Sunday, December 6, 2009

An Excellent Interview

Never one to pass by a stellar idea, I’ve decided to follow Ron’s lead over at Vent and post my very first interview…..ever.

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.
Kathryn: “Great to see you guys!”


(*Cough*)

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.”

K: “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.

K: (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.

K: “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.

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.

K: "And...that's a wrap! Thanks, guys...always a pleasure!"

Please feel free to leave comments for Gay Guy and Straight Guy here…they’ll be checking in to respond to your comments. And I’d love for you go check out the guys at the link above. 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!


Gay Guy said...

Kathryn,

OMG, I feel like such a celeb! You are coddling my inner diva, which SG would tell you to discourage, not encourage.

SG and I are thrilled to be interviewed.

You're a great blogspiration, Kathryn.

And, yes, I meant EveryWOMAN, too. Just using Everyman in the classic sense of universality.

GG

Kathryn said...

Gay Guy: Whee! The stage is all yours, guys! I'm hoping for a record number of comments...c'mon, faithful readers...bring it!!

Alicia said...

Kathryn,
Great post. I plan to go directly from here to there to check out GayGuy/StraightGuy. I've seen their link in your sidebar but usually when I read your posts I'm at work and my time is limited...cause of course I'm on break, not reading during working hours (you never know when THEY are watching, ya'know?);-)

book*addict said...

I already have them in my feed, but rarely leave comments becuase there's SOOO many ppl who comment. I don't want to be just another blade og grass in a field. you know what i mean?
I do have a questions the guys.
GG/SG: What advice would you give neonate-blogger about getting more ppl to visit their blog?

Gavin said...

Lovely interview. (: I'll have to check their blog out when I can focus better.

serendipitous said...

Nice interview! I follow them also and enjoy reading their posts!

I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for an award! Come check it out at my place to accept it. :) Congratulations!

http://serendipitous-natalie.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-first-blog-award.htm

Straight Guy said...

Wow. It's really happening...

Thanks again to Katherine for the opportunity.

Book*addict: Just keep at it. I assume you're using some kind of counter or analytics to track your readers. The first year was flat for us but the second year has seen a lot of growth. Some of that has to do with better Google rankings over time. To get noticed, you have to be (1) really good, (2) really dramatic, or (3) hit the jackpot with Blogger's daily Blog of Note. Katherine has somehow managed to accomplish all three. If she didn't deserve it, we'd be really jealous.

Kathryn said...

What me?? I am NOT dramatic! (Blushes shyly)

Straight Guy said...

Another blogger hint: PROOFREAD!

If not, you might do something stupid, like incorrectly type the name of the generous person who is hosting an interview with you.

Thank you, KATHRYN!

(No excuses, but I've been shorthanding her to "K" for months now...)

Kathryn said...

(It's true....he always calls me "K". It's his pet name for me.)

Dreamfarm Girl said...

Hi GG/SG: your blog sounds fun and interesting, and thanks for the Evernote tip. Any blog Kathryn recommends has to be great!

Thanks, Kathryn. You might have a new career here. Move over Blogs of Note.

Heather said...

Kathryn...That was an amazing idea, glad you ran with it.

GG/SG...A very interesting concept for your blog. I will definately be checking you out.

Gingerella said...

I enjoyed reading this...I'm fairly new to their blog but am a follower!

Kathryn said...

Alicia: Thank you! And I completely understand the time constraints. I know you'll enjoy their place. Thanks for being the first to comment!

book*addict: Sweetie, you could never be "just another blade of grass in a field"! You're too SPECIAL.

Gavin: It's worth the check-back. Seriously!

serendipitous: I'm glad so many of us already read GG/SG! Aren't they fabulous? And we BOTH got awards at your place? How fun! Whee!

Dreamfarm Girl: HA! I've been wanting to do this since I discovered Ron doing it...isn't it fun? Brings out the Diane Sawyer in me...without me having to look all "deeply concerned" and making people cry!

Heather: Thanks, sweetie! I think it makes for a lovely change of pace and gives my inner nosiness a chance to ask all those questions!

Gingerella: Oh, yay! We'll get to meet up in one more cyber place. How fun! Thanks for the comment!

Jen said...

That was great, Kathryn! I really love reading interviews of other bloggers. I'm going to go over to their site and check them out.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

I just checked out the site and added it to my reader! Looks like lots of fun; gotta recommend this one to my daughter as well.
Thanks Kathryn!

Straight in Upstate said...

Hi Kathryn,

I came over from GG/SG - have to confess I haven't been following you but I should start. I know GG thinks you're fab!! And we all know he has impeccable taste :)

Thanks for posting the interview!

Straight Guy said...

Dreamfarm Girl, Heather: Thanks for reading and for giving our site a look. Evernote rocks, though what they must think of me by my collection of web scraps...

Gingerella: Knew we could count on you. Thanks.

Jen & Maureen: Thanks for the interest. Look forward to adding you to the GG/SG conversation... if you're interested. Lurking is fine by us, too.

Upstate: Another friend who has been with us through thick and thin. Kathryn's blog is like a trip to Vegas -- you never know what might happen, and you probably won't be able to explain it later. Just enjoy it while it happens.

Gay Guy said...

Hello, all,

Wow. I am touched by all the comments. I haven't felt this popular since. . . well, never. Wait, maybe that time when I was a senior in college and was the only one in a class who had understood and done the assignment.

Come on over and check out our blog, y'all. The water's warm! We thrive on new readers and comments.

Ron said...

Kathryn...BRAVA on an OUTSTANDING interview, girl!

This ROCKS!!!!

I think you and I should start our own blog interviewing blog!!!

GayGuy/StraightGuy...LOVE your whole concept - it's brilliant! You both seem to have a great balance which makes for success. And not only for your blog, but for your friendship as well. You're proof that "everyone" can come together.

Wishing you both continued success.

Cheers!

Kathryn said...

Jen: Thanks, Jen! You know firsthand how lovely this interview-thing can be...I'm glad I got to try it for myself.

Maureen@IslandRoar: Aw! You're the best! Isn't it fabulous to find even more great reads??

Straight in Upstate: Hey! Great to see you! I know you're a regular poster at GG/SG. Would love to have you here, if you're willing. And PULEASE follow me! (bobble heads)...I'm THIS CLOSE to 600!

SG: HA! I may have to steal that line describing this place! I love it!!

RON! Love your comment to the guys...you've put it so well. Thanks so much for the concept of the interview! I couldn't have done it w/o such a GREAT role model! Anytime you wanna team up, I'm SO THERE! xoxo

Tinkerschnitzel said...

I have to go see! It's Monday, so the boss is out, and noone died over the weekend, so I have a litte free time. :)

Smileyfreak said...

Brill interview!! :)

HereIsYourVerse said...

i def agree with you SG! "Kathryn's blog is like a trip to Vegas -- you never know what might happen, and you probably won't be able to explain it later. Just enjoy it while it happens." my trip to Vegas was EXACTLY like that, and so is Kathryn's blog (: thats a great quote! i might steal it

WannabeVirginia W. said...

Awesome post and interview. I love your blog, Kathryn and it is through your blog I discovered the SG/GG blog and I love their blog also. Both are tastefully done and really thought provoking. Kudos to Gay Guy Straight Guy and Kathryn. Awesome job.

Collette said...

Kathryn, great job with the interview! You did Ron proud!
GG/SG,
great interview as well. I haven't read your blog yet, but I will be there as soon as I comment here. See ya at home! LOL

Kathryn said...

Tinkerschnitzel: YAY! Glad the boss it out, especially glad no-one died! Enjoy!

Smileyfreak: Thanks, sweetie! Not too shabby for the first one, right?

HereIsYourVerse: HA! Thank you! I love this quote as well! What a great endorsement...I love it! Thanks for commenting...

WannabeVirginiaW: Thanks so much, sweetie. I DO have excellent taste...and this includes YOU, of course!

Straight Guy said...

Ron, Tinkeschnitzel, Smileyfreak, HereIsYourVerse, Wannabe, Collette:

We are so happy to see familiar faces (er, avatars) and to meet new folks as well. Thanks for the comments. GG keep things pretty relaxed and want to emphasize that all are welcome. Send us an e-mail (or leave an anonymous comment) if you have any questions. We're more than happy to give our opinion or offer advice.

Gropius said...

Very, very clever interview. And this opens brand new blog possibilities for my reading pleasure. Thank you!

Chrissy said...

Fun idea. What a great interview. I love finding out more about what makes other bloggers "tick". Nice to meet you guys!

Kathryn said...

Gropius: Thanks so much! Have I mentioned how much I love your avatar? I always think it, but I don't always remember to say it. Glad you're here!

Chrissy: Thanks, sweetie! I'm on my way over to "stripperville" now. Whee!

Isabella said...

Great interview! It amazes me how much time it really takes to create a consistant blog let alone a good one. (Lately I've been such a slacker!) You guys do such a great job!!! You too Kathryn. Wonderful idea for an interview.

Straight Guy said...

Gropius, Chrissy, Isabella:

Glad we get to pull back the curtain a little for our new and returning readers. Either way, thanks for giving us a look.

Kathryn said...

Isabella: Thanks, sweetie! I'm so glad that GG/SG and I could finally meet together on one stage!

Spot said...

Great interview! I already love these guys. Especially the "ad watch". Lol.

♥Spot

Clandestiny said...

Kathryn, I don't know how you do it!! You are a blogging genius then decide to do a brilliant blog post on two more blogging geniusesesss (whatever, you know!!) Magic!

Guys, I LOVE the blog and I'll definitely be popping by for visits from now on!!

Wait, I think this post needs just a few more: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ahh that's better!!

Kathryn said...

Spot: Thanks, sweetie! Aren't they da best??

Clandestiny: HA! Thank you SO MUCH for the sweet comment!! I'm smiling from ear-to-ear, in case you couldn't tell. SO GLAD you enjoyed your visit to the guys' place. They totally ROCK!

Gay Guy said...

Spot, You are SO right! SG and his ad watch . . . well, they are so funny. I never know what's coming next. I can't believe the genius -- and idiocy -- of some of those ads.

Kathryn, thanks for boosting our blog career. SG and I are bedazzled by your reader base.

Errr. . . SG would not say "dedazzled." (Nor bewitched or bewildered.) He'd probably go with "impressed."

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