I'd like to wish all PP members a happy new year, provided the world doesn't stop spinning between now and January 1st.
As always, I'd like to particularly thank those who have contributed in a positive way in such strange times, like our moderators, reviewers, advertisers, good-spirited members in general, and last but not least subscribers (who have become the main source of revenue to keep this ship sailing smoothly through turbulent waters).
2018 has been a rather challenging year, where apart from the world going mad, we had some tumultuous events that changed the punting world to a large degree. The closure of Backpage gave room to a sort of balkanization of advertising sites, where local and foreign operators popped up like mushrooms, forcing us to reassess our business model, among other things.
FOSTA did not help and brought a lot of panic with it; though the damage in Australia has been more psychological for now. Twitter is still there yet seemingly uncertain of what they will do. Escorts like the ease of use (and why not, ego boosting) Twitter offers, but as a business tool it has been in serious decline with all the shadow-banning, etc. The bottom line is that, while still one of the very few avenues of promotion, Twitter has become very closed to itself, and it just doesn't send the traffic to other websites like in the past. Mind you, it is not designed for that either.
I dare to say that the escorting industry reached a high point of entropy in 2018, when it came to prices, practises, etc. that led to many leaving the industry, rebrandings, change of careers, etc, etc.
Not alien to the world we live in, identity politics also pervaded the sex work industry strongly, an industry which is mainly female too. I won't expand on that as I don't want to turn the topic into it, but I thought it was worth a mention.
Australia's economy hasn't been in the best of shapes either... and so on.
Personally, I had a very sad year seeing how age dementia has been taking my mother away, and hence maybe I haven't been as focused on the site as I usually am otherwise. It has forced me to spend more time overseas, etc. I know that many of you have also been through a variety of miscellaneous problems too, relatives passing away, etc, as this is sadly normal. Life goes up and down, but for me this has made 2018 an annus horribilis.
In summary, 2018 has been a crappy year for many of us. So, be gone once and for all!
Having said all that, not all has been bad. Back in July, we had to take the very difficult decision of introducing paid memberships (or non-recurring subscriptions), after 8 years of working in a free for all basis. And while I understand, it wasn't a very popular measure, it has worked. Your financial contribution has made sure that there will be Punter Planet for many years to come, for as long as the reviews keep coming. The challenge for us as a site this new year is to start playing a different game marketing-wise, as somehow we dragged on for the rest of 2018 focusing on advertising as usual, but it's obvious that we are a different kind of animal now. However, we are a stronger one; less vulnerable to the whims of the industry we've been catering to, which as I said above it has been through a series of weird changes.
So, thank you very much to all of you who have contributed one way or another. I tend to appreciate Punter Planet, and all that makes it possible, particularly when I'm overseas in places where they don't have a PP equivalent, as it happens where I am right now.
So, go and party like it's 1999 if you wish, and make the best out of the new year. Like Jorge Luis Borges wrote (strangely enough for a man not usually known for feel-good kind of literarute) Thank every morning for the chance of a new beginning.
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