Web Site Updates

There have been a lot of changes to the web site and there is still more editing to happen. A lot of information has been consolidated that was getting kinda old and some of the more current topics made more clear. With Spring Break and other cool things happening on the horizon it’s time to get those ducks in order.

The fund raising campaign was successful in that it gave me (Toaster) enough money to help out with some of the web site upgrades. While they cost a little more than we got in, it will all balance out in the end.

Spring Break is the major news item as ticket sales launch later this week from the web site. All access will be made from the site for ticket sales. There will be limited sales (if any) from the front gate. We expect to sell out.

QB Network Numbers

One of our claims is an audience of 5000 on our network. While many have opted in and signed up in one form or another many are accessing the free resources on the web site on a daily basis. That number is a wide reaching number based on the engagement of our social networking and web site numbers.

Web Stats provided by Buddy Press plugin

Above are stats provided by software on the site / Below is from Google Analytics. See how they compare.

Web Site Analytics from Google

While it is not clear which is more reliable for data, they are showing very similar algorithms happening. It’s clear there is a lot of activity and people are seeking out information we have on the site. 1400+ sessions in the last 30 days and 1200 visitors with 80% being unique and new as far as software tracking can determine.

Social Networking Links

  • Queer Burners [dot] Com Web Site : 600 Members
  • Queer Burners Facebook Page : Link : 2009 Followers
  • Queer Burners Facebook Group : Link :  1373 Followers
  • Bay Area Queer Burners : Link : 591 Followers
  • SoCal Queer Burners  : Link : 111 Followers
  • Atlanta Queer Burners : Link : 40  Followers
  • Las Vegas Queer Burners : Link : 25 Followers
  • Europe Queer Burners : Link : 3 Followers (newest board)
  • Quire (Queer Burner Leadership Network : Link : 97 Followers
  • Twitter @queer_burners : Link : 650 Followers
  • MailChimp Mailing List : 583 Recipients

3rd Party Queer Burner Boards

  • NYC Queer Burners : Link : 284 Followers
  • DC – MA- VA Brothers of the Man : Link : 27 Followers

What are they looking for?

An overwhelming number of people coming to the site are looking for Queer Camp and networking information for their planned expedition to Burning Man in 2015. They are looking at:

  • Pictures from previous burn years (mostly 2014 right now) : Link
  • Queer Camps on the 2015 List : Link

There is a clear sense they are looking for more and are not exploring some of the more interactive features on the site like the Groups and Forums. If we can get the site to allow a more robust social networking feed, better than what the RSS page offers, then I think on these accounts the site will be more than just a spot to check of static information.

The 2015 Fund Raising Campaign

The first goal of the campaign is to improve the site. We can do that by paying someone to help or having someone in the community volunteer. This is a Buddypress driven site and if worked more like a Facebook feed then it would make the project a lot happier:

  • cleaner feed on what is now called the RSS Page
  • Greater personalization of the profiles
  • Easier to communicate between members
  • Better way to share projects and events

Then we will focus on the Queer Burner Leadership Summit for the late Spring and/or a structured campout for Queer Burners.

2014 Queer Burner Survey

The 1st ever survey just about the resources offered on our web site and on Facebook; which are abundant! While the site is maintained for the community part of the idea behind it was that the community would add to it to keep it current and relevant. The Facebook pages have really become that with a feed to twitter for people not on the Fbook. Here are all the resources:

Gay Burners (Master Page) | Queer Burners Group | Quire: QBLN | Google+
QB Regionals: Bay Area | SoCal | ATL | Las Vegas

Never ask a question you do not want the answer for, right? Well, feedback on this 5 year old project is good. If things are prospering then that is a win. If things are stifling, then it is time to change it up.

chart_1Here is what you said:

We asked about the web site and clicked through a variety of the resources we offered. While the 29 people out of 3000 that answered the survey were not aware of some resources there seemed to be some strong opinions about what they knew of.

(if you see an error message here it is okay, it will be fixed soon. To get out of the gallery preview use Esc or click in the gray area around the image.)

[Gallery not found]

While not all the responses made it you the pretty graphics above there was some requests. What would you like to see more of. Ironically, half the items listed and a majority of answers were things that already exist on the site; which means maybe we need to demonstrate that better. Here is what was asked for:

  • Perhaps more academic or queer theory articles or original blog posts.
  • merp? [author note: I have no idea what that is]
  • Camps Events
  • Naked pics of Toaster 🙂 [author note: already there! It’s true.]
  • Keep it up to date and timely I stopped using it as a resource a couple years ago because it was never up to date to have timely information. As a camp organizer I could never post our events or provide information directly on the site so it was not useful to communicate to the community
  • More info for newbies, maybe some kind of 1 on 1 sponcered / mentor type relationship.
  • Need more visibility and scholarships to helps those without funds to be able to travel to leadership conferences.

 

Don’t get caught short

Did you NOT get a Burning Man ticket this week? Here’s what to do…

This week’s Burning Man ticket lala was just ROUND ONE. It was a special early sale for select project leaders. Up next: ROUND TWO ~ “The Individual Sale.”

Kitten CaffeeThis also requires a Burner Profile. Create one. If you haven’t yet, do it today: http://profiles.burningman.com/

Then: Go “Register” for the “Individual Sale” via your Burner Profile between Feb 20-Feb 23. This will give you the vital CODE # that everyone was freaking out about this week. You need this code to purchase a ticket on a first-come, first serve basis, starting on Noon, February 26th.

Yes Virginia, if you don’t go through the Registration Process on your Burner Profile by Feb 23 you will not be able to buy on Feb 26th. If you bought a ticket in the first round you will not be able to buy another ticket in a later round.

More information: http://tickets.burningman.com/

Web Site Administrata

Side ImageSo, while working on the site and getting it all hammered back out to there it is today (which was a lot of hours of work), the site still gets hit with a lot of spam that I try not to let you all see.

I am very open to anyone who wishes to help out with the maintenance of the site – or even other general administration.

ALL members can submit articles right from the site! All you have to do is log in and add a new Post. It will be held for moderation and might get some visual editing. Please make it a complete story and all is good.

2014 Burning Man Theme Announced TODAY!

2014 Theme is: Caravansary
For countless centuries, travelers along the Silk Route crossed paths in caravansaries, a network of oases and sanctuaries that dotted the 4,000-mile road from Europe to East Asia. These bustling caravan stops offered more than just shelter from the desert wilderness; they were vital centers of cultural exchange, bringing together traders, pilgrims, monks, nomads, traveling entertainers, and wild-eyed adventurers from all points of the compass to share their stories around a common fire. Though fueled by mercantilism, their legacy to us is a grand commerce of ideas — a swirling exchange of languages, legends, technologies, philosophies and art that helped shape nearly every aspect of our modern world.

– Source Burning Man [dot] Com

WordPress Nightmare

QueerBurners [dot] Com is running wordpress to make this whole thing work and for 4 months now it has been a big headache. As often as I have screamed, cried and moaned for help on the site no one has stepped up.

The plugins have eaten the site. The theme managing the site has gone skitzoid. I keep making changes and updates and restores… but please rest assured that your information is still safe. This is also why we don’t post much personal info on here anyway.

This is just to let people know that even after 5 years this is a work in progress and any help would be appreciated. The site does not generate income at this time and it costs me to keep it running, so those who would like to get paid for their help …thanks anyway. This site has to be community driven to exist.

Get involved Regionally

Burning Man happens once a year for 8 days of pure bliss in the desert. If you have embraced the 10 principles and want this magic to continue in your life on any level between 1 to 10 then get involved with people like you out there. #1 resource is your Burning Man Regional Network through the Burning Man [dot] Com web site. Want to start a network for Queer Burners in your region please let us know so we can help promote it.

More to come. You might note that the above pages are ones created by Toaster (that would be me) and I knew there were others out there but I cannot find them as I type this but will add to this post as the list grows. Please feel free to reach out.

Admin Notice: Membership and a Toaster

Membership is back open now that Burning Man 2013 is finished. This Toaster is back and while I was there in the desert I was working it. Yes, I  talk to people and I try to continue build on this idea that this is an important community.

manAndEdQueer Burners is a project I started at the end of 2008 / beginning of 2009 as a static web site as a place for LGBTQ burners to connect. It had nothing to do with the Gayborhood or creating leadership.

I explained my actions to a camp mate and their reactions was, ‘wow, you are mister popular‘. It’s not about that. I talk about Queer Burners because it is important that we stay united. I am forced to defend my belief that the Gayborhood is vital and that uniting camps and people in the community is as important as community leaders in the Castro, Boys Town or any other community inside a city.

The QBLN: Queer Burner Leadership Network is just the next level in this project and has resulted in the Queer Burner Leadership Summit over the last 2 years. These have been very inspiring and community strengthening exercises.

Nobody appointed me to do this just as much as no one tells you to do the right thing when you know it is what should be done. I do not do this for ego or to be the coolest kid on the block. I would gladly have someone just as committed to this community right there helping out. So far there has been limited inspiration from anyone to help manage this project, but I am getting help and I appreciate it.

For all the people who have thanked me for this work, I cannot share enough appreciation in return. The important thing to remember is that this is community driven.

Queer Burner Leadership Summit (QBLS)

We did it. I could not do it alone. Although I did put a lot of effort into this event it could not have happen if a few people had stepped up and lend a hand here and there. Whatever their efforts were I am grateful. Some of the people I would like to specifically thank is:

Bernadette Bohan | Kd Calfee aka Kitten |
Jean-Jaques | DJ Momme aka Fathom

This was our 2nd year and believe it or not year 3 is already somewhat on the calendar, but no real planning will go on until after the beginning of the year (September).

The expenses in 2012 for the event was $1200 and that may not sound like a lot, but it is when this is a non-money making operation. In 2013 we spent almost 50% of that to bring a stronger overall event.

Check out the reports and please make comments. If you can, please join us next year!

My eyeballs were falling out of my head the Friday night before. I was hoping to get out to First Friday in Oakland, but it was not meant to be. Alas, we had such an amazing day in the end.

We had attendees that traveled in from Georgia, Sacramento and Los Angeles.

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