Earlier this week, we had the pleasure of being
Kathryn: Choosing my first victim interviewee was easy…I chose my oldest/dearest blogbuds, Gay Guy and Straight Guy, from GayGuyStraightGuy.com. I’ve been a fan of their blog since my blog-infancy…and we’ve shared many a laugh, cyber-martini and thoughtful comment together. They never cease to amuse, amaze and inform…and I honestly can’t imagine my homepage without them. (Insert audience “Awwwwww!” here.)
Welcome, Gay Guy. Welcome, Straight Guy. [SG note: Here, she teased us about about our faceless avatars... Someday, Kathryn. Someday. But don't set your hopes too high. We're just regular guys.]
GG/SG: “Thank you, Kathryn…for this opportunity. You found us in our early days and have been a good friend and supporter along the way.”
Kathryn: “Well, this interview is long overdue. Partly because it took you so long to get it back to me. But, I’ll let that slide ‘cause I love you guys.” (Insert second audience “awwww!” here)
And so…without further ado, let the interview begin!
Q: You guys have been blogging for a while. How long as it been now and who came up with the original concept?
Straight Guy: We launched in November 2007, so we've just begun our third year. I was a regular blog reader, and wanted to give it a try. I thought about what other folks might consider interesting or unique and decided to ask Gay Guy if he'd be willing to do a team blog. We've been working together for over 15 years now, so we understand each other's shorthand. The concept was very broad: though we know each other pretty well, we lead very different lives. The contrast is interesting, as is the overlap, whenever that happens. The "he said, he said" format also seemed pretty special at the time. I did a quick search and saw that "gayguystraightguy" was unclaimed, and we jumped right in. We never wanted the blog to be dirty, but knew that it could get slightly NSFW (Not Safe/Suitable For Work) from time to time. For that reason, we keep our professional web IDs separate from our blog personalities. Operationally, it's pretty easy. We can both give this about 2-5 hours a week, and in this format we can cover for each other if anyone needs a break. We see each other almost every day at work, so we can quickly bounce an idea around to see if it might work. (Please note that GG has a wonderful way with words, but that I handle the technical aspects of the blog. As I've said before, training GG on this stuff probably compares to teaching an Amish grandmother how to play Grand Theft Auto.)
Gay Guy: I’d add about the decision to have our identities be Gay Guy and Straight Guy, rather than personal identities, is that I hope it gives readers room to see themselves in the blog – that it’s not just about these two specific people. That there’s an “Everyman” aspect to the conversation.
Kathryn: “Or, an ‘everywoman’….I’m sure you meant that in the most universal way. Right, GG?” (He can’t answer me, ‘cause I’m adding these comments after he sent me the interview, so….this makes him officially at my mercy. Hmmm. Maybe I should’ve had them sign some kind of indemnity clause….)
Q: Where do the ideas for your posts originate? I mean, do you have criteria as to what’s considered GG/SG-fare, or is it more…check the news, walk down the street, overheard at the next table kinda anything goes?
Gay Guy: Anything is fair game for the blog. Nothing crude or much beyond PG-13, though. I think our niche is between serious and simply being a humor site. There are lots of blogs that are dedicated to politics and news coverage, so we don’t often take on heavy topics. SG and I have different blogging styles, and we drift to different kinds of content. SG is much more pop culture-oriented than I am. He’s the one to cruise the web and reads more blogs than I do. As you know, he’ll find something bizarre online and bring it into our blog. And, no, I don’t know where he finds some of this stuff, either! I have a much more traditional blogging style, which is more about personal observation and reflection, how something in the news or that I see gets filtered through my experience. So, yes, anything from the news to who’s next to me in the grocery store is a source of content. I have a page full of ideas for posts, and those are just the ideas I can remember.
Straight Guy: Yeah. Gay Guy is much better at using the blog as a journal. He's more thoughtful, and I'm more reactive. Helpful hint: I've found Evernote to be a blogger's best friend. It's a free web app that makes it easy to clip a quote or make a bookmark on the fly, from my desktop, laptop, or iPhone. Then, when I'm ready to post, I can just click through a bunch of stuff that I've set aside. We also love to get ideas and questions from our readers.
Kathryn: (Hint, hint.)
Q: Do you believe more of your readership is gay or straight? Male or female? And does it matter?
Gay Guy: We didn’t start this with a specific audience in mind. In terms of our actual readers, all we really know is the information that people share with us through their comments and profiles. My suspicion is that our male readership is more gay than straight.
Straight Guy: Yeah, some of the search requests that lead folks to our site are a little frightening, for this straight guy anyway. I'd love for us to get more advice requests from straight folks. Maybe I'm a little surprised that women have been such a big percentage of our commenters, but we are so happy to have them. Like GG said, we try to keep it open for everyone. And women often find it easier to connect with both gay and straight men than we do with each other.
Kathryn: “Huh. Someone needs to query SG on these ‘frightening’ search requests. I’d like to hear those!”
Q: What message do you hope your blog will send to readers? Your Blog-Legacy, if you will?
Gay Guy: Blog legacy . . . We’re doing well on the blog. October was a record for us: 6,000 visits from 5,000 unique visitors. We consistently have readers from all 50 states in a month, though occasionally Montana, Wyoming, or one of the Dakotas gets away from us. I hope that people come away from the site with new ideas about how gay and straight men can interact. I don’t want to say that we are all one big happy family, because there are differences. When we started this, I had no idea all the creative and interesting and bizarre blogs and sites out there. It’s been a great way to stay connected, and even make new friends, like you. (Kathryn smiles) Nothing makes me happier than to log on and find comments. That’s the best. I wish we could blog full-time. Or at least more.
Straight Guy: Gay Guy is a wordsmith in real life, but I'm not, so I just enjoy working my writing muscles. In terms of message, we're not that deep, but I think that gay guys and straight guys still self-segregate more than most, and certainly more than needed. On the blog, we celebrate the fact that we are very different and don't always agree. And maybe we even indulge in a few stereotypes along the way (mark me down for steak dinners, generic underwear, and violent video games). But we try not to judge, and we always look out for each other... in real life and on the web.
GG/SG: You can always find us at www.gayguystraightguy.com. Our blog doesn't have many rules, but we have some semi-regular features including our advice posts, ad watch, and gay/straight quadrant graphs.
Kathryn: "And...that's a wrap! Thanks, guys...always a pleasure!"
Readers, I’d love for you go check out the guys at their site. Totally a great read!
Thanks ahead of time to my wonderful readers for taking the time to read and comment! You KNOW how much I appreciate it!
GG/SG: Thanks again to Kathryn and all of her readers and commenters. Our egos are well fed, for the moment. Some of you have joined the conversation over here, and we are happy to have you as part of - um - whatever this is. Let us know what we can do to make you comfortable. Lurkers, too, are always welcome. No pressure.