I was having a conversation today with Mal and we were discussing the massive role pornography has played in shaping the acceptance of technology.
This is by no means a new finding people have commented for years on the continuing influence porn has had on mainstream acceptance of technologies, from the VHS vs Beta battle of the 1970′s to the emergence of DVD and the uptake of use of the internet, once confined to governments and university geeks. Would these technologies still have achieved their massive level of uptake had the adult-film industry not embraced them? The odds are that DVD and the internet would still have emerged, however it certainly would have taken a lot longer (which means the human race owes the adult-film industry a great debt for assisting our technological development).
The learning we can take from this is that if you are a technology platform and you want to increase your chance of success aim to please the adult-film industry and aid mainstream society in their ability to access and interact with the adult material they produce. I would wager that if a mainstream search engine returned fairly average results for normal search activity but delivered stellar results for “free porn” style search then they would have a great uplift in their non-adult search activity as a direct correlation.
The irony in all of this, of course, is that society at large pretends to be sickened and disgusted by pornography, they try to block and ban it. Yet we know that, even now, the large majority of search activity is adult based searches.
What are your thoughts? If you a technology developer, have you considered directly contacting someone in the adult-film industry and seeing how you can help them address some of their needs?