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Tue, 10 Apr 2007

OpenBC/Xing is Closed Minded

I'm not sure if you have heard about Xing (formerly known as OpenBC) yet. It is meant to be a platform to keep in touch with your business contacts, by having them update their contact data on them own. It also offers additional services, including discussion groups, because since Orkut we know that such a platform won't work without. (But I don't want to rant about Orkut here, thanks for asking.)

I stumbled upon a group called GayBC. I guess from the name of it everyone is able to find out what it's about. And it is a closed group, so people who are afraid of discrimination because of stating there preferences publically can feel save. I though that might be the group I'd like to join, having no real problem with my own sexuality of being Bi. (Although, I say it myself that my poem "Mermaids" isn't about the sexual part at all and people who seem to read this in it are not understanding it.) Given that there wasn't too much information on the group page about what they want in the join info I didn't provide too much informations and was rejected of course. I say of course, because that just gave me the impression that the moderators do really care.

Alright, I told myself, I'll answer their mail with all informations I could provide. I'm not sure if my fault was that I did that offsite per email or what, but it was never responded to, at all. So I tried to look on the site again for the group page, only I wasn't able to find it anymore through the search. After some digging around through the system and other groups I found out the schema of how the URL has to look to see that I just see on the page that I was rejected. No informations on how to contact the moderators anymore, no information on if this is permanent or whatsnot.

So I tried to contact the site support, asking if there is a timeout to such a reject and posibility to reapply, or any idea how to go on. Well, they first tried to tell me to contact the moderators (and ignored the other question). After I told them that that's not possible and teaching them about their own system, they finally forwarded a mail from me with more informations to the moderators. After a while I got a response from one of their moderators saying that as a Bi person I'm not gay enough to join the group...

I was like... Uh! A group, that is about people facing discrimination in quite different ways is discriminating themself. I wasn't able to think straight for a while after I read that, trying to find out about what's going on...

Well, I thought to myself, the group is German language, and doesn't want to have Bi people in it—so I thought I should turn the anger into something productive. Turning emotions into something productive/creative is the way quite a lot of conflicts can be avoided and good things happen. I applied for creating a group called LesBiGay with the intended purpose of being a closed group too, but not discriminating against Bi people and being English language, and explicitly stated in the comments that the existing GayBC group doesn't want Bi people amongst them.

Guess once what happened. The staff from OpenBC rejected the request with the reasoning that GayBC exists already and that I should get in contact with them. Interestingly that message was sent in a way that doesn't allow a reply...

The much I like the feature of having all the contact informations for the people available in a nice way and having them current the much I have to make you aware that the rest of the system stinks. Keep away from it, it works against you, doesn't offer minimal informations or features and flexibility.

On a sidenote—a dear friend of me showed me Venus Envy after my last blog entry and it really made my last days. Read it all! :D It gives me quite a lot of strength, and there I found this beauty that I dedicate to the GayBC group on OpenBC. Enjoy.

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