Tuesday, October 09, 2007

BiFriendly: Are We Still Relevant? Should We Even Worry About It?

BiFriendly is a social group for bisexuals and their friends that's been around since 1987 and I've run it since 1992. During that time we've seen so much grow and change with the bi community and with the entire GLBT community and especially with the attitudes of the country towards queers.

Attendance at our events is highly varied. Our monthly coffeehouse gathering is at times only 3 people, but in the past has been more than 25 people (at which point it becomes unmanageable as no one can hear.) I've been noticing that over the past couple of years our numbers have remained consistently small and I've been trying to figure this out.

It used to be that folks were desperate to meet another bisexual face to face. To know that they weren't crazy and that such people, not only existed, but thrived. These days that doesn't seem to be quite the burning issue it once was (at least in the Bay Area which is admittedly a bubble) People still struggle but they have so many more resources available on the internet, and younger bi's especially don't seem to need us.

But the evidence still gives me pause. When I look at the statistics, the number one page accessed on my web site (frap.org) is BiFriendly's page, by about double. There's certainly some traffic to the dog's training blog and there's a little here (a scary concept I must admit), but clearly people out there are still looking for something. It's possible that they just go to the BiFriendly web page and then sign up for the bi chat and events list and that's it. But I always list the events on BABN's event list and I don't see many new folks from there (though plenty of regulars use it).

Anyway, last night we had our monthly meeting and there were 4 of us. We mostly talked about politics, and this "Are we still relevant issue?"

The reason for the "Should we even care?" subtitle is that we all enjoy each other's company and we will have a nice time regardless if someone else attends. And regulars always seem to appear and surprise us.

I've been experimenting with listing us in various places online. I tried Craigslist Event list, and David tried the Squidlist. Both yielded zip. Next month I think I'll do myspace and tribe. meetup.com has been suggested as well. Jim also suggested a fee based service, but I think I want to exhaust the plethora of free listings first.

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