BIGDONSBOYS.COM - 2006
I had been collecting sexy pictures of guys for a while, especially tall
men. It was almost as if finding and collecting the data was more
interesting than looking at it. I realized I could make a web gallery of
these men, add my own photos and make money off the Google ads. There were
already picture collectors posting things on corporate sites like MySpace
but I wanted a site I wrote myself. Also, there were no tall guys websites
of any quality and the one group of photos I had that was unusual were tall
guys. Tall men, handsome or not, are very hard to find. The images were
often lowres or grainy or non-color corrected or all of the above. I would
crop them, optimize them, archive them and then insert them into my gallery
pipeline. Over the next decade these galleries grew to over 400 in number.
2006 galleries were very hard to make with rollovers, realtime changes to
bitmap scale or color, curved edges or drop shadows . Workarounds were required
which reduced my natural tendency to be "lean and mean." But this also meant
that I learned more about HTML programming, more about digital photography
and SEO and monetization. I learned about getting into Google Adsense the
minute it existed. Did they care that my site was homoerotic or contained
pirated media? No they needed a user base and just wanted me to paste
Google Adsense code into my HTML. Eventually was making up to $400 a month
in ads, especially during the holidays.
I knew the pages would have a lot of skin in them I made the background
blue to contrast. I also wanted all the image thumbnails to be in
black and white. Then when you hovered over them they enlarged and went
to color. This encouraged browsing and hovering. At first I didn't even
label the main sections I just made evocative icons to tease visitors into
clicking on the gallery icon to see that is was about "Volleyball" or "Handsomest."
Navigation was designed to show as many ads as possible.
decided that my non-porno site was not advertiser friendly enough. A young
man from Adsense called me one day (circa 2012) and complained I was going
to be dumped from Google's ad platform I had been contributing financially
to for years because my site was too Homoerotic/pornographic. It did not
have enough original content. I told him "Go to YouTube and search
for 'Gay Porn' and look at all the pirated content the GooglePlex is sponging
off of! Adsense does not pay its own way if you want original content. I
have made original content to no financial success! I could not afford enough
money to pay the talent. This is so unfair!"
reacted in a guilty manner. II passed the test and was kept on the
Adsense delivery program. Then I got grandfathered into the next level up
of the Google Adsense system. Good news! But the bad news was that
they were losing market share to FaceBook ads. If you were logged into FB
advertisers could track you more accurately. Google Adsense required
you to be logged into Google (probably using the Chrome browser) or my website
could not track you. Adsense no longer wanted mom and pop curated websites
like me around. Revenue got trashed from $400 to $40 over a period
of a year.
the GooglePlex algorithm ran amuck and kept banning ads from pages. Legit
Olympic swim meet photo galleries were FLAGGED as "pornography" because
of too many skin tones in the bitmaps. Photos of legit Bisexual
porn stars like Zeb Atlas stripping at a Silverlake bar were completely
NOT FLAGGED as pornography even though I tagged everything with his stage
name which is synonymous with porn. A photo of actor Brenton Thwaites grinning
ear to ear wearing bloody makeup on his face for a movie was flagged as
"disturbing images." Eventually the Adsense ecosystem collapsed and I deleted
it, made no more money but was not censored. I was free to use advertiser
unfriendly "poison words" in articles. Words like "died."
has been frozen in time since 2016 exactly ten years after it was founded.
I blame Google. I don't work for free. Meanwhile Instagram started doing
a low rent version of my site by letting anybody post all kinds of incompetent
photos so Facebook could monetize them. An uncurated, narcissistic mess,
Instagram nevertheless let hot guys post their photos and insipid short
videos to a wide audience without needing me. I can't believe how easily
people give their content away on social media.
In 2022 I was in
a Gay Silverlake one time bar/sex party and a 22 year old guy walked up
to me shocked saying "Are you Big Don???!" I said "Yes." He replied
"Your website is what made me realize I'm very turned on by tall men!"
My life passed before my eyes and I felt a million years old. Hilarious!
But this is what happens when a site is up for over a decade. At the
Revolver bar in Weho a handsome shirtless muscle daddy who was the hottest
guy there saw me and approached immediately. "Are you Big Don Weho?"
He introduced himself as
As a teenager he repressed his Homosexuality and
threw his energy into founding the
Boston Computer Society
even though he did not own a computer! It later
became the largest personal computer user organization in the world. He
regularly got calls from Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Yet he was completely
overwhelmed by meeting me and very star struck and impressed. I found this
hilarious because this website is just my hobby.
When you are a webmaster
using Google Analytics and CloudFlare you can see the daily millions of
clicks of viewers. They are just numbers. It is not until I randomly meet
fans that I realize this website alone has affected millions of people.
Unfortunately there is no tall guys convention or some Gay thing to go to
where I can meet fans. A fun feature of the site is you watch the years
etch their pain into my face for your amusement.