The Impact of internet social networking websites on the gay community: Behavior and identity. Michael Cinquanti. The hypothesis of this thesis is that social networking website design can exert a mediating influence upon the culture of a site by supporting certain behaviors more than others; this influence can be analyzed in an active and structured way that takes into account the culture of the community it addresses. Evidence will be offered by case study, demonstration of specific mediations, and analysis. This hypothesis will be tested with specific reference to the gay male community. The scope of this paper will be limited to the analysis of gay-oriented social networking websites as new media, in general and through specific examples.
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Manhunt is a geosocial networking website and online dating application that facilitates male same-sex introductions. The majority of profiles are sexually explicit and include nude photographs and graphic language and are by patrons that are looking to hook up. Some profiles, however, are specifically not designated as primarily sexually-oriented and explicitly state they are not cruising for sex. Manhunt was officially launched in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 1, by Jonathan Crutchley and Larry Basile after their original Boston -based gay telephone dating service declined when more of their clients began to use the Web to find partners. Within a year, about 10, men from the greater Boston area had created profiles on the site. About 2, customers immediately signed up for the paid membership. In December , an independent tracking agency ranked Manhunt as the largest LGBT -targeted site online, surpassing long-time leader Gay.
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We were contacted today by the founder of the soon to launch social network for gay men BigJock. It lead us to take a look around the gay male online social networking space and write the following overview of some of the current market leaders. Niche social networks are likely a viable business because they allow specialized functionality and a subjective community feel as opposed to general interest sites that defer to either the lowest common denominator or the year old demographic.
In , the writer Jeremy Atherton Lin noticed a spate of media coverage mourning gay bars in London, more than half of which had closed within the last decade. From NBC News to the Guardian , nearly all the coverage contained a similar slant, which played into a popular narrative: gay bars as beacons of liberation, central to the formation of queer identity and community. Which caused Atherton Lin to wonder, For who?