This is me blushing
January 2, 2006 1:05 PM   Subscribe

I think people would pay to watch me do (tame) stuff on the internet, but getting from that idea to the whole moving forward, I need help.

I really like to bake, and I have some other hobbies that I enjoy doing, and the end product is useful to me. I've heard there are people with fetishes. My inspired mind is mostly inspired by a combination of stories about girls paying the rent with web cam shows that are, um, dirty AND crafty websites and podcasts. But I don't know how they get all the stuff hooked up. Or how they connect to the internet for this kind of stuff and what sort of paperwork is required to be sure that the IRS isn't going to want my ass on a platter in three years for tax stuff. I mean, we have a fast connection, and I have a laptop but no webcam yet.

Where can I go for a step by step "how to open a web business (that you kind of want to be a secret but secretly hope will make gazillions of dollars and be lots of fun)" primer? (oh, that was embarassingly easy)

About the baking, really, I'm serious. I imagine this to be a sort of website where people could go to learn to cook, because that would be serious, not just some chick smearing chocolate sauce on herself (not that that's not art or something, I just can't get into it). But there could be some aspects of it that could be more subtly erotic. And I have lots of shoes and probably other stuff that's fetishized.

As for myself, I'm in very good shape and pretty attractive.

I had wanted to do this anon, but I'm sure I will need to engage in a dialog about all of this.

I don't yet know how to write code, I don't know how to hide my personal paypal information (someone mentioned that I could get stalked with that information), but I have some patience and a day job that makes baking/crocheting/sewing a really good way to unwind. I also like the idea of having an Amazon wishlist connected to this webcast so that I can get a better stocked kitchen, and I've seen that it looks pretty secure.
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Best answer: Small detail of a much larger enterprise, but: Paypal doesn't let you take 'erotic content' payments anymore.
posted by Firas at 1:56 PM on January 2, 2006

Are you going to register a domain name? If so, how are you going to hide your personal details? Anyone could do a whois on the domain and discover your name.
posted by malp at 2:22 PM on January 2, 2006

Beyond assembling the resources (money, equipment, billing/service providers) to create and maintain your online endeavor, there are a TON of considerations before ever going forward with any adult online enterprise. One must be extremely vigilant with record keeping and compliance to the law or there is an unmitigated disaster waiting to happen.

I know it isnt a sexy answer, but the first thing you want to do is contact a local lawyer, specifially one who is familiar with first amendment law, and run the idea by them. Believe me when I tell you that in this day and age, something need not be sexual in nature to be deemed "sexually explicit"

Good luck!
posted by sandra_s at 2:24 PM on January 2, 2006

Just to clarify: you're planning to do this naked? Because nobody's going to pay just to watch you bake, I don't care how hot your shoes are. (I know nothing about fetishism, but I assume shoe fetishists, like everybody else, already have a ton of sites that provide what they need, ranging from relatively tame free ones to HOT HOT HOT ones you pay to enjoy; if you want people to pay you, you're going to have to give them something they can't get for free.)
posted by languagehat at 2:51 PM on January 2, 2006

Didn't Delores Herbig (as in "her big brown eyes") do something like this on Dead Like Me??
posted by chota at 3:05 PM on January 2, 2006

Best answer: There are three categories of things you'll have to look into: technical, legal and business.

The first part I'd tackle is the business area. What, exactly, are you selling? You'll need to tell people what they are going to get or they won't buy it. Then you need to do some market research. Who else is doing this already? How do they make money (what is their fee structure like, what do they charge for)? How will you find the people that would want what you are selling?

Then there is the legal aspect. If its in any way "adult" you'll need legal paperwork proving the ages of everyone involved. If you have other people on the show, you'll need model release forms. You want to prepare for success, so having a CPA that can advise you on tax issues and how to keep track of expenses/income is important too.

The last bit is the technical requirements. You'll need a website that is designed with security in mind (porn sites have more than your average number of hack attempts) and a hosting company that allows "adult" sites. You also need to think about how to actually stream the video. There are a variety of options out there: downloadable programs, java applets, flash interfaces, etc. The technology in this area is fast moving. You'll likely want to check out the various adult webmaster forums to catch up on recent trends and then find someone technical that is familiar with the area or is at least willing to learn and keep up.

If you have further questions that you want to ask privately, you can contact me if you like. My email address is on my profile.
posted by afflatus at 3:16 PM on January 2, 2006

Are you going to register a domain name? If so, how are you going to hide your personal details? Anyone could do a whois on the domain and discover your name.

Not true. GoDaddy and many other registrars offer "private domain registrations". With private registration, the whois info is filled with a proxy's contact information. Should a private individual do a "whois" on your domain, they'll just find that it's registered by some company in arizona or nevada or somewhere. Private registration usually adds around $15 a year to the cost of a domain name.
posted by fishfucker at 3:36 PM on January 2, 2006

Best answer: i'd suggest you look around for a cam community of similar people and see whether people like what you do and whether you like doing it

if you just want to start a website and see where it goes and how it develops then start now, a website is simple (come up with a nice domain name, register with an anonymous and upgradeable webhoster, and put a blog there)

if you want to start a big site from zero you definitely need a partner (for the "non-baking", technical side)
posted by suni at 3:54 PM on January 2, 2006

Because nobody's going to pay just to watch you bake

I dunno; there are (or were a few years ago when a friend showed them to me) amateur video sites where folks paid good money to watch women smoking cigarettes. Fully clothed women, that is. I think an erotic kitchen/baking videocast could work, if that's really what bilabial intends. Lord knows there's all kinds of mom- and girl-next-door-fetish stuff out there. As for getting started, I'm with suni; a partner with technical skills is probably the best way to go. Start talking with friends.
posted by mediareport at 4:14 PM on January 2, 2006

Spend some time researching the world of camwhores, especially stories about dealing with "clients," the people watching your webcasts. Yeah, you may not be naked, but they're going to ask you to get naked. Or first, they're going to ask you to take off your sweater. Big deal. And then they'll ask you to wear a shorter skirt. Why not? From there it's a slippery slope down to baking in the nude and pleasuring yourself for the cam while the cookies cool. You've got to be aware of how manipulative cam clients will try to be, set your boundaries and be firm about them.

Also, you're going to have to deal with some weird shit. You're thinking, "Yeah, I can deal with weird." But when your inbox starts filling up with men's dirty fantasies about you, how are you going to deal with that? Internet pervs are always 4x weirder than you imagine.

It sounds easy, setting up a cam and taking free money from schmos who wanna watch you beat eggwhites into a fluffy cream, but there's a lot more to deal with than buying the right brand of camera. Go in with your eyes open.
posted by junkbox at 5:12 PM on January 2, 2006

fishfucker: Godaddy/DomainsByProxy will cough up ALL of your info at the mere threat of a subpoena. There are easier ways around it.

Just go to the nearest UPS Store and rent a mailbox. Have all domain stuff go there. You don't need to have your actual name appear anywhere.
posted by drstein at 8:19 PM on January 2, 2006

Sam Sugar has some advice for people getting in to porn, especially indie/amateur stuff. His How To section is full of great advice. He also discusses payment methods, and just about everything else there is to do with porn, and he answers people's questions. So, if you're serious about this, I'd give it a look around, and maybe send any lingering questions his way.
posted by JackarypQQ at 11:17 PM on January 2, 2006

Are there any sites that act like agencies/middlemen that you could let do the business/tech side of things so that you can concentrate on the content? Someplace where all you have to do is set up the cams and direct the feed at them?

"Didn't Delores Herbig (as in "her big brown eyes") do something like this on Dead Like Me??"

Chota, that's exactly what I was just thinking while reading the question.
posted by d-no at 4:45 AM on January 3, 2006

Are there any sites that act like agencies/middlemen that you could let do the business/tech side of things so that you can concentrate on the content?

Yes, it took me a while to remember the name, bilabial, you should totally check out ifriends, "The world's largest online videochat community." From the about page:

Through iFriends' standards-based, e-commerce-enabled, personal webcam streaming and audio-streaming software and web-based community platform, any internet user in the world -- from individuals to Fortune 500 companies -- with a webcam-equipped PC can use the iFriends platform to offer live or prerecorded web-conferencing and streaming products or services, ranging from online advice and expertise to entertainment.

There ya go. Take out the e-commerce jargon and you have it - a way for you to stream video of yourself and charge people to watch it. The more popular your ifriends stream gets, the more money you get.
posted by mediareport at 7:49 AM on January 3, 2006

Note the 'adults only' section at bottom right of the home page. They don't do hardcore, but there's lots of erotic stuff. This is one of the sites a friend showed me where women were apparently raking it in smoking cigarettes on camera - fully clothed - for guys all over the world.
posted by mediareport at 7:52 AM on January 3, 2006

Well, obviously it matters. They say it matters, right? So, look for other similar sites that allow Macs, switch, or use one of the other options above.
posted by mediareport at 8:07 PM on January 3, 2006

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