Archive for January 31, 2011
Welcome back to our special two part Disco Matters report, focussing on new social networking site MyGayFace and interviewing its creator, Brent Nicholls. In his usual style Brent has been upfront and honest so far, in laying down the foundations of just what MyGayFace is about and what it sets out to achieve. So, having given you a flavour of what the new face of gay soical networking offers, we probe Brent a little deeper both on MyGayFace’s birth and then the mechanics of the site.
Brent left off in part one by explaining when MyGayface was launched and how the set up works via i-phone, then briefly mentioned a “messy birth”, so we naturally probed further….
Q5. A messy birth? Sounds a bit, well, messy. What happened and what came out the other side?
Well, we had a bit of a disaster. When I was cleaning up the database, I had to remove a user from one of the plug ins. It asked if I wanted to delete the user & all the information…so I selected YES. What resulted was a complete catastrophe, as not only did the user’s info get deleted, but the amendment took out the whole MGF database, wiping all profiles from the site. After what could only be described as a screaming “Hopkins” (an in-house term/joke!), I got myself together and re-instated & upgraded the site. However, with database issues causing conflict between old and new, I had to ask all previous members to sign up again, which, unfortunately, has slowed the take up rate compared to when the site was first launched, as I think setting up a profile for the second time on the same network proves a rather tedious chore. But, having purchased a “Live Sign In” option for the site, users are able to sign in and register using their exsiting Facebook, Twitter &/or other social network user names, cutting down the sign up process time and making it much easier to transfer like for like information & data into MGF. Still, the database crash taught me a lot about the running of the site, what to do, what not to do and the re-launch allowed for additional features to be built in which has resulted in a much better site
Q6. So, MGF is back up & running, now, tell us a bit about the mechanics, how do the profiles work? Can you be what you want to be? Say what you want to say? And do what you want to do?
MyGayFace.com does not allow ‘hate’ against any group. No ‘isms’, ‘phobics’ or ‘philia’. Any expression of hate, including cyber bullying and cyber-stalking will be reported to the appropriate authority. Keep it at home. We don’t mind you being sexy, but pornographic needs to be set to ‘private’. Your profile can be anything you want it to be…as long as it is you. Part of that is giving emails that work, which will be randomly tested, and if they are not legitimate the profile will be deleted. We follow the security of most social networks. You will not be spied on..but there is an option to report something that may be considered a violation of our terms or fits into any of the categories mentioned. You can be you, as long as it is YOU! Your profile will need certain details before it is activated, but then what content you place is up to you. You can make your profile your own website, or add it to your network. There is plenty of functionality and ways of putting yourself out there. We encourage people to explore and use what they like and leave out what they don’t.
Q7. So, this is definitely a fresh approach for sure, but are you looking at MyGayFace to replace or compliment Facebook, Myspace, etc? And if the latter, are there plans to link the sites in some way?
First & foremost, MGF is not meant to be a gay Facebook, or even replace it, rather a new network for gays aimed at an 18+ networker. We allow you to be sexy with various ways of marking your images so only the “right” people can see them, so unlike Facebook etc, such images won’t have your profile suspended or deleted. We see social networks like clubs…there are some you go to, others you don’t or maybe you go to all of them. Each one is different, except our’s 100% Gay. If anyone is on our network you can assume they are gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender. Even if they aren’t gay, they are so gay friendly that they are happy to be thought of as gay. We will never replace Facebook or want to, they are McDonalds of the internet. Look at us the funky gay cafe that is a cool and hip place to meet your friends and maybe even pick up!
Q8. We notice that there are a number of elements unique to the site, like “Featured Members”, “Polls”, “Shoutbox” ,“Spy” (sounds ominous) & “Tags”. Tell us how they work? Whether they are just part of the pilot? And are there any other unique features planned?
Many features were a standard part of the project. Tagging is a big thing, anything can be tagged…but it will not place junk on your wall…however you can search the tags, click on them and see the relevant content that have those tags attached. Shoutbox is a quick messenger which expires at the end of the day…it like shouting, once heard, it’s over. We also have classifieds so if you want to promote, sell or trade something you can take out a free advert. We do not process money on MGF, so the part is up to you…you place the ad and deal with the response. Members can also create poll on anything they like…it’s a bit of fun and in many ways like creating a live ‘top list’. Featured members is a back end part of our promotional aspect to feature people who we think reflect the what MGF is about, so potential new members can relate. Spy is a fun app we have added which basically lets you see who has been zoomin who…see what profiles have been checked out, who filled in a poll etc…it creates activity streams, and in some way, act like a suggestion list of things you may want to check out. You also can rate almost anything out of 5 stars which links to ‘popularity’ features which will be implemented in later stages. The most popular videos, pics, profiles and so on will be featured on the site, plus the search facility lets you find out what content has been rated the most. Kind of a ‘what’s hot’. There is instant messenger too for those on line to have chat. It really does take exploring; and we hope that people will use the features…we are open to comments, plus the Admin has set up a page to report bugs, fixes, solutions and to keep members up to date on what is new and what is on the way out.
Q9. How have you been promoting MyGayFace to the social networking community? We hear a rumour that you compiled a special podcast for instance, where can we find details of that?
MGF is still a new(ish) & very different concept for many, so advertising it through social network sites like Facebook always has limited success, after all people logging in there have specific needs when doing so. However, awareness is our biggest tool, so you will see MGF on clubbing website SeenQueen and the support we get from people like yourself also helps. In promoting MGF we point out that being sexy or using sexy images will not get you deleted like can sometimes happen on Facebook, so the key aim of any marketing is to enforce that message. As it is set up as an adult site, there are no age restrictions placed on MGF, meaning that YOU can be YOU! and that is the best marketing message possible. Turning to the podcast, as a D.J., I decided to promote the site with a compilation called “Get On MyGayFace”, which was initially meant for MGF members, although as the demand was so high, I decided to release it for general download, which you can still get a copy via http://djbrentnicholls.com/web/2010/09/14/get-on-mygaface-com/, while we see it became your (that’s us) top compilation of 2010.
Q10. So we guess, the only question remains (well two actually), how can people join MyGayFace and why should they?
To join, go to www.mygayface.com and either use the “Live Sign In” option, or fill in a profile which will require a username, your real name, a description, and age confirmation (we do not ask private information like birth date or age, but you must confirm you are over 18). Once you have completed these basics, how much you use the site is up to you, but the more you do the more you will understand, for example, removing the tagging post to wall aspect will stop viral marketers and spamming so you can really use this as a place to cruise, socialise and network. In addition, those who want to promote themselves through the site can set up a commercial profile and add ‘friends’ to whom they can market to. Plus, with Facebook, where mass deleting of invitations/events is commonplace, at least here people will sign up to what they are interested in and as such it should prove far more effective. Well known websites, clubs, scene workers & D.J.’s have profiles, as well as plenty of people with more personal profiles. We are just growing, so we encourage people to join to help us develop the best gay social network there is…like our tag line says, it is where YOU can be YOU. MGF is about the people that are on it and we want funky, social, hip, happening, open minded, creative, scene based, hot and sexy people to be part of the MGF revolution, so if that sounds like you, then you have found a new place to hang out!
Q11. Before we finish, we can’t resist asking, what’s happening in the world of Brent Nicholls at the mo, both in terms of D.J.’ing & web designing?
Looking at web designing first, having discovered the wonders of WordPress as a CMS, as well as gaining knowledge of Dolphin, Buddy Press and Dreamweaver, much more exciting projects & designs are now possible, so I have lots going on. Naturally I am still developing MGF and letting it grow organically, while I continue to be busy with SeenQueen (http://seenqueen.com) updating it virtually daily and is a site that I am extremely proud of, as, for a non advertised & exclusive site, it is now within the top 700,000 or so websites in the world, having jumped up some 300,000 places since its re-design. Other projects have included creating a fetish equivalent to SeenQueen, but with a ‘fetish community’ attached, a kind of Facebook but for pervs and the now established Fetishpig website (http://fetishpig.co.uk) is doing well, although as fetish is not everyone’s cup of tea, I am expecting it, like MGF, to grow more organically. I am also designing distinctvieevents.biz, just ended up doing the ‘one size fits all porno/video site’ Sexxximps.com, have designed a host of other new sites, including yours (http://discomatt.com) & have re-designed by own D.J. website & my web designing site (http://uniquecliques.com) is being refreshed. Plus I am working on another “community” project/network which is currently secret but will be revealed soon. Social networking on a broad scale is reaching its limits, so it seems that more specialised networks are the way to go, this new project aimed a particular group of people and will make an impact for sure, mainly because it will be controversial. Another part of my life is Reiki and I have also set up an online community for that to compliment the Facebook Reiki London group. In essence, with large social networking sites’ conditions of use/security becoming more & more complicated, judgmental and compromising, I am setting up ways to engage with others on a more personal basis leaving the masses for the masses, so you can say it is a dynamic time and I am learning heaps in the process.
As for D.J.’ing, I have a handful of regular gigs for clubs & bars in London, including brands managed by Alex Erfan, so Lovechild figures, as does Back-to-Beyond & other ones in his stable. I also continue to D.J. at Hard On! monthly and play regularly for Lo-Profile and Barcode, not least for Industri which is now in Soho rather than Vauxhall, while other projects & various club launches or occasional appearances draw on my services, plus a couple of those “projects” are very much in the pipeline.
Q12. So, plenty happening, which neatly finishes with, where can we see you playing in the coming weeks?
Well, February at the moment is looking on the quiet side, but probably the biggest event for me is Lovechild’s 2nd Birthday, while I will have my usual Lo-Profile, Industri at BCS & Hard On! gigs. However, with the landscape ever changing, my website www.djbrentnicholls has a roster with details, or you can join the mailing list and be kept up to date, as well as get plenty of FREE downloads of my music mixes!
Right, that’s it, the second & in-depth part of our look at new social networking site MyGayFace, a new kid on the block that has lots more to it than meets the eye and certainly gets our unequivocal support. Having interviewed Brent and received his uncompromised, unashamed & unabated responses, it is clear that he is extremely passionate at providing the right channels for people to interface, network, promote and, most importantly, be themselves, very much reflected in how Brent is as an individual. So hail him, hail his new projects & hail MyGayFace as the new face of social networking. (DISCO MATT)
Without doubt if there is any club brand in London that has attracted a huge amount of media activity, gossip & intrigue over the last few months, it has to be SuperMartXe (SMX), the massive Spanish club brand which, even in its roots in Madrid, has been going through quite a tumultuous time of late. With the launch & impact of competitor brand WE Party, SMX has been taking itself on a slightly different direction back home, while in London, it’s been not just been all change for promoter Logan Schmitz & his team, but the attraction of a whole pile of controversy following the 2nd Anniversary party in November. Yet, despite the rocky road of obstacles that have presented themselves to Mr Schmitz, there is no keeping this respected & renowned dancer turned club promoter down and SuperMartXe will be making what will surely be a most welcome return to London’s gAylist scene in just 20 days time, the event hailing a new dawn for the brand in the capital, which, despite the reported issues of late, will definitely be THE party to be at on Saturday 19th February, as SuperMartXe “Loves London” takes the capital by storm.
So, first and foremost, where will this new lease of life for SuperMartXe be held? Well, having been doing our best to obtain the all important news of the venue for a good couple of weeks now, all our sources had been sworn to secrecy, although with the proverbial “cat out of the bag”, we can reveal that the latest home for Logan Schmitz’s London take on this massive Spanish superclub brand will be Pulse. So, naturally, with the news literally just breaking to us this morning, we have been exerting all our research pressure into giving you the latest lowdown on what looks like a “state of the art” new club, the full length promotional video viral at http://youtube.com/watch?v=cjMWrYYEIWg giving you a hint of what to expect. But what else do we know about Pulse? Well, yes it is a new venue and one based in the heart of London’s South Bank and is another venue built under reclaimed railway arches (similar to the likes of Fire, Area, Arcadia & the like) not very far from Tate Modern, up against Blackfriars Road, 1-4 Invicta Plaza to be precise. Now, the “official” launch of this 21st century style & decked out delight was planned for 18th March, although it seems that the Logan presents team have managed to jump that gun & have secured the venue, SuperMartXe’s “Loves London” being the first event to take place there.
Honing a little more on the details, it seems that Pulse as a venue is pretty huge, indeed looking at some of the stats, it should fit SuperMartXe like a glove, the capacity of all four (yes four!) arches being 4500 and, aprraently, when fully opened offers in excess of 45,000 sq foot of space. However, one of the many ingenious features of the design, is that the club can be tailored for smaller events and literally transformed into three separate venues if need be. Plus with an exceptional outside spaced (called Eden – the garden of?!?!) which can also act as its own club, a staggering 50 toilets across the whole venue, four massive “fast pour” bars, a “fast track” entry system with two massive cloakrooms and even their own private taxi rank & car parking facility, it seems the venue owners & designers have thought of pretty much everything, learning from the mistakes of others and catering for & putting the clubber first. Add to that, state of the art sound & lighting which includes a “Void Sound System”, designed on that from Ibiza club DC10, it seems that SMX has found a brilliant bed partner in Pulse and with Logan having worked with venue owner Mark Aimes (of XXL fame) before, the working relationship should be pretty healthy, while as we speak SMX artwork has appeared on the Pulse website, which you can check out at http://pulseclub.co.uk/
Right, switching the focus back onto SuperMartXe and taking a moment to reflect on recent happenings, we want to try to put a few matters straight for the purpose of good record. First & foremost, it seems that opinion on SMX’s 2nd Anniversary party was very much divided, between those that managed to get into the club without too much hassle and those who were left stranded outside & in the freezing cold for hours. Cutting through much of the hysteria of some, not least the review from SceneB.itch, there was no doubt that the venue & particularly the security arrangements seriously affected the party, not least the stringent licence requirements that compelled venue owners to insist on I.D. and a full security scan for everyone. That said, from the cross section of people we have talked to, the broad range of opinion seems to suggest that, once inside, this celebratory event was pretty spectacular, with production nods to previous landmark parties festooning the three rooms and, whilst clearly a different vibe the theatre style of The Coronet (SMX’s previous & first London home), those we spoke to that enjoyed the full extent of this 2nd Anniversary action, had a really good time. Now, we were not there to review & report on it, so, as always in these cases, our opinion is made up of those we have spoken to, but judging by the video, it looked amazing, so if like us you didn’t make it in November, the video well worth a look at http://youtube.com/watch?v=2KTGYiX1RiQ.
Nevertheless, there was no doubt that queues at coat checks, bars & otherwise were a bain, plus the huge amount of people that we left literally out in the cold, seemed to out-weigh those that reported otherwise, with the blame for all these operational difficulties being squarely laid at the venue’s door by Logan & his team. From insider sources, this course of action & attributation was quite justifiable, as the venue failed to deliver on many of the promises made to Logan in hosting SuperMartXe there, although in the eyes of clubbers, if something or anything detracts from their experience, then it is the club promoter that takes the rap and boy did Mr Schmitz come in for some flak or what, Facebook wall posts & much more evident for all to see. So, with so much negative press and so many people having lashed out following a detrimental experience, it was no surprise that SuperMartXe failed to make a showing over Christmas & the NY, the negativity still ringing in many ears and opinion very vocal, yet the anticipation of a Logan event & an SMX come-back very much in the mind’s eye, the pomp & circumstance of Logan Presents was re-enforced early in the NY with the issue a spectacular video which is out at http://youtube.com/watch?v=Fs6f6D-VpDc.
However, with November now pretty much “water under the bridge”, London Bridge & the fateful venue that caused so much pain & aggravation has definately been consigned to the Logan Presents team history books, new home Pulse definitely looking like providing SuperMartXe with a new dawn & a new beginning and in the words of main man Mr Schmitz, “…will be an extravagant party prepared & ready to bring back the SMX love to London…” he also hinting on the new home by saying “…from the Coronet Theatre to the Brixton Academy, SuperMartXe has welcomed London into some of the largest & most elaborate venues, the next new home promising to fulfil that & more…”. And, given just how passionate & determined Logan is to make amends to those that walked away disappointed in November, not only are we pretty certain every inch of effort will be exercised to avoid those failings at Debut, the team being at pains to stress that there will be no ID scan entry system at Pulse, but Logan & his troops will be also be going all out to showcase the best that SMX in the capital has to offer. So, this “Loves London” event should definitely push the boundaries, offering as he puts it “…a new & improved SuperMartXe experience…” with all the usual prolific production, pyrotechnics, displays & effects, as well as the famed gorgeous go-go boy & girl dancers amd magnificent music, meaning this is sure to be an SMX experience to rival any.
Now, whilst we have not yet been privy to the D.J. line up, a hint towards the main room being headlined by Juanjo Martin has been made, we are pretty sure that Tony English will feature and there is every possibility that a second space will be hosted by Jodie Harsh’s Circus team, although much of this is conjecture only, so don’t go quoting us. Mind you, there are two places we are keeping our eyes peeled on, the first being the Logan Presents website at http://loganpresents.com, while Mr English is responsible for the group’s monthly podcasts, which act as much like newsletters as music releases, so another great source for information at http://loganpresentspodcast.podomatic.com. However, as further news breaks on this new beginning of a SuperMartXe event, we will bring it to you, although it goes without saying that we WILL be there to report on it all on 19th Feb and suggest you should make it too, the early bird £14 tickets already gone (went a couple of weeks ago actually!), although £16 advanced ones are out at http://supermartxe.clubtickets.com/gb/2011-02/19/supermartx-loves-london and worth grabbing while you can, so you can be part of this new & exciting chapter in the SuperMartXe book of brilliance, as Logan & his Presents team will once again be the talk of the town. (DISCO MATT)