A Lot of Nerve

Erotic Web Zine Swells in Size as It Plans To Become a Portal

I suspect the community will be more interested in the spirit of postings than crossing any particular line. And we have never not published photographs because they were too graphic; we have only not published them because they weren't interesting enough. We are obviously big believers in free speech over here.

But you are not absolutists about free speech. If you have a few loud people without any subtlety who drive away hundreds of really interesting people, the community isn't working well.

Are you competition for Tripod? No. I think Tripod and Geocities aren't cohesive communities with a coherent sensibility. They are highly successful business models. I don't want to post my life on a business model.

So is Nerve warm and fuzzy? No, it's decidedly not warm and fuzzy. . . . We are interested in attracting thick-skinned women and men who aren't afraid of them.

Are you rich yet? No. On paper, I guess, but many a spill between the cup and the lips. I think we are likely to be the first sex-related content company to go public with mainstream backing.

What's the print run of the magazine? I can't say at this point. Sixty-five percent of Nerve readers polled said they would pay for a print mag subscription; we have 750,000 different monthly readers right now. . . . I think it's not unreasonable that we could get to a circulation of a half a million a couple years out if we do it right.

Your relationship [with Genevieve] was a big part of the initial press coverage. The media oozed over this "labor of love" and couple thang. Now you guys have split. Does that parallel Nerve's growth from a small-time, closely-held baby project? [Long pause] The story had pretty much shifted from being about us to being about the company in the last year, which is nice. There is nothing more powerful than love, but an erupting, pre-IPO Internet company that actually stands for something you believe in is a close second.

machineage@villagevoice.com

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