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Stacy Poulos and Girlpages Network

22 Jun Posted by in • Epochalips Interviews | Comments Off on Stacy Poulos and Girlpages Network
Stacy Poulos and Girlpages Network

Epochalips interviews Stacy Poulos about her phenomenal resource site Girlpages Network.

E: What is your background and what lead you to start Girlpages Network?

SP: Truthfully I’m a latecomer. I came from the straight world and everything in it.  As a lesbian, the privileges I had experienced being straight suddenly changed. I wanted to open my world up to exploring new relationships so I could love someone different. Eventually, I wanted to make a life of being a lesbian and hopefully find my soul mate. It was a frustrating journey figuring out where and how to meet women.

In 2001 at the Women’s Weekend in Guerneville, CA, I was telling my best friend  that we needed more fun days like this—camping, kayaking, pool parties, beautiful women, nightlife. There were a lot of fun events out there, but what this community needed was a ‘central hub’ to know what’s going on. When event promoters are the hub, you only find out about their events, not the small venues. You have to be a “Girl Scout” on a mission to find events near you. I told her I would start a website that solved this problem and make the site popular, if she would run the business side. It was about creating something unique and truly useful that we could all benefit from. So we legally registered “Girlpages” in 2002, I built a sample site, and made a logo. It quickly became bigger than the two of us, and I wasn’t willing to open the doors to the public until I knew it would be a success. Finally, in 2010 I decided to redesign and launch “Girlpages Network”. With the newer technology, it was easier to accomplish, so I launched it with a bang! In March of 2012 we had listed 1,043 lesbian related events nationwide,—I thought it was phenomenal to find so many events in one place!

E: It seems like GPN has become the go-to place for all things gay girl related. How did you manage to grow so fast?

SP: I’m a Ninja. Kidding. Our community needed a resource like this in so many ways. As women start to understand the site, they love it even more. And it’s done right, utilizing existing social media. It helps that I have had an established business since 1984 ‘Playback.net Video Film Multimedia’ www.playback.net and that I’m an award-winning producer helping major clients with their businesses. I applied my expertise to what I believe is a GREAT cause. I use what I love; filmmaking, design, photography, marketing—coupled with wanting to make a difference in the world by doing something meaningful—combined with—someday, when I’m old and gray, I’m gonna want to know where I can roll my wheel chair up to a lesbian bingo game without having to cruise the bars or craigslist to find them. It’s also an investment in my future. I made it a community effort, it’s not just my pages, it’s your pages. You plug into it by the tools you already use to benefit your organization; Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Promoters: just invite me to your event, and we do the rest. For consumers: just hit ‘like’ or the ‘follow’ button and we will show up on your facebook news feed as things come to us.

I want to place Girlpages in the hands of the people. I’m just as concerned with who will carry on with the integrity of what I built . This includes making sure not to put the “fox in charge of the chickens”. I love the little guys!  You have to understand that at the very core of this community is a majority of small venues that surface JUST because they want ‘community’, not because they wanted to grow up to be promoters. Girlpages helps make that happen. But I love the big promoters too. Well-organized events are something to look forward to, and we support them as well.

I am committed to remaining neutral for the benefit of the community so as to be a true resource. Girlpages is ‘neutral’ with event planners, news media, and businesses. Maybe competitive organizations are not crazy about being next to each other on the same page, but to be a true resource we have to be open to everyone (tasteful of course).  The playing field is equal on Girlpages. When we advertise our logo, it means we are advertising our community. We are a brand.  We don’t have events—we support them. Eventually we’ll have a few for outreach.  I’d rather pass opportunities to the people I serve. At our SF Pride booth, we made a ‘Girlpages  Community ‘Network’ Chicks Rock’ booth, community leaders are the rock stars, they are the ones doing the real work, I want them to thrive.

E:  Tell us more about you and your hobbies and passions.

I love to travel, I’m a photographer, filmmaker, 2 time author, and philanthropist.  I was born with a camera in one hand, and a pen in the other.  My goals in regards to media have always been clear since I was very young; to use media for good causes, and to make a difference. In 2010 I received an “Einstein Award” for my worldwide influence inspiring people with Dyslexia. I hope to bring that kind of inspiration to the gay community. It’s amazing what one person can do. Gandhi says “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Girlpages is the change I wanted to see in our community.

E: What’s next for Girlpages?

SP: It’s kinda silly but the one vision I had from the beginning was that the Girlpages girl icon  (I call her Julian) is an instant icon to express that you’re a lesbian or lesbian owned business without actually saying you’re a lesbian. Like the little “family” stickers you see on cars. Put Julian on your car, or business door, and people in our community are going to know you are by your icon. WOO; Women Owned business (Blue) (also diversity friendly) and LOO; Lesbian Owned business (Lavender).  The logo says this: “I have infinite respect for equality and diversity”. Only companies that have respect for equality and diversity are allowed to display one.

It may sound crazy, but I think having a healthy thriving supportive community with integrity is just as important as our right to marry.  We represent thousands of lesbian venues as a public service, thousands benefit across the nation everyday.   I love it when small lesbian venues list a ladies night in Podunk USA.  It gives me chills.

E: Anything else you’d like to add?

SP: Girlpages doesn’t stop at just a calendar of events, we also have links to local niche calendars.  We announce all the events we have on our calendars weekly in our facebook communities. The wall is open to event promoters to add 1 poster per event. We don’t want to overwhelm our audience. Some of these “posters” get 1,400 views. That’s like a promoter passing out one flyer and hitting 1,400 people of their target market. We get 40,000-50,000 monthly views, and 97% of them are women! Check out our visitors page here.

We also have “Headline news” and point to all the quality media resources that maintain integrity.  Girlpages is focused on being a content rich resource that points to the people you want to know about. Our directories include women’s bands, bars, entertainers, travel, etc. The point of Girlpages, is to be a community Network and rich resource.

Girlpages Network is a phenomenon. I knew it would be. We all suffer in the lesbian community because we are so spread out and big companies want to dominate and control the information we get. Girlpages is totally centered on lesbians, and how the world applies to the ‘lesbian or LB community, and how the LGBTQ XYZ & Straight community supports it. Girlpages isn’t just a ‘website or business’ it’s a thriving community with integrity through and through. As you know, we don’t write content, but we point to the experts, like Epochalips, who are dedicated to it.

Think about your experience with Girlpages so far; 100% supportive of Epochalips and anything about you and connected to you. I constantly honor you. I do this because I believe you are a good cause and you have the community’s interest at heart. Thats’s how I roll. We redefine our process every day. I promise Girlpages Network is going to be your favorite website, next to Epochalips of course!

 Learn more about Stacy at www.stacypoulos.com. Photo: Adam Bouska

 

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