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Gay site to launch local guides

In a twist on Net local city guides, online gay community Gay.Net is launching local resources on the Net specifically geared toward its audience.

In a twist on Net local city guides, Gay.Net, an online gay community, next week is launching a series of local resources on the Net specifically geared toward its audience.

Called "Go Local," Gay.Net's new resource will aggregate local news, entertainment listings, and weather reports for each designated city in its network. The city guides also will include a "Best Of" report on the area's most favored gay hot spots and restaurants, as well as a search directory categorized under neighborhood, type of event, and time.

With an eye on the appeal of local Internet guides such as Sidewalk and CitySearch to a specific geographic market, Gay.Net hopes to leverage its content to be the premier Internet city guide for the cities' gay communities. Go Local is targeting both residents and visitors to the cities in its network, said Ron Kraft, executive producer of Gay.Net.

"In most cities, gay life a constantly changing thing," Kraft said. "What's hip this week is not hip or even happening next week. Because the Web offers you instantaneous information, the Web can deliver information that is really useful.

"We're position in ourselves to be the 'category killer' on this vertical community," Kraft added.

The service is expected to launch on May 18 in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. By the end of the year, Gay.Net hopes to have ten Go Local cities including London, its only planned international locale.

New features, such as a business directory and movie listings, will be rolled out in the upcoming weeks after the initial launch.

The service will be available to Gay.Net subscribers only. Gay.Net says it will not serve advertising banners on its Go Local resource, nor does it plan to introduce advertisements in the near future.

"When asking people to pay for content, they should not be unduly burdoned by advertisers," said a Gay.Net spokesman. "It is not part of the strategy or business model right now."