"How we operate:
- Startup type environment with a geographically diversed team (UK, Australia, Argentina, Brazil...)
- Company is committed to building a trusted site and pristine user experience
- Projects are bite-sized (1-3 weeks to complete)
- Small team. Your work will make a big impact on the site.
- No bureaucracy. Decisions are made quickly
- We use data extensively to make decisions "
They seem to have better practices than most businesses.
Ogling women is part of the nature of being a man; if we glance or stare at a woman's ass in the grocery store without her consent or knowledge, which we all do, is that somehow better than if she were a paid and willing professional porn star? $500 for an hour worth of work at entry level with no experience is pretty fair.
Also, btw, they have gay porn on youporn, so they're equal opportunity, they're not just exploiting women.
Catalyst is so great. With Catalyst 5.8 I get Moosey controllers, which means my Perl 5 doesn't have to suck anymore because I can use Moose objects. Someone finally took a look at the framework developments in Ruby and Python and brought sanity to web development in Perl.
If it weren't for Catalyst, I'd have bailed from Perl a long time ago. It lets you build web apps that don't suck. Catalyst is 'unopinionated', it just gives you a minimal framework for building MVC web apps, with plugins to accomplish common tasks. Catalyst doesn't care what view or model you use. It is totally view/model agnostic. There are several good options for ORMs to databases, but its trivial to write a model wrapper around whatever you want. I wrote one for SimpleDB very easily.
While there are better options for doing Simple CRUD, Catalyst is quite good at building more complex web apps, and it lets me leverage the CPAN, the world's largest module repository, to get things done faster.
I love Catalyst. I won't bother trying to convince anyone that its the BEST web app framework, but I will say that its good enough to make Perl an option for new projects again.
I've been a designer for most of my early career, and I've always had a policy against doing adult-industry work. I understand the legitimacy of the industry, the human nature element, and I've heard the arguments in regard to the benefits of giving people an outlet and preventing sexual crimes...
However, as ScottWhigham mentioned (and IMHO of course) there's something desperate about working on porn, and it's not something most businesses want to see in a portfolio. EVER. Therefore, you're just collecting a paycheck UNLESS you're committing to porn industry as a career (more power to you, no judgement here). Furthermore, I think my greater concern is not knowing where some of the porn originates from in regard to under age victims, etc... and that just bothers the heck out of me.
I'm pretty sure we've (or was it on reddit?) had this discussion before. Porn sites have to deal with extremely high traffic, must have great performance, have to constantly change to compete in a cutthroat industry, and you are working for people who really know the cost of downtime.
I personally think it's one of the most difficult types of sites to tackle as a developer, and takes a great deal of experience and responsibility.
Nope it wasn't me but I did restate in a comment below that it's mostly a personal belief. I definitely appreciate the engineering required to scale YouPorn/RedTube services.
My background is in design, which in this regard is a little different than what goes on behind the scenes to deliver [insert ambiguous video content here]. Porn is graphic, and masking around man's lower thunder is not something most people want to do unless they have to. That was the point of my desperation comment from a straight-male's perspective.
Porn is not the kiss of death or the end of a career or something that businesses don't want to see. Okay, sure there are some that will not want to hire me in the future but if they're that prudish (or based in Utah) or care that much about what my previous companies did then I doubt it would be a great match in the first place.
I head up the development group for one of the larger set of adult sites on the web and my LinkedIn profile shows explicitly who my employer is. Before I forgot to turn off "Looking for new opportunities" I was contacted by a couple of top 20 traffic sites and one very large consumer device company about management opportunities there. They cited specific details in my current position as to why they were contacting me.
As some others have said in their posts before we deal with extremely high traffic, low latency sites, we tend to have a lot of integration behind the scenes, we work with extensive traffic affiliation programs and we know exactly how much our downtime costs. We also probably pay more attention to web analytics than most shops do as well.
It tends to be a bit more chaotic that most of my other jobs but I figure it's preparing me quite well for the future and my next employer will reap the benefits of this experience.
I've been a designer in adult for 10+ years now and your correct about not being able to use your work portfolio for mainstream clients. However it's not as bad as it might seem, most of the designers I know in the industry run sites or design plenty of other things than can be used in their portfolios, if they ever do decide to switch jobs. I've interviewed hundreds of people and rarely do I ever care about their previous companies, all I want to see is how well they can design, not who they designed for.
Granted I also wouldn't want to work for a company that would be biased against a designer who did adult work, so for me personally, it makes sense. If you have hesitations, I would fully recommend passing on working in adult.
I wonder if it's different working as a designer vs. working as a developer. Porn sites are kinda known for sometimes having shoddy design. Also working on the graphics side of things it's a lot more directly related to the porn. On the flip side, developing perl for a porn video site probably isn't that much different than developing for youtube or vimeo in terms of technology.
Fair enough and it's mostly a personal feeling as I definitely hold no judgement over people that want to work in the industry. YouPorn is obviously an impressive engineering feat, no doubt about it, and very legit service. :)
Interesting tid-bit I learned from friends that have worked in the industry: supposedly most industry execs are in fact women running the show.
I haven't seen that many women execs at the trade shows to be honest. I know there are a lot of producers that are women and many of the agents for the performers are women / former performers but most of the web companies seem to still have mostly men running the companies. I am not surprised since there is more "tech" or computers/software involved and that is still largely a male dominated field. That being said, there are a lot more women than one would expect working in the industry. And by that I mean, not in front of the camera.
It's interesting how a porn company can taint your resume, even though the job itself is not about porn, but web development for the Alexa ranked 48th site globally.
Society has a nasty habit of grossly overreacting to things that are "in bad taste" by calling names and condemning them, as long as it's politically correct and trendy to do so.
Porn at least doesn't claim to be something it's not.
Would you really think less of someone who took a technical web job with youporn, when there are sites like eharmony out there? i.e. how many people go to youporn and say "what a horrible site, experience, and waste of money" compared to Eharmony?
It might be recession resistant but many of the mainstream porn companies are having trouble right now because of increased competition and also because of the huge amount of free content that can be found on the web via these tube sites.
Youporn makes money via affiliate programs with VideoBox, AdultFriendFinder, a live cams producer and then other general traffic programs with various adult companies. I have no idea if they're profitable or not, though.
I suspect that you'll see a gradual drop-off in the number of adult tube sites because there are only so many affiliate programs around and if the conversion rates continue to drop, especially for mainstrain porn they just won't have enough money to pay their server and bandwidth costs and still make enough money to survive.
Some of them have hybrid business models, some just host blatant pirated content, some are trying to do things right...it's a real mix out there.
I doubt they're losing money. Porn affiliate links make big bucks. Don't ask me how (who pays for anything on the internet?) but they do.
I used to regularly speak with some people at a financial company that processes most of the payments from porn sites to their affiliates. After Neteller (the massive processor of financial transactions to/from gambling sites) withdrew from the US market due to the UIGEA, the company I knew took a good chunk of their business and was probably the industry's largest third party payment processor, easily handling 10-20% of all transactions. But when the lawsuits started flying at other gaming companies, they dropped that line of business instantly because they didn't want to lose their US porn affiliate processing business. It was considerably larger.
Much of the reason is that porn sites have high retention, high prices ($35-$40/mo is not uncommon) and pay their affiliates ridiculous rev share like 80% for the large ones. So an affiliate who refers a successful customer could easily make $20-$30/mo for a year or two off him. That's just a tremendous amount of cash.
Until I was told that, I believed gambling would rule the internet.
Agreed. The revenue share in gambling and porn sites is just phenomenal.
I used to send some traffic to a Bingo website, and I think you got £25 per signup, but then 50% of all future losses for the lifetime of that player. After only a couple of months that revenue share (%loss) was making up hundreds of £/month for doing nothing. I'm sure it's pretty similar for paid porn sites.
They'd have to be doing something seriously wrong to be losing money in that sector.
Yeah, I've done a LOT of poker affiliate marketing. There's tremendous money there.
Interestingly though gambling sites still only pay, at best, about half the rev share I've heard porn sites pay their top affiliates. I was one of a few poker sites' largest (generating them hundreds of thousands in rev monthly) and got somewhere between 35 and 40 percent typically. From what I heard from my friends in the financial industry, in porn you can get 85% if you're large enough.
It's baffling to me that a company that serves up web video can make serious profits even while giving 85% of their revenue away.
I did and I am, but revenues dropped a lot after two events. One was Party Poker spinning their affiliates off of the network (long, boring story, but you can probably Google around about Eurobet or Empire Poker and find out more if you care to). I managed to rebuild almost back to where I was, which was no small task at all, but then the other happened, which was the UIGEA forcing Party Poker out of the American market.
Now my revenues and margins are considerably smaller than they were back then. I could maybe, with full time effort over a long period, have rebuilt, but I didn't bother because of the general instability of the industry. I'll pass the opportunity to get on a soap box about our government's stupidity here, but suffice it to say the Bush DoJ (and maybe Obama's too, not sure yet) made the business seem a less worthwhile investment than something not in such a legal minefield.
I was making fun of the analyst who claims to know YouTube is losing massive amounts of money but actually doesn't have any real facts.
I do bet YouPorn has trouble converting ads though since they give everything away and have huge foreign traffic (80+ percent is foreign). And as an Alexa top #100 site the expense does have to be massive.
There was a great article about YouPorn a while back that talked some numbers:
While I will definitely concede that there are porn companies that are "ghetto", (the AdultFriendFinder/Penthouse discrimination debacle comes to mind: http://gawker.com/373445/fired-employee-plots-discrimination... ) most large mainstream porn companies are actually very professional. I have friends that work at one of the largest and it's the most professional environment I've ever seen. Everyone is hard at work, slackers aren't tolerated and they have a constant drive to do things faster, better, more efficiently. Competition in porn is fierce, especially at the top. To stay at the top you need to work hard constantly because everyone else is as well.
let's say i was looking for a new text editor for my mac. i could type the appropriate terms into a search box, find myself presented with several good alternatives, and buy something in a matter of minutes.
now let's say i try that same experiment with porn. i have a specific type of thing in mind, type the necessary search terms, and quickly find myself drowning in unsavory-looking link farms, deceptive advertising, phishing and spyware attempts, and skeevy-looking pages that make me never want to contemplate sex again for the rest of my life.
this is why i say that porn is "ghetto." i'm sure there are hard-working companies in the industry. but if this is the state of the art, those reputable purveyors are quickly going to get pulled down to everybody else's level.
i'd say that's fairly impossible for porn producers to do right now. there's a huge negative stigma attached. that encourages people to use pseudonyms in the industry, which fosters an environment of secrecy, which leads to deception, etc.
if people could work in porn without besmirching their reputations forever, THEN the industry could start cleaning up its act.