Porn Operators: Unexpectedly Slow Adopters of Social Media

The porn industry is usually an early adopter of new media technologies. Not sticking with “just” tawdry sex shops in the tenderloin. Nope. Customers can download naked images in the privacy of their home or the semi-privacy of their hotel room. That means ever higher profits margins for purveyors of pornography, thus pulling middle-class entrepreneurs into the business.

On NPR’s On the Media, the sex and technology correspondent for Wired.com, Regina Lynn sees big changes ahead. Via Henry Jenkins, “Here’s how Lynn describes how web 2.0 software (based on social networks and user-generated or manipulated content) might reshape our relationship with pornography:
‘Anything from rating the content, allowing users to take existing content and mash it up and create new movies and things, contests – you know, everybody make a minute-and-a-half porn movie out of all of this material. They add a bit of play and a bit of game and just a lot of interaction into it. I mean, it’s basically taking porn and making it relationships.’”

Yet these operators have been slow to adopt the interactive social media tools of Web.20. Why? Says Lyn, “For the main industry, it’s really hard to incorporate that because you’ve got to think a whole new way. You have to think of your users with respect and as sort of partners in the whole experience versus sheep that you’re fleecing.’” Then there’s those worrysome legal concerns mentioned later on in this interview with Brooke Gladstone.

Meanwhile, many of us “consumers”are yearning for more Internet connectivity it appears. While most may not admit to a porn habit a remarkably high number of Americans (one in four) said they’d settle for the Internet as “a stand-in for a significant other for a period of time.” And a higher 31 percent of singles agreed in a poll released this month by Zogby International and 463 Communications.

There’s more. If it could be done safely, a remarkable 11 percent of those surveyed would be willing to have brain implants that would allow them to access the Internet with their minds or that enables them to track their children’s locations.

It gets worse. Many think government censorship of online video content is acceptable. Plus they believe that the Internet makes them feel closer to God and less close their significant ones. Yet their own identities on the Internet are not very important to them. So much for “Smart” Mobs converging on this desire.

Leave a Reply

with Kare Anderson

What can we do better together? For greater accomplishment, adventure and friendship let's harness the power of us. Share ways to thrive in this next chapter of your life with others. (more...)