Got a comment on another article that wasn't about the article, but it asked some general questions about the site; and tho we've been here at iafd.com since 1999 (and elsewhere since 1995 or so), perhaps you haven't been, so here we go. (For a general look at our history, Wikipedia has a good telling of our story. Peter tells it as well.)
1) is IAFD becoming profitable or still has to rely on volunteers
One really has nothing to do with the other.
The site incurs very real costs like bandwidth and servers and co-location fees and Video-on-Demand accounts, and we're able to cover those costs via a modest amount of advertising on the site and commissions on sales made through the "buy this movie" links; but everyone involved has day jobs; and we've always preferred it that way.
I mean, if we were really looking to "maximize revenue" there'd be banners and come-ons all over the goddamned place, and there's not.
We are staffed by volunteers just like Wikipedia or your local service club is staffed by volunteers. We rely on volunteers because they're the best workers for the task at hand. If you're punching a clock, your work will eventually suffer once you figure how much work you can get away with not doing but still collect a check. So, to avoid that, we rely on volunteers. Want to slack off all day? Knock yourself out. Go outside, read a book, froggy go a-courting, whatever. The awesome bunch of guys and gals who make up our editorial staff derive their satisfaction out of helping out an hour or two a day. The work (and being part of something larger than yourself) is its own reward.
And mostly, keeping it low-key allows us to focus on providing the best data possible, instead of having to focus on running a business. :-)
2) is IAFD able to keep up with the huge numbers of new releases and do you get much or any help from the studios themselves? do they send you emails with data or copies of the vids?
The number of releases is staggering, and it's very difficult to keep up. Some studios help, most don't. We get very few emails on any regular basis with data. We don't get copies of the vids since we're all spread out over the world. We have editors in the US, Canada, Europe and Japan. Managing screeners is difficult, so we don't bother. We watch a LOT of Video-on-Demand. We have accounts at all the major VOD sites (Adult DVD Empire, HotMovies, AEBN, VideoBox, Gamelink) which allows us all to check on titles and the like without the hassle of having to ship physicals discs around the world.
We rely a lot on what the review sites do; they help us prioritize what is "new" and "interesting."
Because there's so much out there, we don't do much in the area of comp tapes. We don't go out of our way to list comps, because there just aren't that many hours in the day. So if you send in a correction saying we don't list "Best of So-and-So" and we don't add it in our usual quickfooted fashion, that's likely why.
3) do you co-operate with sites like videobox, videosz, etc to get the data correct?
We use whatever resources we can to verify our data. What gets tricky is sometimes making a mistake and then seeing that mistake go ricocheting all over the Internet.
Growing up, my Mom would be skeptical when my friends and I would come home with a story of some sort and proclaim "One lies, and the others swear to it!" We find this all the time. it's rarely malicious, but the adult industry is so filled with deception its hard to tell the truth sometimes.
The one story that comes to mind most recently surrounds performer Echo Valley who just passed away. We listed her as having been born in 1970, which we had gotten as a "submit corrections" submission. When her obituary came out, it was shown she was born in 1954. We changed her record right away, but if you look around the internet, that 1970 year has some traction and will be there for years to come... and I am sure we'll get a correction saying "1954 is wrong, this site says 1970!"
So, when we lack better information on biographical matters, we'll generally take a submitter's word for it (unless the submitter has proven himself unreliable). We're not usually privy to 2257 records, so we've got nothing concrete to go on.
Do we give info to the other sites? Not directly, but I have no doubt they use us as a resource, just as we use them.
4) what do you see as the future of IAFD? will there be co-operation with the euro sites like EGAFD etc.? (or maybe there already is?)
We're friendly with the guys over at BGAFD/EGAFD and one of our editors sat (or still sits, I can't recall) on their editorial board as well. We use them as a resource as they do us, but there's no wholesale data sharing going on.
Peter (our founder) mostly focussed on American titles when he built his database, so for the longest time, that's what we did. Sometime in 2009-2010 we decided we'd open the IAFD to Euro titles, and we have a couple guys on staff who really know their stuff and work on getting the MASSIVE job of backfilling done. It's a slow process.
As to the future? We're struggling with tracking DVDs in a world that moving on-line. We have no capacity right now for really keeping tabs on the large web-only content producers - the Naughty Americas, the Brazzers, the Reality Kings -- beyond what they release on DVD. That is probably the biggest thing we're wrestling with. That and introducing some new design elements to get our look and feel up to 2003 at least. ;-)
5) have you thought about putting out a software program that uses the IAFD database to catalogue a porn users' downloaded scenes and videos?
Have we thought about it? No. It's a lot of work being an independent software publisher, and we've got enough on our plate being an independent website. I know there are programs out there that scrape our pages to populate their own DVD cataloging databases, so a need is being filled; we just don't have anything to do with it. We're not a fan of that practice (scraping is against our TOS, but in reality we don't do much about it at this time. If it had some huge impact on traffic, we'd be tougher on it... but there's too much else to do, really.