Archive for January 9, 2011
Following the launch of Disco Matters back in August last year, one of the first subject matters we wanted to cover was the launch of new social networking site MyGayFace, which promised a departure from the somewhat censored environment. However, as events overtook us in October, our feature was put on hold, as the site also suffered a temporary set-back, but the good news is that both Disco Matters & MyGayFace are back and we are pleased as punch to issue, in full un-edited detail, our interview with the sites creator Brent Nicholls. Be prepared for plain talking and uncensored commentary from Brent, following our introduction to MyGayFace, although due to the high content of his responses, we have split the report into two parts.
Our report began………In a world where social networking seems to dominate our lives, you would be forgiven for thinking that when it comes to available sites, the choice has been narrowed down to just one, yes? Well, yes, as without question Facebook has, for a good three to four years now, very much ruled the social network website waves, this popular & powerful site even having consigned Myspace to the also rans category. However, as good that Facebook is, there are limits to what it will allow, both in terms of what you can say and what you can do, and whilst accessibility is on the site pretty open, people can end up being very protective of what actions that this openness can invoke in others. Moreover, the site administrators themselves act a bit like big brother in terms of what they perceive as permissible or not and whilst there is no question that Facebook is a great way to network & connect with friends in a way that very few other sites offer, the big question remains, does Facebook really allow you to be you?
Well, one person definitely thinks it doesn’t, so is seeking to breathe new life into social networking with a site that is devoted allowing people to be themselves & express themselves for who they are, and most importantly, without the risk of either being judged or having their profile administered & possibly removed without warning or reason. So, who is this man brave enough to take on the might of Facebook and offer an exciting alternative? Well, it is the man behind probably the capital’s most successful gay clubbing website by far, SeenQueen, and someone who knows a thing or two about the constrictions that Facebook can put on peoples personal lives. He also has plenty of web design to skills in his armoury to boot; making him the ideal candidate for this perceived tricky job & monumental task, so, in a full, frank & exclusive interview we probe into this new site and the man behind this networking revolution, one Brent Nicholls.
Q1. Firstly, we want to say what a fabulous site SeenQueen (SQ) is, especially with the new look that is was launched a few months ago. How important is SQ in your life? And does it have any bearing on what you are doing with your new creation?
SeenQueen is a passion that grew from a hobby about 10 years ago. I work on it practically every day updating it and keeping it relevant and constant. Due to the fact it is a recommendation site as opposed to a listing site I need to keep a close eye on the scene and what is going on. MyGayFace.com is not part of SeenQueen but certainly is an off shoot. MyGayFace is a Gay social Network and the gay scene plays a large part in any gay social life. How will these sites relate to eachother? Well as MyGayFace grows I hope it attracts club promoters and clubbers to the site…while on FaceBook one is bombarded with so much junk; at least on MyGayFace a lot of the content will be relevant to you basically because the site is a gay site for gays’.
Q2. But SQ is not what we are here to talk about, give us an introduction to this new social networking site you have created and what made you decide it was time for something new?
I am going to answer this in point form as this will highlight why I have created a new social network aimed at gay people and their ‘gay families’.
LONG LOST FRIENDS: When I first joined FaceBook it was a great way to communicate with long lost friends. This novelty soon wore off…after all they were long lost friends for a reason and the things we had in common in the past are no longer shared. Instead I wanted a place where I could communicate and share with people in my life now, and being gay most of my friends are too…so why not A GAY SPACE?
JUNK JUNK JUNK. Games, pokes, farm-bloody-ville, irrelevant wall posts, tagging me in stuff I am not even in which then auto appear on my wall, vampire bites, applications, applications, applications, invites to parties I wouldn’t send a dead dog too…FaceBook has become a magnet for junk…how many times do you mass delete invites, group shares and so on…and the more people that join the more mundane the junk becomes. I wanted a social network where at least I could relate to some of that ‘junk’, have invites to clubs I want to attend…and not have my wall be filled with ‘farmvilles updates’ and a million pokes and bombarded with application requests. MyGayFace is about you…no pokes, no games, no applications and no auto posting to walls by tags. Your polls, your blogs, your pics etc.
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU. As FaceBook grew it started to develop a ‘big brother’ approach. With the minimum age being 13 the content needs to reflect what would be suitable for a 13 year old. They have removed pictures and profiles of people I know because they thought it wasn’t appropriate…how can a hot man with a big bulge in his speedos be inappropriate? It’s hot! To FaceBook apparently it was indecent. Indecent for who? A thirteen year old girl that shouldn’t be looking at older mens profiles? MyGayFace is hosted on adult servers…although we ask you set sexual and nude images to private so only those you add as friends can see it…your pics can be as sexy as you like, after all…if that’s part of who you are why should you be censored? The minimum age of MyGayFace is 18 years old…yes, we are all adults here and do not need big brother watching us, unless of course his a hunk!
POPULAIRTY. FaceBook popularity also saw my relatives and parents join up, and even though they accept that I am gay…there are some things I just don’t want to expose them too which means hiding half of my content in the privacy settings, in essence I just can’t be myself. I love my family and they form a large part of my life, but so does my ‘gay family’…those people I chose to be part of my life, who know me for who I am and accept me, that is why they are my friends. MyGayFace is for you and those people. MyGayFace allows you to be you!
PEDESTRIAN. With over 400 million users how can FaceBook be anything but pedestrian. It has to appeal to the most common element. If you are that type of gay man, then please stay on FaceBook…but if you are not then MyGayFace encourages you to be you. Acceptance does not mean we should lose our creativity, flamboyance and sexual nature.
GAY SHAME. One day I tagged a ‘FB’ friend in a photo that was taken of him in a jockstrap for a nation wide magazine by one of the scenes most popular photographers. He responded with a vile and aggressive amount of abuse for violating his privacy by tagging him in an inappropriate photo on an inappropriate site. For me it was just a tag of a person that I knew who allowed a photo of this type to be taken and then published in a magazine for thousands of other people to see. The only time I saw this person was in fetish gear and a few times being fucked on a dancefloor. For me this is who he was. As soon as the pic appeared on his wall he started to receive emails from ‘shocked friends and colleagues’. He decided to verbally attack me…someone who accepted him…to defend what I can only assume were homophobic and degrading remarks about something which is a large part of his life. Yes, he felt a shame of himself…a shame of being who he was because he allowed narrow minded pedestrians to judge him. It’s his choice to allow those people into his life, but he doesn’t need to allow them into his social networks and MyGayFace is there for him.
It is a paradox…although Gay people are being more accepted in society, this does not mean we should stop being gay. A pic like that on MyGayFace may get him a few dates. You should not feel shame over who you are…and MyGayFace allows you to be you because we do not allow those who don’t on the site. Why should you be ashamed of your life from ignorant comments made by work colleagues? Until the day arrives you can passionately kiss your boy-f in a straight club like straight people do in gay clubs, there will be a need for a website like MyGayFace.com. Why can’t there be a website where YOU can be YOU…and now there is!
Q3. So, it’s called MyGayFace, which is a combination of two well known social networking sites names combined with the word gay. Does that mean it is a site for just gay people? And does it seek to offer the same as Facebook & Myspace?
Funnily enough the name did not come from combining those names from other well known social websites. It came from a nick name someone called a well known DJ on the gay scene who is very handsome and pretty; and if you had to define an ideal look for a gay man, he would be that…his friends called him ‘GayFace’. I thought that was so funny I joked ‘wouldn’t it be great if there was a social network website called ‘GayFace’…and hence forth ‘MyGayFace’ was born.
MyGayFace.com does follow the social network formula but with some important differences. There are no games, pokes, annoying applications and no auto wall posting via tagging (which will discourage marketers from hijacking the site). You can upload videos, music, photos, set up blogs, groups, forums and all images and posts can be rated out of 5 star that creates popularity lists. You can add friends, have favourite lists and send user ‘I Like’ messages. We have integrated Facebook into the site so you can monitor FB activity and post updates status without leaving MyGayFace.com. We intend to keep it simple…there are plenty of features you will recognise, some you will be glad that are different and others which will be new.
Most importantly…the site is hosted on adult servers and you can not join unless you are 18 years or over, so adult content is not a problem. We want the site to reflect society where you cruise, socialise and network… walking down the street just isn’t a means to go from A to B…you never know who you might meet; and MyGayFace.com removes the doubt that the person is gay, and with the scene element, not your average type of homo either! This means your profile can be as ‘hot’ as you like. No one is going to judge you on here, and if they do contact the ADMIN with a copy of the transcript!
Q4. We have obviously seen the site for ourselves, indeed we are a member. When was it set up? And what is the planned period of testing?
It was initially set up back in August, although after a messy birth, it was re-launched a couple of months ago. Testing will continue for some time yet as it is only through use we can get a good idea what works and what doesn’t. We think the site has huge potential, but before we invest more money into to creating the best gay social network on the net we want to make sure it works as it is suppose to. It is totally FREE to join so we would love to see all your site visitors on there. There is also a generic iPhone app where you can access your profile. The app is called Boonex, the creator of the software we used to create MyGayFace.com and it is free. It is similar to any Social Network app giving you limited access to certain features on the website. To set it up to use with your profile you only need to add mygayface.com when prompted plus your username and password (you need to sign up online first). Once we are happy with the site, we will launch a MyGayFace.com app which will replace the Boonex one.
So, that’s part one of our pretty extensive interview up, but with much more coming up in part two, including what happened with that “messy birth” and the all important detail on how the site works & what it takes to join MyGayFace. In the meantime, why not go take a peek now, simply by going to http://mygayface.com, but watch out for part two of our report to get an insight to the features of this new social networking kid on the block and much more. (DISCO MATT)
As we have now very much waived farewell to 2010 and ushered in the New year, there is much to look forward to in Disco Matt land in early 2011, as not only does January look like being just as hectic as December, but February signals a mini tour of France, Belgium & Holland, before the biggie, South Africa at the end of that month. However, before we move into full swing on our New Year with reports of all those prolific parties that made it a start to remember, we thought we would indulge you with a final nod to our Yardstick Year that was 2010 and bring together the polls & charts of the bars, clubs, events & music that made up our 2010. Plus, don’t forget that both our 2010 reviews, “A Yardstick Year” & “Terrific Twelve Months Of Tunes” are out right here at http://discomatt.com
So let’s crack on and look at those that hit the high notes in our bar, club, event pool of the year and whist not wishing to influence the ongoing SeenQueen 2010 “Your Disco Needs You” poll, here are our chart toppers & categories for those
- Best Club Brand – Beyond
- Best Club Brand Newcomer – As One
- Best Intl. Club Newcomer – The Week
- Best Club Weekly – Beyond
- Best Club Monthly – Lovechild
- Best Club Afterparty – Orange
- Best Club Afterhours – Beyond
- Best Bar – Profile
- Best Bar/Club – Lo-Profile
- Best Individual Event – Matinee “Open Air”
- Best Collective Event – London Global Dance Festival
- Best International Club – Berghain
- Best International Event – Lovechild “Christmas Ball” in Antwerp
- Best Club Promoter- Alex Erfan
- Special Commendation – Steven React Sharp
Now let’s turn to the music and the D.J.’s that made it a “Terrific Twelve Months Of Tunes” for us, special mentions going to the following who tipped our scales in 2010
- Best D.J. Newcomer – Javier Medina
- Best D.J. (London) – Brent Nicholls
- Best D.J. (International) – Leomeo
- Best D.J. Set (London) – Steve Pitron – Beyond “Tokyo” 10th October
- Best D.J. Set (International) – Fabio White – Hustlaball Berlin – 22nd October
Next up we rundown our top ten compilations of the year, a previously unreleased chart, but one issued due to popular demand
- Brent Nicholls – Get On MyGayFace
- Mikey D. – Lose Control
- Steve Pitron – WE Party Podcast
- Danny Verde – Escape From Paradise
- Nick Tckerniak – Matinee @ MOS
- Steve Pitron – Summer 2010
- Brent Nicholls – Let’s All Chant
- Brent Nicholls – Download 2010 “The Pervert Mix”
- Javier Medina – From Barcelona To London
- Gonzalo Rivas – Pride 2010
At last but by no means least, we chart those tracks that did it for us the most in 2010, cutting down our choice here from 40 to just 20, but don’t forget, you can catch the full chart both here at in a special feature on our friends’ SeenQueen’s site via the following link, http://seenqueen.com/web/2011/doing-the-disco-matt-hot-tunes-of-2010/
- Molella remix of Edward Maya & Vika Jingulina – Stereo Love
- Pirupa – Sweet Devil
- Mind Electric remix of Zoe Baldwi TV Rocks – Release Me
- John Dalhback remix of Mousse T’s – All Night Long
- Richard Earnshaw remix of Kenne Kursmochi’s – Take Me Back
- Medina – You & I
- Diagram Of The Heart – Dead Famous
- Milk & Sugar – Let the Love Take Over
- Dave Aude Remix of Alexis Jordan – Happiness
- Danny Verde remix of Pagano & Wayne G’s – Trapped
- Audio Jackers – Check it Out
- Danny Verde Radio Edit of Blake Lewis’ – Till We See The Sun
- Chocolate Puma vs Bing Players – Disco Electrique Revisited mix
- Lissat & Voltaxx remix of Tom Novy’s – Now Or Never
- Norman Dory remix of Sandy Rivera’s – Hide U
- Denzel Park vs Karina Chavez – World Go Round
- Dennis Christopher remix of Nightstylers – No More Lies
- Leomeo – The Sound Of C
- Miguel Picasso Feat Rebeka Brown – Show Me Your Love
- Alan X Peephole remix of Tcherniak & Thomas’s – My People
Well, that’s our 2010 in a chart topping snapshot, but don’t forget that our full reviews of the year can be found just a click away at http://discomatt.com/web/2010/12/dm-reports-a-yardstick-year-barclubevent-highlights-of-2010-special-reviewreport-31st-december/ & http://discomatt.com/web/2011/01/dm-reportsreviews-terrific-twelve-months-of-tunes-2010-year-music-review/, so here’s to a 2011 full of more clubs, more events & more D.J.’s and if 2010 is anything to go by, it’s going to be a cracking year. (DISCO MATT)