My first c-blog entry is something completely NVGR. For some reason, it really struck a bad chord in me, and compelled me to write something. I hope those of you who choose to read it get something out of it. Note: beware of excessive preachyness at the end.
My impression of Fabulis (yeah, that's the name, I'll grin and bear it) is that it's both a social networking and travel planning site catered to the gay male. I can get behind the idea of a social network for gay men, especially for those closeted or recently outed people who are still getting used to the idea and need a little kickstart. There may be other sites out there, but I feel like they're more used for matchmaking. It's good to have a site whose main principle isn't to hook up with other gays but to connect them together.
I can get behind the travel aspect in some regards, but the underlying rhetoric is what really gets me wound up.
1) Jason Goldberg (the CEO) says: "...mainstream websites like Trip Advisor or Urban Spoon or Yelp or Fodor’s are great for finding out what the masses deem worthy but they’re pretty bad at really getting at the most fabulous things to do." I agree that gay men aren't going to have the same taste as "...the mother of four from Wisconsin or the straight senior citizen couple spending their twilight years in Florida." But what does your sexual orientation have to do with that? "Gay men come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds... There is one common denominator. It’s a desire to celebrate life." Are you trying to tell me that the 30 to 40 something year old man who raises his kids out in the Vermont suburbs is going to have the same taste as the 20 year old circuit kid in New York City, simply because their share a common love of cock? Oh wait, I mean their desire to celebrate life. Pardon my French, but you're full of hot air and bullshit sir.
2) So let's make the assumption that the CEO* is catering to 18-35 year old men. Let's also make the assumption that said demographic can afford both the time and money to follow the Gaymerican dream of the pursuit of fabulousness. He's already targeting people who like to travel, and are therefore more likely to want the cosmopolitan lifestyle. These aren't the people who travel to New York City just so they can buy clothes at Old Navy and eat at TGIFridays. There exist foodies and fashionistas on both ends of the sexual orientation spectrum. If you're so convinced that the gays and straights have completely disparate preferences, then introduce a different a method of review than a generic 5-star rating system. Tell them to describe the place in 3 adjectives, or give the option to link to relevant findings on Chowhound
(At this point, I've shifted perspective because it felt like a better argument than to use "he" all the time. Just a heads up.)
3) Who are you to insinuate that "Gay men are always on the forefront of trends. We’re tastemakers...Gay men come first and the mainstream follows." If you believe in this statement, then you're contradicting the idea that gay men need a site specifically tailored to them. What you're ultimately looking for is a petty sense of superiority. You are doing a disservice to those businesses that you've raved about months ago but have abandoned since "by the time books are written and published the trend is already over." You're also reinforcing the gay male stereotype as people who can be easily distracted by the newest, shiniest things on the block, as well as portraying them as spoiled children who only want something if no one else can have them.
I'm all for pluralism and individuality. I love any opportunity to celebrate my identity as a gamer, an Asian-American, or a gay man. But I hate it when people translate differences in lifestyle into differences of worth. I may disapprove of your lifestyle and offer you my perspective on things. You're more than welcome to do the same, and there may be times that I will blatantly ignore you. No one's a saint, and no one is completely impartial. However, I will not state outright that people should try and abandon their own taste and pursue my own, or that I am a role model / prototype for the rest of America to follow.
Jason Goldberg, stop acting like you've invented the wheel and that it also shits ice cream. You ain't all that. And to quote one of Dtoid's esteemed journalists: SHUT THE FUCK UP.
*I tried to refer to him as Mr. Goldberg in mock deference. It didn't fly.