Richard Rudometkin, founder of new gay social networking site BigJock.com, looked us up today to mention his site went live last Thursday. It’s offering a drawing for a free iPod for those who register before the official launch on Nov 5th.
He has launched this from a spare bedroom in North San Jose, and it is self-funded.
Naturally, our question was how his site differs from all the other gay social networking companies out there. Our suspicion is that it is getting late to launch new social networking sites, even if they are niche. We pointed out there is at least ten or so rivals out there, including Gay.com, Manjam, GuyParty and Jake. How is his service any better, we asked?
For starters, BigJock will have photo albums, blogs, journals, forums and classifieds, as well as “Hot or Not” ratings of members. It will be adding IM, and free video and email. He wants to emulate MySpace’s features and user-friendly feel. So far, so good. Many of those are standard features.
ManJam is very thorough, he conceded. (Type in “gay social network” into Google, and it is the second result). But ManJam and Jake are both UK-based, and his research found that U.S. men had a level of “disconnect” with these sites, he said.
Gay.com was the most mentioned site, but that site attempts to be all things to all people (meaning women), he said.
So BigJock is aiming for the educated urban professionals and college-aged. He’s aiming to go international. And he hopes to offer features that exceed these others. Being based in Silicon Valley, that might help.
We’ve just noticed that TechCrunch has also just written a more thorough review of the gay sites.