For those that don’t know, Grindr is an iPhone (and now Blackberry) application that uses location based search (i.e. it knows where you are) to tell you where other people using the same application are.  It has a simple image of each person (a photo you pick) and a short profile and basic stats (height, weight, age etc).   For anyone reading this, it’s easy to see that this is used by gay guys wanting to hook up ({f you don’t know what I mean by this check out this meaninglook for Slang Meaning 3(b) }.

Anyway, I have done a wee review of Grindr before, but had to laugh when the NZ Herald had this article today on Grindr. The headline was Gay men embrace GPS dates. That headline is quite wrong on a few levels:

  1. Grindr isn’t always GPS based – it’s LOCATION based.  An iPhone 2G uses cell phone triangulation to work out where it is.  But that’s a minor issue.
  2. How does one put this nicely?  Ummmm, Grindr is NOT about dates, it’s about HOOK UPs.  Cute that they say GPS dates, but yeah, no, not really.

It also quotes former Gay New Zealand editor Matt Akersten:

“You might not be in the traditionally gay areas like Ponsonby or Grey Lynn or the inner city – you could be in one of the smaller centres – and you just plug it in and realise you’re not alone, and there are other people like you out there, it’s a great networking tool,” he said.

Euphemisms are so cute..  It’s a great networking tool. Well if by networking you mean HOOK UP then sure, it is.

On a more serious level, Grindr works best in big cities with lots of users – like Sydney or bigger.  But when you go to Oamaru and you are the only person on it, it kinda falls down.   As they say, I am the only gay in the village. There is one downside of the super large cities: Since Grindr only lists a few pages (100 I think) of the closest people, in places like Sydney there might be 100 people within a few km, meaning you only see those people and not people further out.  In places like Auckland you see everyone (coz there are often only a few dozen online withing 10-20km at any given time).  Also as I have blogged previously, the application has to be running to work (no background push services unless you want to pay a monthly fee), so it kills the battery super quick.

That’s all.  Not a major issue, in fact it’s kinda nice that the media don’t write the headline Gay Mean use technology to have more sex, coz that would be true.  Mind you it would be true of MEN generally, not just gay men.

And fear not, new versions are coming:

A version of Grindr for lesbians and heterosexuals is expected by the end of the year.

Black and White Version: It’s nice to see a misleading headline (and story) that’s actually written more positively that the potential underlying story.

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