In case you haven’t yet heard, this upcoming Tuesday (the 12th) at the Center for Sex and Culture, I’m going to be co-facilitating Deviants Online, a new “workshop” series produced by Sarah Dopp, the inspirational founder of Genderfork.com. Sarah describes the workshop as:
a monthly social media discussion workshop in San Francisco for queers, sex nerds, artists, and other rebels. We dig into best practices and strategies for using tools like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, blogs, and email lists to make our lives more awesome.
Well, it’s certainly been an awesome year. As I wrote recently at MaleSubmissionArt.com:
For me, 2009 was a year of massive personal upheaval, as though a wildfire swept through my life and left me fresh and raw. It hurt, but like all natural processes, it also provided an incredible opportunity for rejuvenation.
Increasingly, one of those opportunities I want to pursue is continuing to develop the MaleSubmissionArt.com project. It began at the start of this year because there was a depressing lack of respectful erotic imagery of submissive masculinity. Today, it broke into the top 3,000 Tumblr blogs in the United States, and the top 6,000 in the world (according to Tumblr’s “Tumblarity” thing). If that weren’t cool enough, because it’s not, (as of this writing) it’s the top Google result for many variations of search phrases that are obviously about finding pictures of submissive men. Positive feedback has been pouring in, and I’m only now beginning to archive some of the praise for MaleSubmissionArt.com.
One month after starting MaleSubmissionArt, which took all of 2 hours (literally), I introduced the concept of KinkForAll, an ad-hoc sexuality “unconference” with the potential to greatly empower sex-positive advocacy and drastically improve sex education as we know it today. In a matter of mere months, less than one year later, 4 KinkForAll unconferences have produced an astonishing amount of free video, audio, and other content that’s continuing to snowball to this day. In fact, the video of my presentation at KinkForAll Washington DC has—in only 2 months time—received over 1,500 views, and is steadily spreading at the pace of about 25 plays per day (according to Vimeo’s public statistics).
And, most recently, I revitalized the Kink On Tap podcasts from way back in 2007, bringing interactivity and participation to a whole new level for sexuality netcasts. In only 3 months, and for an infinitesimal budget of a mere several hundred dollars raised purely from continuing donations, the weekly live broadcasts bring together a growing group of anywhere from 30 to 50 very animated individuals to the chat room, and several dozen more downloading and listening to the recorded Kink On Tap audio podcast available from iTunes. The show’s attracting superb guests, like Suraya Singh of Filament Magazine and Ms. SF Leather 2009 Mollena Williams, among a plethora of fantastic panelists who are excitedly sharing what they know and love about sexuality with our listeners.
None of this would’ve been possible without the incredible opportunities that the Internet brings with it. But none of this is enough—not even close. It’s wonderful that I’ve been doing so much, so inexpensively, and with such impact. But I’m not satisfied merely doing things. Underlying all of these projects is a much, much bigger goal: empowering you.
So I’m setting out for 2010 with the intention that this is the year that what I do with my time focuses not merely on educating, advocating, or informing, but also empowering the people with whom I interact. There’s a saying I recently learned that’s prevalent in software development communities: “Improve the improvers.” In other words, make it possible for passionate people to participate in your project immediately.
With renewed commitment to this goal, I quit my day job this past Friday. I have no clear idea about how I’m going to make a living, but I’m less concerned about that than I am about succeeding in my other goals. I feel like, if I do a good job with that (no pun intended), then a living will find me, somehow.
In the mean time, I’m eagerly preparing for this upcoming Tuesday evening at the CSC, where Sarah and I would love to see you for the January 2010 Deviants Online workshop. Or if you can’t make it for any reason at all, then perhaps someone you know—or someone who knows of you—can come, so please help spread the word to anyone you think would find this event helpful. :)
Here’s the entirety of Sarah’s announcement post about Tuesday’s event:
The first workshop was amazing – great conversation & lots of amazing ideas and concepts were brought up. We’re looking forward to doing it all over again in January – so here’s the information for you to add to your calendar, pimp out to your friends, and note in your holiday cards as you send them out. We hope you can join us – and bring along a buddy!
hosted by Sarah Dopp
with special guest Meitar “maymay” Moscovitz
Tuesday, January 12th, 6 – 8pm
Center for Sex & Culture, 1519 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA
Cost: $10-20 sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds
Deviants Online explores the ever-changing “best practices” for social media: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, flickr, blogging, email, websites, and everything else. How can we shine spotlights on what we care about without annoying our friends? What are smart ways to strengthen our relationships and broaden our networks? And how exactly do we get our (many) personal sides to co-exist with our professional life on the same Internet?
As queers, creatives, sex nerds, and other rebels, our lives depend heavily on our friends and extended communities. Whether we’re looking for work opportunities, an audience, or an army of allies, we can all benefit from having a broader network built on trust and appreciation.
In this open-ended discussion workshop, we’ll explore what works and what doesn’t when it comes to representing ourselves online. The material will include a balanced mix of “how to think about it” and “how to do it,” and we’ll have plenty of time for questions. Whether you’ve just signed up for Facebook or have been blogging for years, you’ll leave this workshop full of ideas on what you want to try next.
Deviants Online is hosted by Sarah Dopp, social media educator and founder of http://genderfork.com. It will also have a special guest co-facilitator, maymay!
Why maymay is Awesome
Meitar “maymay” Moscovitz is a “technology geek, sexual freedom and community activist, prickly blogger, and general free spirit.” He makes his living as an Internet technology professional, providing web development, social media consulting, and other technology services. He is the co-author of Foundation Website Creation and AdvancED CSS,and a semi-regular blogger at SitePoint.com. He has lead sessions at conferences such as Sex 2.0, often speaks on the intersection of technology and sexuality, and is a co-founder of the BarCamp-style sexuality unconference series KinkForAll. He also curates the photoblog “Male Submission Art“, co-hosts the webcast KinkOnTap, and has dozens of other projects in various stages of creation.
***Please note: Portions of this event will be recorded and posted online. If you don’t want your voice, name, or image to be included in the recording, you can still come — we’ll give you easy ways to stay off camera. There will also be a stretch of time in the middle that’s completely off-the-record.