BiUK and the web

BiUK Website (www.biuk.org)

Last issue we gave a rundown of all the activities which BiUK has been involved in over the past year. This issue we want to say a bit more about the development of the BiUK website, which has been one of our major tasks in recent months. The website has gone from a basic collection of information to a much more active site collecting together key resources and making regular updates about the state of bisexual research in the UK and worldwide.

The first BiUK website included only very basic information about who we were and was a place where we could store things like the BiReCon programmes. It soon became apparent that a different website was needed which would give us more scope to develop and to include regular updates about what we, and other groups like academic bis, The Bisexual Index, BCN and BiMedia, were doing.

Fortunately one of us came across Mark Carrigan’s excellent website (www.markcarrigan.net) and discovered that he had put this together just using the WordPress blogging facility. We thought that this would give us the capacity we needed to store all our information, to develop further pages, and to include small regular updates, but without the need for massive technical ability on our part! The only thing that wordpress doesn’t allow, so far, is for the inclusion of pdfs and other big documents on the website itself. However, due to our relationships with other organisations (such as BiMedia, BCN, the Bisexual Index, and the Open University) it is possible to put that kind of information up elsewhere and then to link to it from our website. Similarly, we can make links to YouTube videos so that they can be viewed directly through the website.

So what are we doing with the BiUK website so far? Let’s take a guided tour…

Our homepage can be viewed through www.biuk.org. Alternatively you can check it out at its wordpress address (http://bisexualresearch.wordpress.com) which gives you different URLs for the different pages up there in case you want to link to them.

When you go on to the homepage you will see our lovely biUK logo (note the union jack and bisexual colours cleverly incorporated by Christina!) and a background in the same bisexual purple. The main content of the homepage are our ongoing blog entries where we keep readers informed of any relevant events which they might like to attend, bi-related news, and what is current in bisexuality research (such as a new edition of the Journal of Bisexuality, or a news report about research relating to sexuality). Blog postings are categorised under different topics (the grey bar along the top), so you can click on one of these to jump straight to posts relating to events, for example, or to research methods. Down the bottom of the page there is also a word cloud of the tags for the various posts so you can open up all postings related to a topic (such as biphobia or heteronormativity).

Down the side of all of the website, on whatever page you are on, is a list of links which will be useful for people who are interested in bisexual research in any way. We’ve included all of the email, and social networking, discussion groups which we know of on bisexuality. After that we’ve linked to the key bisexuality and sexuality-research related events which are going on in the UK and internationally, as well as a list of organisations who are involved in research and practice of relevance to bisexuality. We’ve listed our favourite publications for bisexual-research related material, including BCN and some of the best journals around at the moment. Finally we have links to some of the best blogs for covering bi-related topics, and a couple of websites which include many, many more bisexuality resources (one in the UK and one in the US).

Down the bottom of each page you can follow our most recent posts on twitter (please follow us on biukreseach) and you can also sign up to receive email notifications of the blog (please do that too!)

The permanent content of the website is listed in the black bar along the top of the pages. We have sections of the website devoted to information about BiUK, to the BiReCon events, to our own research, to reference lists, and to further resources.

In the ‘about’ section, you can find information about all of the founder members of BiUK, as well as a BCN interview with Meg and Christina about the aims of BiUK. Under ‘BiReCon’ you can find details of the biennial research conference, including programmes and abstracts from conferences past, and information about forthcoming conferences. For the 2010 conference we’ve also been able to include a full report of the event and YouTube clips of many of the presentations.

Under ‘BiUK Research’ you can find a list of all of the research publications of members of BiUK and their colleagues. Where possible we’ve also linked to places where you can find the abstracts, or even full papers, to read yourself. In this section we’ve also included details of the BiCon survey which we hope to update with summaries of the findings of the survey year on year. Finally, we’ve included a link here to any community or media publications which members of BiUK write, for BCN or other magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc.

Perhaps the main two sections of the website are those on ‘reference lists’ and ‘resources’. Under ‘reference lists’ we are trying to create a full repository of all of the useful references we can find on aspects of bisexuality. We are listing these so that they are under different topic categories to make it easy for people new to the area to find all of the material on the aspect of bisexuality which they are interested in. So far we have lists on all of the following topics:

        Biphobia and bi invisibility
        Bisexual community/activism
        Bisexual experience
        Bisexual history
        Bisexual relationships
        Bisexual theory
        Bisexuality in context (education and the workplace so far)
        Bisexuality in the media and fiction
        Health (focusing on mental and sexual health)
        Intersections with bisexuality (race/culture, trans, gender, age, (dis)ability, religion, class, and geography)
        Research methods

We’re very happy to take suggestions on other topics and would really appreciate it if any students, writers and researchers would send us any references which they have found and would like to see added in. So far we have added in all of the references which we, ourselves, regularly used, as well as all of the Journal of Bisexuality articles from the last five years. We also have a list of key books about bisexuality which would be a good starting point for anybody new to the area of bisexuality.

Finally, on the website, we have a section of resources. Here we include some FAQs about bisexuality and bisexuality research (adapted from the ones we wrote for Stonewall a few years back). We also include the guidelines which we have produced for people researching and writing on bisexuality (which we will say more about in the next issue of BCN). We will add in our UK bisexuality report as soon as that is published so that people can download it as a pdf (more about that in a future issue of BCN, too – probably issue 111). We also have a place where we will put in workshop resources for people running training and awareness raising events about bisexuality. So far there is a workshop plan for a session for counsellors and therapists which could easily be adapted for other professionals.

We hope that you will find the BiUK website useful whether you are a researcher yourself, somebody who needs to draw on bisexuality research in their work and/or activism, or just an interested member of the bi community.

Sign up now at www.biuk.org and/or follow @biukresearch on twitter.