aren't necessary. And, stated or not, the rights only have teeth if and when you police and seek protection under the law.
9. Typos and Grammer Mistakes

Typographic mistakes will be noticed immediately. Typos are considered either due to a very novice or uncaring website owner. Typos are not made by professionals in business trying to make a living. Thus when you have typos and grammer errors on your website, visitors won’t think you take your site seriously, and they won’t either. They’ll think you’ll make all kinds of other mistakes too. Like shipping to an incorrect or mistyped address… not shipping at all, or… maybe you don’t even look at your website so …

Geez.. use a spell checker.. don’t rely on it… but use it and reread things before you post them on your site. Have someone else verify anything you put out there for the world to see.
Ironically, Kelly spelled "grammar" and 'jeez' wrong (along with a few other spelling errors in her post), and yet I'm not only still reading, but I'm posting the link and recommending it be read. If that's not taking her seriously, then what is?

But seriously, in a perfect world we'd like to be error-free ~ both in terms of creating and using/reading ~ but none of us lives in a perfect world. I can grab a book by Random House and find typos; so I'm not shocked when I find one in a website or blog.

So what I'm trying to say is, do try to avoid as many mistakes as you can; but don't sweat them too badly either. Sloppy shows, but so do the best intentions. To most people. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.

6. Long Pages

There are so many example around you. Look at a new paper.. most articles are very short. Look at ads.. they’re short. Look at the most sucessful websites out there… they’re short. Most pages should be one screen with no scrolling down. I’ve done surveys and statistical analysis and read books on web usability that prove … drum roll … Of all the people who visit your web page.. only 20% of them will bother to scroll down to see the next screen full of information. Of that 20% only about 5% will scroll down for another chuck of screen. That means if you’ve got a page that is 3 screens long… then only 1 out of 100 visitors will ever see that. You are better off having a couple of pages that link together. Most successful stores do this. You’ll see an overview of a product that is 1 screen in length and a more details link (that goes to a long page of DUH! more details). Most site visitors don’t bother. But a buyer may want those more details.

So don’t waste your precious time and effort on carefully crafting really long pages. Keep it short and simple. Get your message out fast. Entice them to do something fas

Let me K.I.S.S. you… put your buy buttons at the top instead of only at the bottom.
First, I'd like to see where Kelly got those stats. Second, what were these stats for? The actions of whom do they supposedly depict? What of the stats which conclude that getting people to make the second click for more details is an aggravation, a sales turn-off? The problem with any such stats is the number of variables involved. Are these stats based on news sites? Commerce sites? What's the sampling? Demographics of the sampling? How did these people find 'you' to read 'you'? Do any of these things relate to your business? The fact is, the number of people reading 'you' is a matter of many things, such as SEO, site ranking, consumer faith, how well you've targeted your ads etc., etc., etc.

But I'm not going to refute them with stats of my own or anyone else's ~ and not because I'm lazy. It's because such stats are damn near irrelevant in my book.

Who is or isn't reading is based on many things, most important of which is why they are there reading.

In the case of Extreme Restraints, you hope it is because they are looking to purchase a bondage item. No one else really matters.

Turn it around, putting this in your control, who are you are writing for?

You are not writing for everyone, but specific someones ~ individual people, one by one. Essentially, you are writing for one person, but publishing it publicly so that they, or another like them, can read it over and over again when needed. That's your target market. Your page, your text, must meet each of their needs. Who is this person? What do they need? Are those stats about them or 'anyone'?

Going again with Extreme Restraints, the writing must fit the needs of each person shopping for bondage gear. Whether they know what they need or are researching for a future purchase; whether they have the money now or are bookmarking the item for when they do have the money; the text needs to answer all of their questions and concerns.

And if that means a 'long page', so be it.

Labels: , , , , ,


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site