Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Thumbnail gallery post
A "thumbnail", in web lingo, is a small version of an image; when clicked on, it typically leads to the larger version. "Thumbnail galleries" are web pages that contain some 10-20 thumbnails of pornographic photos or movies. Visiting these galleries is free: their purpose is advertising. The material comes from a commercial pornographic web site, to which several links are provided. Thumbnail galleries are either run by the commercial sites themselves, or by third parties ("affiliates") who are paid by those sites for web traffic or for subscriptions sold. This system of free galleries is the main advertising vehicle for internet pornography today.
A TGP is a large, constantly updated and sometimes categorized list of links to thumbnail galleries. A TGP that posts links to movie galleries, instead of, or in addition to, picture galleries, is sometimes called an MGP (movie gallery post). Some TGPs give simple text links, others provide a thumbnail image for each gallery they link to. The TGP owner makes money by serving paid ads in addition to the gallery links. TGP owners are typically separate from the gallery owners and the subscription website owners.
Listing a gallery on a TGP is free; the TGPs usually provide simple submission mechanisms. Gallery owners face the task of having to submit their gallery to several hundred TGPs. They can buy so-called auto-submitter software which automates this process. TGP owners can sign up with these software makers for free so that they get more gallery submissions.
The large and well-established TGPs are among the most popular internet porn sites, and they wield considerable power over gallery creators: they dictate the precise format of galleries (such as: 10-20 thumbnails linking directly to full-size images, only 2-3 ads, no popup consoles) and won't list any non-conformant galleries. Some also charge gallery owners for prominent placement.
Before the advent of TGPs in the second half of the 1990s, free advertising porn galleries usually linked the images behind cute little icons and the surfer had no idea what was behind them before he clicked.
TGPs also employ various traffic trade schemes. Most straightforwardly, a TGP will provide links to other TGPs. There is also a slightly more sinister scheme, known as skimming or CJ for "Circle Jerk": every once in a while, a user who clicks on a gallery link provided by a TGP will be automatically redirected to another TGP instead. Signup for these traffic trades is free and easy for TGP owners. The trades operate on a reciprocal basis: by looking at the Referer header of the HTTP request, a TGP owner knows where their traffic comes from and a site that doesn't send sufficiently many viewers will be excluded from further trades. Both these traffic trade schemes are therefore susceptible to cheating: a trader can use a so-called hitbot to create bogus traffic from his site to another, in order to get good traffic in return.
Scripts that automate the maintenance of a TGP, manage traffic trades and protect against hitbots are readily available. Some of these are even free, financed by an occasional redirecting of surfers to a site under the control of the script's programmer, or by advertisements directed at other webmasters on the gallery submission and traffic trade pages.
Fake TGPs are websites that look like TGPs, yet all or most of the galleries presented there belong to the same webmaster and advertise the same group of commercial websites. Sometimes the links on these TGPs will lead to more fake TGPs belonging to the same owner.
As a general rule, TGPs that employ a high level of skimming or that mainly promote galleries owned by the TGP's webmaster will typically contain thumbnails of higher quality and will even sometimes include images with bestiality, underage models and other extreme and illegal types of pornography.
The success of the TGP format forced some adult webmasters to rethink their role in promotion of commercial sites. Some webmasters believe that TGPs lead to oversaturation of the Internet with free porn. A new format for organising previews came from Colin Delia, a renowned adult webmaster. This format, named TGP2, limits the exposure of the surfer to free content in many ways. For example, no more than 12 thumbnails are allowed per page, of which only 5 can link to images (and not directly, but to pages with images and ads) and the rest must link to signup pages. The TGP2 galleries should only include softcore pics and may not link to TGP sites. Most TGP sites do not allow TGP2 galleries to be listed.
Some of the web pages below contain pornographic material.
- Tutorial about TGPs and galleries for adult webmasters, by Cozy Academy
- TGP2 information
- Thehun.net, a typical TGP.
- Video Post, a typical MGP.
- DMOZ's list of Thumbnail Gallery Posts
- Pornzilla, add-ons for the Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla web browsers that facilitate the browsing of TGPs and galleries in various ways
- Fetchgals, a web spider that can locate TGPs and galleries and download their movies and pictures
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