July 12, 2002
Interview with YNOTBob at
Born in Hawaii, and raised on the beaches of San Diego, "YNOT Bob" Rice is the VP of Webmaster Sales for YNOT. Known industry wide as a top-notch networker, Bob has become one of the most recognizable names and faces in the industry and has been instrumental in bringing in top advertisers to YNOT. Receiving his B.A. in Sociology from the University of California San Diego, Bob spent fifteen years as a successful and award winning restaurateur before joining the YNOT Network team in January 2000.
In his off time, Bob enjoys surfing, backpacking and spending time on the beaches of Mexico.
AIL:What do you do at YNOTMasters.com?
YNOTBob: My specific position with YNOTMasters is VP of Webmaster Sales. I am responsible for retaining, and maintaining advertisers and their campaigns. I am also responsible for bringing in new advertisers and building them a successful campaign to help them achieve success. I monitor advertisers' stats reports and I offer advice as to how best maximize their advertising dollar. I truly believe there is no better place to maximize your advertising dollar than YNOTMasters. We have added tools that nobody else has to increase your awareness of your campaign. Through the addition of these tools, you have more knowledge of what your campaign is doing, and thus be able to change or improve if necessary.
Another responsibility of mine is to get the good YNOTMasters name out. I attend most all of the trade shows, I moderate and speak on the panels, and I network myself constantly. I answer every email, I return every phone call, and I am always available. I get many, many questions from webmasters every day, which I try to answer. If I don't know the answer, then I find the answer for them.
AIL: Initially, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Cutting to the chase, what did you do before you got into the business and why did you move to the online porn industry?
YNOTBob: Before I became involved in the Online Porn Industry, I was in the restaurant business here in San Diego. I never intended to be in the restaurant business, and I kind of fell into it after I came back from backpacking and surfing the South Pacific for a year. I took the year off after graduation from University of California, San Diego, because I still was not ready to get into the "real world" and have a full time job. I took this year to figure out what I wanted and what kind of person I was. I tell you, being one of only two people on a tiny island in the South Pacific really gives you time to think.
Well, I knew I didn't want a boring 9-5 job, stuck in an office, and answering to the man. When I came back I started bartending for a restaurant in Pacific Beach, California. I started to realize I could really get into this business. It is different everyday, plenty of people interaction, and it gives you an opportunity to be creative. Next thing you know I am an Assistant Manager, a couple months later, General Manager, and a few months after that I am traveling up and down the coast of California, opening and fixing Hennessey's taverns. It was perfect. Working and living in some of the best beach communities of California, in a lively, upbeat business, and learning everything there was to know about the bar and restaurant Industry.
After 12 years of working for them, I borrowed some money and bought my own place. It was located in Mission Beach, California, and it was called Guava Beach Bar and Grill. Within a year we went from doing a couple hundred thousand dollars a year, to over a million dollars a year. We won awards for our food and drink, including "Best Margarita in San Diego". The atmosphere was charged and the food was incredible. I was very proud of this place.
It was here that I became friends with people involved in the Adult Internet business. And I soon became very interested in doing something in this field. My best friend, who is now the President of YNOTMasters, Greg Geelan, was working for YNOTMasters up in Diamond Bar. He negotiated the sale of the company to FCI and moved YNOT down to San Diego. He asked me if I wanted to work for them, and I jumped at the opportunity.
Soon it was easy to see I loved the business and my passion for the restaurant Industry faded, so I sold my place and dedicated 100% of my energy into YNOTMasters. A short time later, FCI then sold the company to myself, Greg, and our other very talented partner, Gary Grigoryan. Together we make up a team of ownership I just don't think you can find anywhere. You have the brilliant lawyer Greg, President and steering the company to success. You have Gary, who is an amazing designer and programmer, and possibly the most patient man I know. And then you have myself handling sales and Industry relations. It's a good, solid team.
AIL: What was your purpose in putting up YNOTBob.com and how is it different from the other YNOT sites?
YNOTBob: After attending many trade shows, I noticed a lot of Newbie webmasters were afraid to come up and talk to the seasoned Webmaster. They were afraid to post questions or talk on the chat boards. I noticed many of them were just plain intimidated. So I came up with an idea to have a laid back format, catch some laughs, and yet get a ton of great information. The links on YNOTBob all lead up to YNOTMasters invaluable information. I knew that if we could acclimate them to the climate, and then move them gradually up to YNOTMasters, we could create a growing community of confident webmasters.
I also like to show people that its not all about work. I hear stories of Webmasters working 24 straight hours, seven days per week. This is not healthy. I am a solid believer that you need to live your life too. Who knows what can happen? Things can change at any second and you don't want to have any regrets about not having a good life. So BRING IT ON, and work hard but play harder.
AIL: You seem to be the lord of the adult trade shows. Is it all just a big party or does business really get done?
YNOTBob: Oh man! I have been at some parties where I have personally witnessed a $500K traffic deal. You go to these parties, and sure there are crazy things going on, but underlying there is heavy networking and major deals being negotiated. It is amazing to watch. There are also many, many meetings being held on the side that people don't witness. We charge into these trade shows full force knowing that this is first priority business, second priority networking and third priority enjoyment. I go home with hundreds of new business cards and leads.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to network in this Industry. It is a "who you know" business.
AIL: Should Newbies attend shows? What about people established in the industry?
YNOTBob: DEFINITELY!!! As I said before, networking is key! You need to get your name out there and associated with your face. There are plenty of shady people in our business. You need to meet the people face to face you can possibly do business with so as to rest their worries about getting involved with somebody who will cost them money. People in our Industry like to do business with people they know, so get to know as many people as you can.
Not to mention there are many good seminars for Newbies at these shows. Most of them are free with admission. Some of the seminars offer invaluable information that could save the new webmaster many hours of mistakes and wasted money. Sit in on one of these seminars and listen to a seasoned webmaster share with you the mistakes he has already made, so you wont have to.
Established people need to attend because of several reasons. One is, the minute you think you know it all about this Industry and become complacent, is the minute you start to lose money. There is always some new technology, some new Webmaster idea, or some new way to increase your revenues. Second, this Industry still relies on image. You need to show up to the show and make a presence or people may thing you are not doing well financially.
AIL: What is your favorite show and why?
YNOTBob: My favorite show probably would have had to been the first WestCoast Webmasters in Vancouver. It started off by getting in a van with the SEG group and immediately getting into an accident So after that, it only got better! It was also a very intimate show with a bunch of my closer Webmaster friends. Some of the SEG employees went way out of their way to make sure I had a good show, and it was much appreciated.
AIL: Based on your knowledge of the industry, what would you tell a person just getting into the business and why?
YNOTBob: First thing I would tell them is this….READ READ READ! Visit YNOTMasters every single day and read every article you can. This is a business and you need to know what you are doing. Why spend money on a business you know nothing about?? Second thing is don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask me, ask someone else, but ASK ASK ASK! You need to be as well informed on your new business as possible. Otherwise you probably wont be in business too long, and you will have wasted a bunch of money.
AIL: If you were going to branch out from YNOT into private business, would you shoot content, promote affiliate programs or start a pay site? Why?
YNOTBob: Traffic! Definitely traffic. Traffic is the "gasoline" that runs our Internet engine. Without traffic, you have nothing. I would be a traffic generator and reseller. There will always be a market for traffic. He who owns the traffic, probably has the most power and money in this business.
AIL: How did your radio show come about? Does it cater to the adult industry? When and where can people hear it?
YNOTBob: I was listening to another radio show one day and it was horrible. Not even funny. It was actually a disgrace to our Industry and the person who was the host should be ashamed. I felt I could do a better job and so I contacted DoKK, the "internet radio guru" and talked with him about it. He was, and always been 100% supportive so we worked out a general game plan. I then brought in LAJ, our Editor of the YNOTNews, and he has proven to be an invaluable compliment to the show.
We cater to the Adult Industry, but anyone would enjoy the show. We don't just bring on somebody to interview about the latest affiliate program, rather we bring them on and talk about their lives, and the crazy things they do. We like to think that every listener feels better after they leave the show than when they first come to the show. Sometimes I am laughing so hard behind the scenes I have to "mute" my microphone. It's a great, entertaining show with great chemistry. We listen to kick ass music, we play some hilarious pranks, we interview some of the most interesting people, and I would say we have the best listeners. The people in our live chat are some of the best people on the Net today.
I am also lucky enough to have two kick ass sponsors who let us do what we do, and give us full reign to be nutso. Steve and Tanker over at http://www.LightSpeedCash.com are actually even regular callers and they love to help with the pranking. Joey over at http://www.PROAdult.com , our other sponsor, is also a huge supporter and regular listener.
You can listen to the HumpDay Lunch Show every Wednesday, at 12PM PST, on http://www.Albumside.com.
AIL: In your opinion, what is the biggest problem in the industry and how would you fix it?
YNOTBob: Oh man, there are several serious ones I know. I could write a book on some of them. But one is the shady players in this Industry. There are several. They will do anything for a buck. They lie, steal and even cheat other webmasters. I know who they are and they disgust me. They talk a big story to your face as they rob you blind or ruin your reputation behind your back. No real way to fix this other than let webmasters know I am available if they have any questions or want a referral for somebody they are working with. At YNOTMasters we also screen and check out every single listing and advertiser for legitimacy. They have to pass a strict guideline of qualifications to even just get listed with us. We also have the only online complaint process. If you have a problem with someone in our listings or an advertiser, submit the complaint form and we will use our resources to find the truth. If we find the complaint valid, we then permanently suspend the business from YNOTMasters. So if they are not listed with us, or they do not advertise with us, there is probably a reason why, and that is they are not legitimate or honest.
AIL: 25 states now have laws regulating spamming, do you think it will help in shutting down spamming?
YNOTBob: Not unless they have a tracking system for offshore hosting companies that bounce you around and around off pages nobody can track. I think our Government has other fish to fry first, like child pornographers, before they seriously try to go to Managua and find a guy sending out spam.
AIL: I have to mention the "A" word. Have you noticed any significant changes in the industry since Ashcroft was confirmed?
YNOTBob: I have. But so far I think it has been a positive one and it has been within our Industry. I have seen webmasters paying closer attention to being legitimate. I see troubling or shady businesses start to disappear. I have seen the start to a massive campaign of our Industry taking proactive steps to clean up the detritus of our Industry. Its as though everyone is dotting their "I's" and crossing their "t's" so when the hammer does fall, they will be above board and ready.
AIL: Where do you see the adult industry heading in the next five years?
YNOTBob: I see the strong legitimate businesses rising, and more dirt businesses falling to the wayside. I see new technologies coming in and blowing up what a pay site should be. I see the affiliate system as we know it today change completely. I see more and more of a true global push to Internet Porn. And hopefully, I see a bigger effort to eradicate the monsters, who prey on children in our Industry.
I hope our Industry can forge together some day. We may need to find a unified front. It has been tried before, but egos and dollars got in the way. But it just may be the best thing to happen to us in order to be more proactive with the government, and to educate America more to the positive side of our Industry. It may be what we need to stay strong and to stay alive.
AIL: More importantly, what does the future hold for YNOTBob.com? Will we ever see you shaking your stuff as the "hottie of the day" on Ynotbob.com?
YNOTBob: AHAHHA, NO! YNOTBob.com does have a whole new design coming out shortly. I have a guy streaming a ton of video to load, and we have some great new additions to the site soon. There will be something added to YNOTBob.com real soon that I am very excited about, and I am sure many others will be as well.
AIL: Now the important questions. If you could be any porn star, who would you be? Who would be your co-star?
YNOTBob: If I could be any porn star? I would be ANY person, man or woman, who was lucky enough to have the honor of doing a shoot with Brianna Banks. That woman is flawless and absolutely perfect. I met her once and I immediately lost my game. She was as sweet as she was insanely beautiful. She is amazing.
AIL: Who is you favorite adult lawyer with the initials "R" and "C"? lol…
YNOTBob: That is an easy question! It would be you amigo! The one and only RICK CHAPO!!!
AIL: Any curses or closing words of inspiration you would like to give our readers?
YNOTBob: Sure, take the high road, and do the right things! Learn as much as you can about this Industry before you get involved with it. Treat people right, and with honesty and respect, and good things will happen to you. But most importantly, don't let the work consume you. Have a good life too. Live it to its fullest. No regrets. Work hard, play harder, and most importantly BRING IT ON!!
AIL: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview.
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