A new direction for weblogs: pornography
What's the most popular thing on the net? Porn. And what's the most popular thing to happen to personal publishing in the last couple of years? Weblogs. One guy has decided to bring the two together.
Steve Hooker is an affable Welshman who decided some time ago that weblogs were a good idea, and wondered if he could build a community of webloggers around a central theme. He says he was influenced by the Cluetrain Manifesto.
The first upshot of this was Villablogs, a site where fans of English soccer team Aston Villa can create an instant, Villa-themed weblog of their own.
So far, so good. But Steve's next idea was somewhat more radical: why not let people create personal weblogs about pornography? This thought led to the creation of Sexblogs, a Manila-based weblog site. (We need hardly warn you that clicking on that link will load pornographic material in your browser - but consider yourself warned anyway.)
Is the web ready for personal weblogs all about porn? Steve seems to think so. He said: Our target audiences are wife swappers, exhibitionists, whores, people who need to hide their favourite prOn from their boss. It's Cluetrainish, but possibly not what Doc Searls and Chris Locke had in mind - we'll see.
Crucially, Steve's plan is a business plan. Unlike previous Manila hosting sites, Sexblogs will not provide free hosting for ever. Users get 30 days for free to try things out, then will be asked to pay (£10 per month) to continue.
Weblogging has tended to be a very open, personal thing. People have got to know one another through their public weblogs. One possible consequence of Sexblogs could be the anonymising of weblogs - after all, it's probably fair to say that most users of the service will not want to reveal their true identities.
Pornography has been the web's innovator and money-maker for years now. Steve's just doing the obvious thing to make a return on his Manila investment. Isn't he? Is this a good thing for weblogs, or a direction webloggers would rather not go in?