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R.I.P. Websites

There’s been a death in our industry.

Hundreds of deaths, actually.

Like many companies, we here at ED Publications live and die by our databases. We have a number of databases, but the two main ones are Clubs and Vendors. We update those databases constantly.

Why? Because they are our customers. It’s no different than a car dealership with a database of local car buyers, or a doctor’s office with a database of patients.

We need the Vendors to buy ads in our magazine and on our websites, and to buy booths and sponsorships at the Annual Gentlemen’s Club EXPO. And we need the Clubs to buy badges for the EXPO and, just as importantly, to buy products from the Vendors so they will keep buying ads and booths. Yes, I know, it’s a vicious cycle.

The whole ED World (the trade magazine, the websites, the EXPO, the Awards Show, the EDI contests) started with the Annual EXOTIC DANCER Directory almost three decades ago. The Directory was the definitive guide to strip clubs across the country, and those first listings are the backbone of our current Clubs database. I personally started updating many of those club listings recently, mainly to gather more email addresses to reach more club operators with our e-Newsletter and our emails about new EXPO developments.

What I found was disturbing.

Mass genocide.

Of adult nightclub websites.

For each club listing in the database we list the address, phone, contact person, type of club (topless or nude), operating hours, etc. We also list the club’s website and Facebook page. When it comes time to update a club’s listing, you go to the club’s website and their Facebook page and scan them both to see if there is any new information, like a new club name, a new phone number, new operating hours.

More than 75 percent of the club websites that I punched into my browser came back as being closed. While pretty much all of the Facebook pages were live.

Hundreds and hundreds of club websites, many which I had visited over the years and which were very detailed and impressive, were just gone. Poof, vanished!

Those clubs are now just relying on their Facebook page for their main Internet presence when it comes to photos, promo, videos, reviews and announcements.

Which seems a bit foolhardy.

What happens when Facebook goes away? Never gonna happen, you say. That’s what My Space said.

What happens when you want to post sexier photos and racier text on the Internet to promote the hot ladies at your club, but those pics and those words won’t get through the Facebook censors?

What happens when your club’s Facebook page, because of the restrictive design and layout of Facebook pages, looks like every other club in your city’s Facebook page? How are you going to make your club stand out?

Yes, I know your club’s Facebook page was getting more traffic than your club’s website. But guess what? You can have both. In today’s market, buying and hosting a website costs just pennies.

Not having a website for your club and only having a Facebook page is like renting only one spotlight for your club. Why not rent two?

Plus, at the risk of sounding selfish, it will make it easier for us here at ED when we go to update your club listing.

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