Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…
Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?
Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.
Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.
TGG: If you’ve found us via Twitter, there’s a pretty high chance that you’ve come across the @ilovegay handle, but who is the man behind the handle? Today we unveil Matt Skallerud of Pink Media. Without further ado, Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
MS: Yes, Matt Skallerud here I was an engineer who got bored working in a lab, and found the world of technology sales more exciting. So when the Internet came along, I put these skill sets together and started dabbling with a first website. I thought everyone was going to jump in and do this, so I treated it as a fun hobby at first. But before I knew it, our website, GayWired.com, grew into one of the largest LGBTQ+ websites worldwide.
TGG: Before starting GayWired.com, you studied Aerospace engineering.
MS: What got you into that, and how did you pivot into the LGBT space? I’ve always loved my math and science… I knew I was going to go to college to become an engineer, as there were so many exciting new jobs in the Los Angeles area during the 80s that were in this field (space shuttle work, aircraft work, etc.) After graduation, I jumped from an R&D lab into sales of what I was working on as an engineer… This combination of feeling comfortable with technology, along with my new-found skills of explaining this technology to the end user, allowed me to create GayWired.com and feel bold enough to go out and tell potential new advertisers about this amazing new technology called the Internet and the World Wide Web.
TGG: Thank you for being a web pioneer. We salute you! As you know,
lot of independent creators read this website. Can you tell about Pink Media, and how it can help small-time creators?
MS: We sold GayWired.com in 2006, and since then simply continued to do what we enjoyed most… helping companies large and small reach the LGBTQ+ community online. It started with banner ad and e-mail
campaigns, but over the years, it’s grown into being predominantly social media campaigns for clients. Social media campaigns are really just creative ways of helping a company get their story out there, and who better to help a company tell their story than some of the various LGBTQ+ writers, videographers and other content creators who have been pioneering the various opportunities in this space for over a decade now. These are the folks we hire, along with influencers, to help a client both tell their story and get it out there to their target audience.
TGG: Part of what you do on twitter is support creators through the Ilovegay handles. Why did you start these handles, and what do you look for when retweeting something?
MS: We started these Twitter profiles over 5 years ago. Like GayWired.com 25 years ago, we weren’t really sure where it was all going to go, but fast forward to where we’re at today, we have over 200 Twitter profiles in the #ILoveGay network that are each dedicated to their respective niche in the world (i.e., ILoveGayTheatre, ILoveGayNYC, etc.).
We have a variety of individuals, influencers, media and businesses tagging us in their Twitter posts daily… we start with those Tweets first and quite often share, like and ReTweet from there.
For the wider world of Twitter, our reply is a bit more “big picture”… if you look at the online world today, you’ll see that it’s been over a decade in our shift in how we consume content and news. It used to be the “active search”, primarily on Google, that brought us to the content we were looking for. A shift happened and it became the “passive discovery” via social media that took over how we found content, whether that was what our friends were up to, businesses we followed were up to, news and more.
Since then, there has been another shift, where the power of the social media post became more important than the article or video being promoted. Successful businesses today, as well as individuals looking to be a “mini media entity of one” have harnessed the power of social media to tell more and more of their story in those 280 characters of text, with photos, videos, hashtags, profile tags and links. We believe Twitter is one of the strongest when it comes to the viral power of social media… today there are millions of Twitter posts every hour. Our team’s job is to simply curate some of the best of these LGBTQ+ Tweets from this multitude of high quality posts and share from our respective #ILoveGay Twitter profiles. #ILoveGay has become a kind of hybrid media company in this environment… what we call a “social-first media network.”
TGG: While I have you here, you’ve started a number of successful businesses in the LGBT field, and I’d really like to ask you, what does it take to start a successful business?
MS: I think it’s important to start with an idea and put it out there, watching and listening to how folks respond to your business and idea. Those that start modest and small, learning and adapting their business from this observational approach, can then take what they’ve learned to develop and grow the business, quite often successfully.
TGG: Thank you so much for (as they kids would say) dropping some
knowledge bombs. Before you go, how can we get in touch with you and do business with you?
MS: Easiest to find us at:
We also have links to all of our [social media] sites at:
The best way to reach us or get on our radar is to use #ILoveGay in a social media post, or tag us at @PinkMediaLGBT or @ILoveGayLGBT.
TGG: Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed today!