A lot has happened since we ran a little review of AdultDictionary.com (AdultD) in our "Links" section in July 2003. Long-time collaborators Tracy Elise, Abbie DeAnne Johnson, and Daniel Washington founded AdultD parent company JaBooters on Aug. 1, 2000 in Seattle to "develop a string of interesting sites with founding principles being freedom of mind and body and togetherness of people," says Washington, the remaining partner and CEO.
The trio had some pretty high ideals when it came to running a business. "Our basic tenant is truth, or as you put so well in our first review, ?anti-spam, anti-pop-up, and anti-scam.' Those were really motivating words," the personable and warm Washington says.
The driving force, Washington describes Adult Dictionary as "the first in a string of like-minded dictionaries and encyclopedias for exploring adult sexuality and beyond.
"We have other sites to watch for: Adult Encyclopedia (more elegant, more options, and more bandwidth), and Adult Almanac (more numerology, psychic, and hippie stuff); plus a slue of dictionaries - BondageDictionary.com, CouplesDictionary.com, Fetish Dictionary.com, and many more."
Outside of the realm of adult Internet, Washington has ideas for other sites that he's always wanted to create and has been planning for years: "Workout Express.com and GoRiot.com... one being obvious, and the other being a secret that I think will be a massive hit and really improve people's lives."
AdultD, which features pages of definitions "originally written by Tracy, with editing from Abbie," Washington says, is looking at a major overhaul on the more-better-faster front.
"January [saw] only the bones of what's to come: a complete and unique site that we really love," Washington describes. "We have literally hundreds of words and pages to add and thousands of definitions... honestly, it will take some months to load it all.
"I run and manage the backend but it's fairly simple, being template-driven."
The initial site was designed by Rod Collen of Imagesphere, and itself benefited from a complete revamp, front- and backend, "including a tough and successful effort to incorporate AVS selectively on certain highly explicit galleries.
"We are the only site I know of that is both free and AVS. I really owe Taoti Web Design Inc. [www.taoti.com] and owner/president Brent for going beyond the call of duty to build the site you now see," Washington says.
On the free side, Washington describes what is "actually an entirely free site, fully functional and a destination on its own, but one that also has a really hardcore section which is AVS-controlled.
"It's our way of trying to make parenting easier, although I'll argue with anyone the actual damage porn does to children - especially in light of all the other, much more serious offences that no one in this country seems to want to talk about, like child poverty, statute of limitations on child rape, infant mortality - and let's not even broach the status of our educational system, because that's way too depressing.
"However, I still think the parents need the final say on this, and we broke our backs to make it so."
One of the innovations AdultD has provided to facilitate this is a handy "switch" icon on the page, which the surfer can set to "Safe" or "Explicit" mode. "It's on the top of every page and one of the really unique things about our site," says Washington.
"A visitor starts automatically in Safe mode.... Both modes offer the same links and information, although that will be changing in version two," but in Safe mode, explicit illustrations, product thumbnails, and banners are covered or replaced.
"It's really turned out to be two, actually three sites in one. Safe mode is for the ?I'm in it for the articles' types, Explicit is for those exploring further, and AVS is for those that want it all." Washington also notes that about half the words at AdultD "aren't even explicit at all - like Romance, Monogamy, Kiss, Safe Sex, Wedding, Celebration," and others. "This thing has grown well beyond simply adult entertainment."
One of Washington's hopes for AdultD is to see it grow into a thriving online community. "We hope to build [the community] by using the traditional methods - unique content, opt-in e-mail and newsletters, chat, advice, very selective traffic trades - but also the less-used and sometimes forgotten arts of honesty and integrity... a great experience designed to be such before making tons of money."
The business model Washington follows revolves around maintaining a site that he feels he and his partners wanted to use themselves. "Since then, I've discovered it's well established that mixing the content with the revenue is by far the most profitable model.
"In the old days, many sites made money by attracting an audience which would then, it was hoped, click a banner or buy something - in many cases not directly related to the site itself. I like to think we've gone one step further. Our revenue is the content, or our content is the revenue, however you want to look at it.
"When you're on the latex page," Washington says, by example, "all the products are latex, as are the links (usually affiliate), definition, advice, and so on. Even the banners are only about latex, and must [employ] a great image, so if a visitor never clicks it's still part of the imagery, rather than annoying advertising. I don't have large enough numbers to draw conclusions on metrics, but I will say that our initial numbers beat industry averages across the board, sometimes dramatically."
Washington credits YNOTBob (Bob Rice) and the YNOT Masters crew, "Jay Kopita, Hammer, and others," for helping his business to evolve. "I've gleaned tons of info from these folks.
"Bob is truly a brother to all, and picked up his phone, offering golden advice long before we were even a speck... those guys won't be forgotten. Can't wait to buy them all homes in Spain someday," he grins.
Currently, Washington's looking for an investor, "so we can develop our other sites quickly. I'm more than willing to yield a percentage of the company to find such a partner; I really think it's a great offer. We have so many great URLs with aligning concepts, a complete Web ring, really. Basically, our ideas and aspirations have outgrown our meager budget. Larry Flynt, where are you?"
Noble aspirations really can result in a solid bottom line, and Washington strives to make it so.
"We want to be there to stick up for sex during this current challenge by the government and others," he says. He wants to give people a platform through which they can "exercise their most basic and fundamental human right - the one on which all others are built - which is to explore oneself, including one's sexuality, without being harassed, shamed or made to feel dirty."