May 15th, 2002
Interview with Tad of
Tad Coffin is the owner of the design companies found at MediaTitan.com and SexTitans.com. As you can tell from his logo at the bottom of the pages on our site, Tad undertook the painful process of redesigning a site for us ["…make it green, …blue, …no, red, etc."] Tad is originally from New York, but got his BA at UCLA while studying design. He then "began the life of a designer," while continuing to write and paint and further his studies. Somewhere in that process, Media Titan was formed with her sister company, Sex Titans. Tad currently resides in San Diego, California.
AIL: What did you do before you got into the online porn industry?
Tad: I was laying the foundation for Media Titan while designing a catalog for a mail order business here in San Diego, as well as other odd jobs.
AIL: What motivated you to work in the industry?
Tad: I'd done a bit of research and reading up on the adult internet. The owner of the mail order company I was working for was considering an adult internet venture. I'd been floating my resume around town and it turned up in Otto's hands [Greg Geelan], the president of www.YNotMasters.com . He called me in for an interview. I was hired that day as Editor of www.YNOTNews.com.
AIL: What services do you offer to your customers?
Tad: Media Titan and our sister Sex Titans cover most media outlets, from print, video to multimedia with an emphasis on web design and programming. We have experience with photography, catalogs, web sites, e-commerce, programming, advertising and mass marketing. Because we cover some many media outlets we are able to form cohesive marketing strategies with our clients' companies and match their needs as they grow.
AIL: What is the biggest difference between your mainstream and adult clients in regard to designing sites for them?
Tad: The adult clients usually want designs with naked ladies in them. :) Adult clients seem more willing to try new things too, which I like.
AIL: Do you design e-newsletters for you clients and how many use them?
Tad: E-newsletters are an integral part to most successful web marketing campaigns. We certainly do design e-newsletters and handle mailings. Almost all clients with aggressive marketing strategies use email newsletters.
AIL: If you were designing your own site and had endless amounts of money, what software and programs would you use?
Tad: *Grin* Wow, that would be nice. Well, since your asking...
Starting with the basics, I'd need a good text editor for code and HTML. Home Site color codes PHP, HTML and most web programming languages, making the task much easier, so I'd go with that.
Then there would be Photo Shop for design.
We want this site to be as dynamic and automated as possible to keep visitors coming back and to alleviate any repetitive work on the Webmaster's part. I'd use PHP with a MySQL database to keep things automatic and updated daily. An e-newsletter would be included.
The site would also be available as either Flash or HTML. Flash is a great tool for really grabbing a visitor's attention, and most web surfers have it installed. Still, there's plenty that don't and you don't want to lose any of the visitors you've fought so hard to get.
I would also want to create a PHP program that collects user data in the form of surveys and link preferences and serves advertising accordingly.
AIL: Frames or no frames? Why?
Tad: In some cases frames are useful, such as keeping branding or navigation in a consistent location, but for the most part I would stay away from frames. Frames can make entry to your site tricky, as visitors might come in through a single frame that was meant to be seen with other elements. If you do go with frames, it is important to have a home button on every page element or a java script that ensures frames are seen with the other frames they are intended to be seen with.
AIL: What is the biggest misconception people have about designing sites?
Tad: Most people new to the media seem to think it's an instantaneous process. It's not.
AIL: How long does it typically take to put together a site?
Tad: Some sites can be made from templates and take as little as an hour if all the text, links and images are provided, and others can be mega e-commerce sites and take six months, so there's quite a bit of room in between. If you want to get a custom design with photos, rollovers, some banners and ten pages of text, your looking at ten hours minimum.
AIL: Once you have designed a site, do you provide Webmaster services for the day-to-day functioning of the site?
Tad: Media Titan definitely provides all types of web support. The more new content a website provides, the higher the return visitor frequency will be. Also, a web site with no visitors isn't very useful, so we'll go out there and scrape up some traffic for you.
AIL: What is your opinion on using Flash?
Tad: Flash is great, but generally it's still a good idea to have both flash and HTML for the goofballs that don't have it installed.
AIL: Where do you see site design evolving in the next five years?
Tad: More Flash. :) As TV, radio, telecommunications, interactivity and print increasingly become available on the web, and broadband becomes more accessible and broader, sites will increasingly use these technologies. As this happens, the web will continue to increase its presence and importance in our everyday lives. It boggles my mind that ten years ago, email was still a novelty and now, one can hardly imagine doing business without it. I expect my mind to be boggled further ...
AIL: What are the most difficult sites to put together?
Tad: The hardest sites to design are the ones where the client doesn't have a clear vision of what he or she wants the site to be... so they want to try everything... I don't mind, as long as they realize I work by the hour.
AIL: What information do you usually seek from a client when they first approach you about designing a site?
Tad: Do they have money? :)
It's very important that we get as much information as possible about the client's project vision. We've created a Media Titan Design Synopsis Form to help with this process:
It's also nice to know that a client has realistic expectations for their site. You can't get a mega e-commerce site for $500. You can't get a mega e-commerce site in five days. Even if you do spend $10k - $20k on a super site that takes two months to build, it's not going to do any good if you don't have traffic.
AIL: What do you enjoy the most about being in the business?
Tad: I like the adult Internet business because of the attitudes of the people. As in any business, the idea is to make money. Adult entrepreneurs take it a step further and continue to push the limits on the Internet, always inventing new ways to make money and use technology. Because the industry is so young, there's this feeling that anything can happen, and it's good.
AIL: What do you enjoy the least about being in the business?
Tad: It gets tiring constantly being face-to-face with people's close-mindedness on the adult industry (and everything else for that matter). It's sex, get over it. Credit given, our society is becoming more and more open on the subject, so that's nice.
AIL: If one of our readers wants to contact you, where can they reach you?
Tad: 619-223-8530 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any design questions, just let me know and I'd be glad to help.
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