Today in our Cultural History of Internet Marketing (CHoIM-757) class : The tube site before the tube site, or what's a TGP ?
I mentioned recently ancient, long forgotten drama about tube sites. The term TGP itself makes its sporadic appearancei on this here definitive sheet of all things. The glue that ties these all together for our needs today however is a comment I just left on Diana's site. It went like so :
There's multiple strata involved (because no, neither English nor Romanian are creative cultures in any proper sense, they just retell what they've heard). The joint portions between the ro Pacala and the uk Pacala are really echoes of HREii figures, born at the interplay of historical Veneto, Lombardy, Bavaria and Saxony. These didn't yield only the two, but numerous -- rather, countless -- derivative works in most all neighbouring subcultures. There's a "purely Transylvanian" 1800s vintage, Romanian-spoken such smart guy who gets himself hired by a baker under false pretenses, oversleeps, makes the breads wrong ("creatively", though), ends up kicked out, sells his misshod creation for great profit due to the novelty factor (really, due to early pantsuit self-support, the same reason they watch each other's farts on Netflix) and then the baker attempts to sue for damages. The story is self-obviously late medieval Saxon, but localized in Sibiu.iii
The interesting portion of Pacala however is where (unlike his ItaloGerman-derivative counterparts) he communicates with Afanti, and the rest of the Eastern-Oriental panoply (which are genuinely interesting, for reasons of better poetic inclination in the Golden Horn & Iranian space ; longer time -- as in millenia versus decades -- more diligently applied and perhaps the blessings of the soil). So "nu pot, pentru ca mi-am uitat pacalitorul acasa" / Caragiale's stories about "researching Gawker to find whether oxen can walk on the ceiling like flies" / such items are both unknown in the bitter weeds island, and genuinely delightful.
Thus armed, let's further draw on my (well earned, and well deserved) credit to define some of our terms. I promise it'll be interesting enough.
You know what a "gallery" is, as a digital culture term of art, yes ? Any collection of digital pictures, displayed multiple in a row over multiple rows, where the item displayed stands symbolic for a larger version available is a "gallery", that's just what we call them. Right ? It used to be "gallery preview", but then got contracted, much like "webhost" became "host" and "weblog" became "blog", and "www" became nothing. Isn't it funny, by the way, how the late 1990s "futurist"iv pedophiles and con artists kept trying to stick "world wide web" or at the very least "web" into pretty much everything yet it never took, at all ? Almost like their sperm.v What sort of retard still spuriously elongates his domain with a www. prefix today ?
They were called "thumbnail" gallery previews for no substantial reason, perhaps a thin whiff of marketing-politeness, aiming to imply that the scale difference between the item displayed and the item it symbolizes is so markedvi as to evoke the thumb-to-person relationship, maybe -- except of course for the obvious problem : the TGP site held no larger images anywhere. Hurr. At first, back in... I don't even recall, 1995 maybe, there was some brief space for the reasonable expectation that if you click on some thumbnail depicting a chick with her tits out and her snatch stuffed a larger picture depicting the same chick with the same tits & stuffing would pop out of the machine. It didn't last long though ; by the time the dotcom bubble burst all clicking did was produce a new list of thumbnails, over and over again.vii
The economics of this Skinner machine were very simple : the "traffic" mental construct (an entirely fictitious object, exactly like Harry Catniss or Jasmine the Vampire Slayer) being further arbitrarily subdividedviii in two aspects holding some rather tenuous relationships to objective basesix (uniques, and pageviews), of which one was (just as arbitrarily) deemed of greater value (the first) whereas the second of lesser value, it then logically followed that the job of the self-unaware unemployed would be to "optimize" these. Tell me, if you have a site that "does"x 5`000 uniques and 60`000 pageviews a whateverxi, wouldn't you pay someone to "optimize" it such that it does 15`000 uniques and 50`000 pageviews ? I mean... it's better to have 15 u and 50 p than 5 u and 60 p, we've already agreed u is better than p, aite ? So wouldn't you trade five pounds sixty shillings for fifteen pounds fifty shillings ? So then!
All this complicated re-dreaming of underlying phenomena aside, the actual ongoings underneath were rather plain : for every guy with a (credit-card based!) subscription there were dozens of other guys who either a) could not actually afford it (for instance, for being underage, and thus ineligible for credit card activity) ; b) didn't judge they could afford it (for instance, for being married, and concerned wifey might find out) or c) just didn't want to do it (for whatever reason). The name of the affiliate game was to wring want-to-and-will-do out of these categories, by convincing the b) wifey's never finding out, by tittilating & frustrating the c) to the point where he changes his mind, by driving a) nuts enough to actually steal the parents' cc (a very safe move, you realise wife's gonna blame daddy not you, duh). All this "work" was generally accomplished by having them click on TGPs until they fell over (and yes, as you might've intuited, this was an almost entirely adolescent male activity). Thus in practice the porn affiliate business was a three plus one step process : 1. [young] male gets horny ; 2. user ends up on tgp ; 3. user clicks around a while until, maybe, hopefully, 4. user subscribes to a paysite.
This disposition in the field gave birth to traffic trading, and the concept of BCTxii. Admitting that there's two such TGP sites, admitting further that on average the user clicks fifty times before wandering off (with or without a hot sticky mess on his hands, nobody cares, seriously), then switching users midway will... what will it do, let's turn this into an interactive exercise.
So, as to uniques, it up to even doubles them. If the populations are isolated (as they very much were -- in the 90s) then one site's users are entirely distinct individuals from the other site's usersxiii. Thus switching them midway will result in... double "traffic" (in the sense of, "uniques") for... both sites. Win-win, right ?
Whereas speaking of pageviwews... if the user does fifty clicks before edgingxiv, each site will have half as many pageviews as before on averagexv -- which is not necessarily some great loss, seeing how all other sites on the internet besides forums and tgps had much lower pageview-to-unique ratiosxvi and well... the kids only ever wanted to belong anyways.
This is then what the TGPs were : take content from the paysites (generally freely given, especially towards the end of the period every paysite had piles of tgp-ready content, and most even pre-formed tgp pages for the affiliates to gobble up wholesale), scale it down to almost-unusability, and trade traffic back and forth.xvii
The tube sites were the exact same thing, with some tweaks. For one thing, they still took the content of paysites, but this time it wasn't freely given. They simply took the videos and presented them to an eager public, wholesale, no shits given.xviii For the other thing, they had no paysite model. They simply chased "traffic" for its own sake, which has resulted in some extremely friable "properties" : the costs balloon, because no, streaming isn't free (not to mention all the challenges from the pulpit lobby, throughout time and forever the only true enemy) whereas the income vanishes, because who's gonna pay for it all ? "Advertisers" ? You've gotta be kidding.xix
Do you understand now what embrace and extinguish is ?———
- There's at least four : one time back in 2011 a user uses it straight (and you may perhaps infer the mountaineous disdain implied in the usage of the term "user" in porn back in the day from this circumstance) ; I make a coupla transparent references in the very logs -- the latter of which very much worth carefully re-reading ; and then there's a direct definition from 2012. [↩]
- Holy Roman Empire, a pre-medieval attempt by the Germans to unify the Italians back into a Roman Empire continuator whether they wanted to or not. SPQR v2.0 ftw, what, it worked for myspace v2.0 aka facebook also! [↩]
- More properly, Hermannstadt. [↩]
- Yes, that was the cultural affiliation, much like I used above "digital culture" to denote a thing, this also denotes a very similar thing -- a thing which explains why Seth Godin is bald, why Steve Jobs wore those block-color turtlenecks, and why Austin Powers' Dr. Evil is funny.
I'm not proposing, incidentally, to equate the two over substance, quality, value, power, reach or any other positive quality. I'm well aware early pantsuits are just as irrelevant, in any possible retelling of the world, as middle or late pantsuits thence stayed ; so no, 1970s-1990s "futurism" is in no manner commensurable to 2000s-2020s mainstream digital culture (they'd like to pretend otherwise, of course, but then never were powerful enough to make what they like matter).
What I'm saying is that just as Colonialism impels Spanish hidalgos to cross the ocean, enslave some women, and beat up some local beta bois, just so matriarchy impels some local beta bois to be beaten by the men-horses and some local girls to be by them enslaved. It takes two to tango and a few for any social dance, therefore the stone age primitives' culture is that which impels them to be stone age primitives, eagerly trading [what they understand of] the island of Manhattan for a handful of glass beads much like mercantilism as a culture is what impels the traders to produce, transport and offer the beads. Obviously stone age primitivism loses out in any contest with the more advanced culture ; but inasmuch as it's what drives its followers, it's what drives its followers. The man who dies of an infected toenail was killed by his infected toenail just as the man who dies of massive cerebral oedema died of his massive cerebral oedema. This equality isn't liable to imply that both conditions are equally dangerous to the man still living, or that they'd be similarily treated in a hospital setting. I trust by now we understand each other. [↩]
- You know the joke with a dying Steve Jobs sharing last words with his long-term wife Stephana Wozniak (weird name on account of her having been acquired through a mail-order bride service), with whom he's had seven beautiful daughters and a good for nothing son ? It goes something like "you can tell me the truth now, who did you have that loser with ?" ; and the retort comes like a guillotine : "that's the one I actually had with you".
That's kinda the lot of pantsuits in this world ; and always has been. Yes the thing they stand for repeats itself, endlessly, forever. That's why it's called stupidity. But individually they're all completely sterile, retardation has that natural and necessary effect. None of them have any impact on the endless pululation of the filthy bottom under manhood anymore than individual bacteria drive Brownian motion. It's a physical phenomenon, Brownian motion, you understand this. Do you ? The fact that it indistinctly animates specks of nothing and allegedly alive bacteria through space and time is neither intentional nor meaningful ; and in any case the spurious specks don't "inherit" Brownian motion from each other. It predates them, and it just as well survives their extinction -- a situation which definitionally bars inheritability. [↩]
- You're getting your money's worth, being the idea, if you click on these you won't be on the receiving end of a postcard indignity, 320x240 or even -- horror of horrors -- 160x120 pixels but rather 640x480 or even 800x640 glory of glories!
- Occasionally they'd link to a paysite, which was a site holding the actual content -- nicely sized pictures and the occasional video -- behind a paywall. At first people'd plonk down 19.95 1990s dollars for a month of such service (a proposition kept economical by the fortuitous circumstances that most users were on dial-up, and also too clueless to save their downloads not to mention too isolated to trade their loot, thereby allowing even a modest library to sell well for years and years and years, always encountering fresh eyes in the marketplace owing to the internet going nova back then), but by the mid 2000s $1.99 lifetime offers with multiple paysites bundled was rather the norm. [↩]
- You recall how this goes. [↩]
- Plural of basis, did you know ? [↩]
- Let's not even get into the tenuousness of the relationship between the object and the phenomenon. What's the relationship between website and "traffic", some kind of doing ? Laissez. [↩]
- A rather common situation, at the time. [↩]
- Blind clicked traffic, meaning that an actual user clicked on something, but he didn't know what it was when he did. [↩]
- A very tenuous proposition outside the 90s, and the active core of many chumpatrons since 2001. [↩]
- The masturbatory practice of edging (as in the deliberate marginal stimulation such as to not-quite-orgasm) was unknown in the 90s, much like female orgasms, the most trivially banal item in the world, passed for a myth in the social conversation of the 80s (a stance supported by very wide consensus -- don't tell me you don't remember).
So, at the time, once they started edging the users stopped clicking and started stroking. By the time the activity was called fap-fap (ie, mid to late 2000s) edging had actually become the norm, and in terms of fluid expelled pre-cum readily overwhelmed actual ejaculate by mass in common social practice. [↩]
- Unless, of course, there is such a thing as variety ; and unless it actually drives more acute interest. It is entirely possible the user of one site only clicks fifty times whereas if he could click on two sites he will click fifty-five times before finally bestowing his unctuous contribution upon inanimate objects. Pushing this to an extreme, perhaps if the user can click on two billion sites he will click fifty billion times, and never even cum, just dribble clear fluid for hours and hours and hours. It's... possible, right ? Theoretically speaking it's possible, notwithstanding how it very much happens to be exactly what happened. [↩]
- Notably, the mainstream media "properties" had at all points scandalously low figures, "unfairly" not to mention "unscientifically" exposing them for the spurious frauds they've always been. Who knew nobody gives a shit about Pravda ?!?!?!?
They were very butthurt about this state of affairs (they very carefully never mentioned as such) so they drove a silent and broadly ineffectual campaign to convince everyone that "the best" split of the two imaginary components of the imagined object is closer to how it splits for them, as opposed to everyone else. What'd you ever do if you didn't have the Pravda ensemble to subtly convince you of patent nonsense ?! [↩]
- Hence "traffic productivity", meaning that if on average a user (of a class of users) does more clicks than the average count of clicks before he's redirected to a different TGP, he will be replaced ; whereas if he doesn't, he isn't.
Think about it, if you have who to trade high productivity traffic with, you will necessarily have infinite traffic available, for the exact same reasons nuclear reactors produce energy : if all users click in and then click out, to be replaced by other users who also click in and then click out, you're never running out, ever. This was the dream of TGP owners, documented as such in the media of their time. [↩]
- This hurt, because shooting a few hundred stills takes a few hours and costs a few thousand, whereas shooting an hour of video takes a few days and costs a few hundred thousand. Back in the days of the TGP paysite owners could readily afford to ignore the (negligible by volume, in most cases ; and universally negligible by actual economic impact) theft and continue offering their paying subscribers an abundance of stills and the occasional quarter hour video as a bonus.
It can be said that with the development of the internet, and especially the ascendancy of always-on, broadband cable connections, the arrival of the tube sites was necessary and unavoidable. Much better connected users are definitely going to save, and trade, and there goes the library value up in smoke. Nevertheless, video production is expensive and stays expensive, which is why 2020s porn collapsed into camwhoring after a brief foray through "gonzo" in the 2010s : there's no cheaper way to make it.
Yes it's pure shit, much like the "food" and everything else is shit in Pantsuitistani lands. Yet the problem is purely economical : at what's available in payment, nothing else can be had. Game shows are too expensive for Netflix, and gonzo porn is too expensive for social media. It's what it is : purely an economic result.
The economic result of extreme poverty. [↩]
- There is no such thing as "advertising" as an economic activity. Advertising is strictly a political mechanism, it is the Roosevelt-socialism equivalent of notes from Stalin, it translates into faux, pseudo-economic terms the underlying arrangements of social power -- a rather obvious fact Christos Ballas readily intuits though he carefully disavows.
So no, the tired old cunt lobby isn't going to print money to give to their wholly state-owned "independent entreprises" to give to you to keep on undermining their whole system. Doh. Wait, what the fuck did you think advertising even was !? And what else did you think, that Google-Facebook "make money" ? "From advertising" ? Are you fucked in the head or something ? [↩]