What adult content creators need is an ecosystem that they can call their own. This solution could be a cloud-based service or a collection of quality self-hosted solutions packaged for easy deployment.
What this ecosystem needs is the following:
- Project Management Application (Trello, Jira, etc.)
- This ecosystem needs a flexible project management application with support for various Agile methodologies such as Kanban or Scrum.
- This application should be easy to use for both artists and programmers and support public and private projects.
- Project Wiki (Confluence, XWiki, etc.)
- This ecosystem needs a presentable looking wiki than can be customized for both internal and anonymous users.
- Code Repository (Github, BitBucket, GitLab, etc.)
- This ecosystem needs a code repository storage solution, where developers can commit and store code.
- Developers should be able to review changes, create pull requests, and create public/private projects.
- Continuous Integration System/Artifact Server (Jenkins, Bamboo, Gitlab, etc.)
- This ecosystem needs a CI server that integrates tightly with the code repository and allows for easy and customizable building and deployment. It should support both local and remote agents.
- Single-Sign-On/User Management System or Integration (Crowd, LDAP, Azure Active Directory, etc.)
- This ecosystem needs a way to manage user permissions easily across all the different applications.
- File storage, syncing, and collaborative editing solution (Dropbox, Google Drive, FileRun, etc.)
Other products which would benefit the ecosystem greatly:
- Email server
- Package Manager Server
- Chat system or Chat system integration (Slack, Discord, etc.)
Not everyone needs all of these solutions, so ideally, they would be modular yet still integrate extremely well with one another. These solutions should also be user-friendly and flexible enough to cater to Art/Animations as well as game developers.
What are the options?
There are several different ways to create this ecosystem. Some are expensive, and some would not be very user friendly, but there are options.
Option 1: Come together to pay for pre-existing self-hosted data center solutions.
Many self-hosted data center solutions, such as Atlassian Data Center or Github Enterprise, are completely out of reach for small to medium-sized businesses. Suppose adult content creators were to come together as if we were a single enterprise and lease out membership to individuals or small teams. In that case, we could take advantage of the professional ecosystems that already exist without worrying about content censorship.
- There would be no need to worry about developing, improving, or maintaining these applications.
- We’d be using the same tools as many other enterprises around the world.
- These applications would likely integrate well with many other applications, and they would be familiar to many users.
- Members would not need to learn to manage their environment.
- It would require crowdfunding to start-up and membership to maintain, with a minimum of at least several hundred users.
- It would likely suffer from a level of bureaucracy associated with democratically managing several hundred members.
- Individual teams would not have full control over the customization of their ecosystem and add-ons.
- It would still somewhat put us at the behest of the organization making the applications, although we would have more influence as a large customer.
Option 2: Assemble, Integrate, and Improve a selection of pre-existing free and open-source solutions and integrations.
Instead of acting as an organization purchasing premium software, we could instead create guides and system images containing collections of existing free (or freemium) and open-source self-hosted software solutions for use by adult content creators. We could support the development of integrations between the selection solutions to improve these solutions' user experience.
- This option would be quite inexpensive, as it would rely upon free or freemium open-source Software.
- No entity or organization can dictate anything about whether or not a solution is supported or not.
- Teams could create fully customized environments.
- The user experience of free and open-source self-hosted solutions is generally very lackluster and would require quite a bit of development and customization to make decently usable.
- Individuals and teams need to have the technical know-how to set up and customize their local solutions.
- Integrations between solutions would likely be poor and inconsistent, and the development of integrations would likely be slow.
Option 3: Build our own platform, with blackjack and hookers.
If there was enough support, we could literally build our own platform. By adult content creators, for adult content creators. This would be a monumental technical challenge, but the payoff could cement a place for adult content creators on the internet.
- We would not be at the mercy of any arbitrary terms on almost any platform.
- We could target the ecosystem at the needs of adult content creators specifically.
- It would require an enormous amount of crowdfunding and be incredibly expensive.
- Building these solutions would take a long
- The developers could fail in their goals for a variety of unknown reasons.
Option 4: Stick to advocacy
Instead of building an entire ecosystem, we could form a group that advocates for adult content creators. Although our actual influence would likely not be all that great, we would have a loud voice.
- This option would be pretty much free, as it would not require much of any development.
- There would be few consequences for failure, if any at all.
- No guarantee of change.
- Our place on the cloud would still be at the behest of massive organizations.
There may be other options I have not considered, but I firmly believe that we cannot continue to ‘slide under the radar’ like we have been doing. Eventually, artificially intelligent content recognition technology will get to the point where even our drawn adult content will not last long.
If you also would like to support the development of an ecosystem for adult content creators, please offer your input on the matter by filling out this form and giving your thoughts.
Adult content creators face a problem, a problem that is only going to get worse. This problem stems from technological innovation, our increasingly interconnected world, and the rise of uncaring, or even automated, puritanical bureaucracy.
That problem is the ever-increasing dominance of Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms and the sanitized Acceptable Content Policies they bring with them.
The growth of StudioWhy
Over the past three years, StudioWhy has grown from a small group to almost becoming a private platform where popular fandom content creators can collaborate on interactive projects. Around a year ago, I knew that StudioWhy needed to get more organized. We needed to streamline our workflow and begin working more like a professional team.
From December 2019 through February of this year, I began searching for the right tools we could use, the right platform that our company could use to grow. What I discovered was something incredibly disheartening and somewhat terrifying.
Almost Every. Single. One. of the popular file storage and project management platforms out there has explicit rules forbidding “obscene,” “pornographic,” or “indecent” content. In cases we violate these rules, many of these companies reserve the right to delete our data without notice.
Google Drive’s policy states, for example:
“Do not distribute content that contains sexually explicit material, such as nudity, graphic sex acts, and pornographic material. This includes driving traffic to commercial pornography sites. We allow nudity for educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic purposes.”
I reached out to other adult content creators to confirm if this was just actually enforced for businesses or nothing more than legal padding.
According to a member of Kupaa Networks:
“Gsuite is not immune from this. Entire domains have been shut down for violation of content on a business drive. I know this because i had to migrate a client to MS Azure because of it.”
“They sent a generic template notice to the client and shut down their access”
This termination was for an artistic reference folder the company had. They did not get their account or content back.
“Is deceptive, fraudulent, illegal, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, harmful to minors, pornographic (including child pornography, which we will remove and report to law enforcement, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children), indecent, harassing, hateful”
In case of a violation of this policy:
“Without affecting any other remedies available to us, Atlassian may permanently or temporarily terminate or suspend a user’s account or access to the services without notice or liability if Atlassian (in its sole discretion) determines that a user has violated this Acceptable Use Policy.”
This policy is an issue because Atlassian’s tools are used by companies all over the world. However, Atlassian also provided what seemed to be the perfect solution. Atlassian offered $10 perpetual starter licenses of their self-hosted server products for up to 10 users.
The perfect* solution
This deal was fantastic. I spent the next two months learning how to set up and configure a Virtual Private Server with these Atlassian applications. I also found an incredibly nice self-hosted file-syncing solution known as FileRun to store and sync our files.
Task management, an internal wiki, a code repository, email, and file-sharing all synced with a user directory and single-sign-on. The system worked so well that, last month, I built my own in-house build server to run Atlassian’s Bamboo continuous integration solution.
These professional solutions, all working together, available for a fraction of the normal price, hosted on our own private host where almost nobody could tell us what fictional content we could or could not make. We even had an individual attempt to file a false report about us to our host, which they thankfully dropped after we explained the situation.
I felt the system that I had put together was working so well that I needed to share it with people. A bit over a week ago, I customized how this blog appears to anonymous users and made it public, specifically to write an in-depth tutorial explaining how adult content creators could build their own private ecosystem, free from any overbearing and puritanical content policies.
The same day I configured this blog, Atlassian announced this.
Atlassian will stop selling all self-hosted server licenses on February 2nd, 2021. The end of all support will be February 2nd, 2024. The only other self-hosted option is Data Center, which is typically for 500+ users.
Don’t #@!% the customer… unless they draw #@!%ing
One of Atlassian’s core tenants is allegedly “Don’t #@!% the customer”.
In justifying their decision, Atlassian had used language such as "these changes are in service of your organization’s long-term success" and "we believe we can address every concern a customer might have well before the end of server maintenance in 2024."
So I reached out, with a sliver of hope that maybe, just maybe, they would allow adult content on their servers. Unfortunately, although my feedback is going to the CEO’s, the end result was this:
"I apologize, but our Cloud option will not be available as an option to satisfy your needs.”
We were #@!%ed. And not just us, but every single adult content creator who could have benefited from this amazing ecosystem that Atlassian had enabled us to put together. This ecosystem that we could have shared with the world.
This turn of events was unfortunate, but ultimately, StudioWhy will make do. However, this situation reveals our cloud-based world's unfortunate reality: Safe platforms for adult content creators are disappearing.
So what do we do about it? We need our own ecosystem. We need a place for porn.