One year of Starfriends.org

by Cassian in Saint-Denis-des-Puits, Eure-et-Loir, France

One year of Starfriends.org
We did it
On 23rd March 2020 we successfully raised £185 with 4 supporters in 21 days

Let's keep Starfriends, a truly gender-inclusive social network, online for another year.

by Cassian in Saint-Denis-des-Puits, Eure-et-Loir, France

New stretch target

£100 keeps us online with some features a little slower, but £150 means we can stay online at our current hosting tier - and anything above £150 means we can speed it up.


*friends was born four years ago. I, Cassian (they/them), was on a rainy train in Wales, complaining about yet another online dating site that treats nonbinary people like weird socially-peripheral inconsequentialities, and Andréa (she/her) was in a bathtub in rural France. After flinging some mutually satisfying complaints back and forth, we hatched an idea.

(True fact, I drew a vague logo mock-up on my phone and sent it over terrible train wifi and Andréa made it the site logo without modification, and it's still the logo today.)

What is *friends? How does it work?

*friends is a social network of about 1,250 members, small and imperfectly formed. When setting up your profile there are three important boxes:

  • I am/do/have - your identity, your hobbies, things about you.
  • You'd be/do/have - what you're looking for in another person.
  • We'd be/do/have together - what you want to share with them.

Entering tags into these boxes will populate your Matches tab with people who're compatible with your tags. So let's say you tag yourself #nonbinary, and you're gay so you also type #nonbinary in the "you'd be/have/do" box, you'll be matched with other nonbinary people. If you're in the United Kingdom you can tag yourself #in: UK, and you'll be matched with people looking for friends or partners in the UK. Looking for friends, casual sex, queer-platonic partners, Scrabble opponents, archenemies? You can type those into the "we'd be/do/have together" box, and you'll get a higher match score with people who want that with you.

I am/do/have: Cats, knitting, world domination. You'd be/do/have: in: UK, in: Wales, hero, short hair, cape, underwear on the outside. We'd be/do/have together: archnemeses.

Everyone of any gender is treated equally, and anyone can be as specific or as broad as they like about who they're looking for. *friends accommodates infinite types of relationships.

Plus, we have a pronouns section in your profile settings that lets you type in any neopronoun set you like, and I'm not exaggerating when I say it is truly impressive. I run the Gender Census, and I've read survey submissions from literally thousands of nonbinary people who use various pronoun sets including neopronouns, so you know I know what I'm talking about.

We get one or two people joining most days, and we've had plenty of emails and PMs from members telling us that they found people through *friends who've become important to them in some way - even one heartfelt thanks from someone who met their partner. In addition to providing a solid demonstration of a social network that actually makes all genders (or lack thereof) equal in a way we've not seen anywhere else, *friends has made a real difference in people's lives.

How is development going?

Andréa got most of the main features down in the first year online, and although some things need tidying up or optimising, everything works, the site is free to join with no ads, and people are finding each other.

Development has slowed while Andréa spent a couple of years focusing on her day job, but if all goes to plan she'll be able to focus on *friends and other projects in about a year, and in the mean time she can moderate and keep on top of bugs.

What's the crowdfunding for?

A little help with hosting costs is all we need to keep the lights on for another year!

£100 - the goal

This is the minimum amount we need to keep running. It'll be a bit slower overall, and matches will be calculated once a day instead of in an ongoing way, but the site will be up and all the features will keep working.

£150 - the stretch goal

This would keep the site online and working as it is now.

Beyond

Everything else will go towards speeding up the site.

What helps?

Throwing some change our way is very helpful, but regardless of whether you've got money to spare, the most helpful thing you can do is boost our signal. Share this crowdfunding page URL in places you think interested people might see it, and if you have a friend who'd be into it please do tell them about us.

Thank you so much for reading this far. We're two people working on a small project very close to our hearts, and your time and energy mean a lot to us!

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more

1 of 1 claimed

*friends handwarmers

A pair of woollen hand-knitted handwarmers in *friends theme colours.

Got an idea like this?

Over £100 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.