Note: This content was originally written by Titimowse ("The Professor") and published on the old Cozyacademy.com over 10 years ago, a site that is no longer live and, as a result, the great wealth of knowledge it provides for the adult webmasters community was nearly lost. I recovered this article from an old archive and no part of this work belongs to me. I republished it here for the benefit of the adult community.
Previous lessons in this section have stressed the importance of getting to know and establishing relationships with your fellow adult webmasters. Professional affiliations can open doors to increased traffic, legitimacy in your field and unlimited opportunity. While we encourage you to establish associations with your peers, we also suggest you make those associations with caution.
The anonymity of the Internet is a double-edged sword. While it allows you to run an adult business free from shame in the privacy of your home, it also exposes you to criminals lurking behind faceless monitors. The popular press has gotten a lot of mileage out of reporting on threats to the surfing masses from sexual predators and pedophiles. While these types of criminals have been around for as long as human history, they seem to have found a perfect vehicle in the Internet to expand their activities. In fact, the net has spawned all kinds of new ways to bilk people out of their money and steal their security. Get-rich-quick schemers have a fresh and huge selection of dreamers to prey upon because of the net and you as an adult webmaster are not immune to such tactics.
Just because some adult webmaster in a message board claims to be honest and reputable does not make it so. Fooling others into believing one is a big player has gotten a lot easier since the Internet came along. So many adult Internet professionals are not prepared to handle the responsibilities that come with running a successful business. Some are young and know nothing about following through with promises and payments. Others have little self-control and juggle moneys that should be paid out to affiliates and associates on themselves. Still more don’t factor in certain operating costs because they have poorly researched the subject. These ill-prepared folks are not outright criminals but their mistakes and inability to be accountable for their actions have caused many adult webmasters to lose money and lose trust. Add on to these the ones that are plain liars and thieves and you’ll realize you’ve got a lot to protect yourself from.
How does the new adult webmaster protect themselves from disreputable types? The same way one protects themselves in the real world: Research. Before you put your trust in someone you’ve never met, take the time to investigate the person or company you’re dealing with. Here are some steps you should take before dealing with anyone in the adult Internet:
The WHOIS lookup tool can give you important information about the location and name of the person or company you are curious about. Whenever a domain name is created through a registrar, certain data must be submitted such as the contact name and information of the registrant. If you find (on a WHOIS search) that the webpage of the person you are potentially dealing with has sketchy or incomplete identifying details, this should send up a red flag. Anyone doing business in a legitimate fashion has nothing to hide and it’s best to deal with those who honestly inform others of their actual whereabouts and personal statistics.
If you want to know about a certain person or company, one of the best ways to go about informing yourself is to ask your fellow adult webmasters. Go to adult webmaster message boards and start a topic that inquires about your subject of inquiry. You’ll find that many of your peers have great insight into the workings and legitimacy of those you are curious about. Also, ask webmasters (that you’ve added to your instant messaging contact lists) their opinions. Sometimes a fellow adult webmaster has had a bad experience with the object of your inquisition but is unwilling to tell their tale in a public setting.
In the adult Internet, a new program or service is a desirable thing. Newer sponsors are easier to make money from because there aren’t thousands of other webmasters already promoting them. Just the same, even though a new sponsor or service may be a faster way to make income, that does not mean the people behind it are honest and above board. Older, more established individuals and companies require more effort as far as marketing is concerned. But many an adult webmaster has wasted untold hours and bandwidth on new ventures only to find out they don’t get paid.
Even if you’ve researched a person or company, there’s no guarantee that you will get satisfaction from money paid out or time involved. This is not to say that you should trust no one. Just be wise in your decisions when doing business in the adult Internet. It’s so easy to be persuaded by the sales pitches and promises one finds in the field of adult online porn. A healthy dose of cynicism is your best protection in this wild wild west we call the Internet.