Monday, October 6, 2008

Queers Claim Webspace

Of course, this isn't a new thing- a small, but precious niche for queers has been carved out on the Internet, providing resources and information for a long time. And we gay and fey folk have done what's natural and created groups and networks on various non-queer sites to represent ourselves. And yet, there's a new trend sweeping by that

But what I love and impresses me most about these new sites is the level of interactivity. Following off of famous models like Youtube, Myspace, and so on, they are often even better because they combine the best features of these various sites, creating a one-stop shop where you can catch up on news, write your own blogs, post pictures and post videos (hooray for these sites that allow for PG as well as X-rated videos and pictures!), chat in real time, talk in delayed time through forums, read literature, create your own 'page' to represent yourself, spread the word about events, befriend people in virtual space and leave them comments, play games with other users, join groups of like-minded people, take polls, search out members in your area . . . the list goes on.

Case in point: go visit that lesbian place where all the hot girls come, Digiromp, or FtM haven The Men's Room, where you can do all these things and more. And, to a lesser extent (both in terms of what you can do on the sites and in 'queerness factor'), nifty places like Sharing Is Sexy, Playful Bent, and Creative Filth (among others).

Compared to the sites of old, where information was one-way and hardly interactive, and it's evident that we've come far- very far (especially when these amazing websites are being created, not by super-advanced technological experts, but ordinary folks with just a little web design knowledge to their names). The community grows and evolves by the interaction of the users . . . which isn't to say that the big professional non-interactive sites where the information only comes from the creators (often limited by and dependent on sponsorship from advertisers) don't have their place as well. But there's something to be said for these new sites popping up, grass roots-style, with most content being collaboratively shared and created.

Or maybe I'm just being supremely influenced by my computer-assisted language learning class this semester and hence I'm all starry-eye'd at the idea of technology helping queers get together and learn together.

Either way, it's cool.

No comments: