Lesson #14 – Do Your Own Work

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.

Even with all the tutorials, lessons and informative discussions on message boards, the adult webmaster has moments of where they feel desperately alone. This total solitude especially presents itself when the adult webmaster has tried something-countless times only to see it fail. All those avenues of learning haven’t the answer and neither do their peers. They reach a point in the business process where their true character is tested and many of them fail.

So many adult webmasters have been tempted to copy the work of others who are more successful. They’ll steal a layout or a list of links or incorporate the name of a well-known adult site into their domain. Their own efforts aren’t working so they think they’ll succeed by standing on the shoulders of those who’ve come before them.

While outright robbery of intellectual property is somewhat hard to prove in these cases, copying the work of others is a kind of theft. True, we see examples of copied work all around us. A hit movie will result in the production and release of ten others very much like it. A popular face cream will soon find variations of its formula by other manufacturers sitting next to it on the drugstore shelves. That best selling tennis shoe will find itself competing with versions from other companies that are similar but better than the original. At the same time, make sure to notice the full dockets of courts that are deciding copyright issues as we speak. There’s the struggling band that is sued by the large vacuum cleaner company for brand name infringement. We have the big telephone book publisher who sues the little telephone book publisher to see who gets to use the image of walking fingers. The Internet has opened a whole new Pandora’s box when it comes to intellectual property.

There’s one country suing the world for the right to charge royalties for a much-used web file format. We see the mega online bookseller in court facing another online seller in a dispute over who owns the rights to a shopping cart program. The whole domain gold rush added to this plethora of lawsuits with brand name companies suing cyber-squatters left and right. Compound into that all the adult webmasters bitching and moaning about layout theft and script snatching and the result is quite a mess.

The fastest way a new adult webmaster can kill their career is by cheating. The adult industry must police from within being that it doesn’t have as many normal avenues of restitution as do non-adult industries. We don’t really have a union or true, accredited representative/monitoring body. The adult Internet is a lot like the old west. When we find horse thieves and bank robbers, we string em up and then we decide if the punishment was fair. Copying may not be the same crime as stealing images from another’s site but it’s still considered cheating by adult webmasters and cheating = death. Sure a publicly outed cheater can always change their name and their ISP but everyone knows that. That’s why cheating is so demonized and one day that incognito cheater will reveal themselves and be found out all over again. By nature adult webmasters operate in an environment of distrust. In the anonymity of cyberspace, distrust is a tool of survival.

If you’ve come to a point where no matter how you design them, your galleries just aren’t converting; look at higher placed links, but don’t imitate them. If you’ve noticed that this other webmaster has really great text links and the sales ratios to prove it, for goodness sake, don’t snag his text. If you’re overwhelmed when you look at the layout of your peer’s amazingly profitable free site, resist the urge to click on the view source file and save the code as your own. If you like the work of another adult webmaster, don’t think imitation will flatter them. Observe the good idea and improve upon it or come up with your own. This doesn’t mean that someone out there owns the rights to the three-column, five-row table with the site logo at the top right layout. But somebody does own the rights to the domain name TheHun and registering a domain such as DaHun will only mark the end of your career in the adult Internet. You know the difference between copying and outright theft and if you don’t, no lesson can help you.

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