Top 10 Reasons Autostraddle Social is Better Than Other Social Networking Sites

Hey, did you know Autostraddle is more than a website? It’s an impactful force on the world! Yep. That’s right. We do it all, my friend. Beyond A-Camp, beyond open threads and food lists and listicles that touch your heart and also tickle your funny bone, beyond podcasts and personal essays, beyond pretty much all the stuff you love, there is a fervent field waiting for you to roll around in its plentiful bounty. That world is the universe of Autostraddle Social.

Being a member of Autostraddle—whether you’re an A+ member or just a commenter—automatically makes you a part of Autostraddle Social, which is of course abbreviated ASS. It’s totally possible to read, comment on, and even connect with people on Autostraddle without an ASS account, but that’d be a damn shame, because Autostraddle Social is the best.

You heard me. ASS over everything. Pun. Fucking. Intended. And not just because when I’m on ASS, shit like this happens to me:

well isn't this just so nice

I’m on a very personal but also professional mission to convert every single person that clicks on this article into a bonafide ASS Addict, except really it’s more like I want you to be my friend and @Reply me in the comments more so I feel less alone in the world. And I’m willing to bet that when you stack up the features and hidden gems that make ASS so wonderful next to the reasons you’re still using Facebook, you’ll realize it’s time for a change.

So come on over, coooommmeee on over baaabyyy, and register on ASS. (Or, log in up there in the right-hand corner and fix your profile up so you can explore the great big online straddleverse right meow.) Maybe start a group. Maybe fill out your profile. Maybe upload an avatar. I dunno, it’s up to you. We’re all on our own journeys and we all make choices in this life. In the meantime, here’s why I’m hellbent on bringing you into our not-so-little clubhouse.


10. Being an ASS Member Makes A Lot of Stuff You Can Do on Autostraddle a Little Easier

I wrote you a poem with a super deep underlying meaning which is to register for Autostraddle Social right now.

I wrote you a poem with a super deep underlying meaning which is to register for Autostraddle Social right now.

Wanna see if anyone replied to your comment on this week’s Friday Open Thread? Can’t remember the clever name you used to identify yourself last time you commented on this website? Wish you could show up as a unique avatar and not a sad, gray, identity-less figure in the night? Wanna submit a meet-up to our events portal?

SOUNDS LIKE YOU NEED AN AUTOSTRADDLE SOCIAL ACCOUNT. Once you’re all logged in and set up, you’ll be able to upload an avatar, set up a username that’s yours forever, and see your comment history in your own activity feed, including replies to comments you make. And even better? If people @Reply you in the comments using your Autostraddle name, you’ll get a notification either by email or when you log in next and check out your profile! (Oh, and you need one for the whole “submitting an event” thing, just so you know. I’m not letting you off the hook here.)


9. We’re Not Harvesting Your Data

Unlike Facebook, we don’t structure our profile format to cater to advertisers. You will not see weirdly targeted ads based on the information you put in your ASS profile showing up when you’re perusing our website, nor will you start getting unsolicited emails from marketers (or even from us, for that matter) when you sign up. Plus, if you’re super private like that, you can set up an extremely bare profile and still be a fully loved member of this community! Have it your way, not Facebook’s. Come be a human in a community instead of just another response to what’s really a horribly disguised marketing survey!


8. When You Log On, You’re Supporting an Indie Queer Business That Loves You Back

We just get you.

We just get you.

Autostraddle Social was built by and for, well, Autostraddle. We love you guys, in case you couldn’t tell, and having a social media component on this website — versus setting up a forum or just letting y’all live your lives in the comments of our articles — was a decision we made because we wanted to make your Autostraddle experience even better. When you use ASS to connect with each other and communicate with the queer world at-large, you’re engaging with something designed with your needs and wants in mind — and you’re supporting the incredible geniuses who built you this world in the first place.


7. ASS Puts The Straddleverse At Your Fingertips

In one click I just learned so much about everyone's lives and also emotional states, it was amazing, you should try it.

In one click I just learned so much about everyone’s lives and also emotional states, it was amazing, you should try it.

Here’s just a sampling of the things you can do with your ASS account: View the recent activity of your friends and favorite users, send private messages to the person you’ve been commenting back-and-forth with all night to flirt with them all cute like, see and interact with other users’ statuses and posts in groups, and find out more about how to connect with people IRL or elsewhere on the Internet. If you’ve come here for friends, eternal love, or to find the one other person like you on this planet, you’re in luck, because we’ve got what you need.

Also, with the click of a button you can search every member and look at them at-a-glance so basically, the entire straddleverse is your oyster.

You are not alone, y'all.

You are not alone, y’all.


6. You and Your Safety Come First Here

In addition to being queer-owned, -designed, and -operated, Autostraddle Social is also run by the same ragtag team of loving humans that keeps the main website going every day. When you submit reports about users, flag inappropriate content, or reach out to our tech team with concerns and questions, you’re not being assigned a ticket number and handled via an automatic response. Instead, your message is received by a human being (again, who loves you) who will actually take the time to investigate your situation, respond to your inquiries, and reassure you about your life as needed.

Plus, we’ve got super advanced privacy settings — literally every single piece of information you share on your profile has a unique security setting, so you could even opt to show your friends everything and strangers nothing but your name and gender, if that’s what floats your boat. Or, you could go really incognito and maintain an aire of mystery. Seriously, whatever suits you and makes you feel safe is what we’re striving for here.


5. The First Rule of Autostraddle Social Is That There Are No Rules on Autostraddle Social

Anna is literally living the dream right now.

Anna is literally living the dream right now.

Looking to find a social network where you don’t have to use your “real name?” (Whatever that means.) Wanna set up shop somewhere where your “relationship status” field is actually an accurate reflection of your queer, polyamorous heart? Seeking out a social media platform where your entire identity isn’t forced into exclusive categories?

Welcome home.


4. Using ASS Will Help You Unplug A Little Without Even Trying

I saw these notifications because I was emotionally prepared to venture into my Notifications tab, and not a second before, and I feel good about it.

I saw these notifications because I was emotionally prepared to, and not a second before, and I feel good about it.

If you’re burnt out from responding to Facebook group threads because they interrupt your day by blowing up your phone, exhausted from overloading on Twitter notifications you don’t even remember opting into, and tired of seeing those stressful badges on all your apps reminding you a zillion people require your attention, get ready for some relief. You can be as connected to ASS as you want — whether that means setting up email notifications for every damn thing or just direct messages and replies, installing an Autostraddle sorta-app on your phone to peruse at your will, or just stopping in to check out your new messages and comments when you’re feeling game to do so on your desktop. Whoever said you could have it all didn’t know what it was like to join a ton of groups on ASS and never worry, not even once, that it meant you’d be receiving a flurry of annoying updates and notifications every single minute for the rest of your entire life.

NOTE: I’m aware, by the way, that a lot of you wish we did have a push notification system on ASS. While we’re not able to offer that to you, I’m hoping my perspective on this situation will win you over heart and soul. And, to be honest, as someone who gets ASS email notifications about like, every single thing that happens w/r/t my ASS profile, I gotta say, it’s a close second! Like, just look at this. LOOK AT THIS THING OF BEAUTY.

Don't want this? YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE IT. Look good to you? THEN LIVE YOUR DREAMS, KITTENS.

Don’t want this? YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE IT. Look good to you? THEN LIVE YOUR DREAMS, KITTENS.


3. ASS Makes It Possible For You to Connect With Commenters, Staff Members, A-Campers, Other Superstars

THIS COULD BE YOU

THIS COULD BE YOU

Whether you’re looking to connect with some of our most prolific and awesome commenters or just searching for the girl you met at that Autostraddle meet-up last night, chances are what unites them is a membership on this website. In fact, considering how differently everyone uses social media — with approximately half of the world hating Facebook, a quarter not understanding what Twitter is, etc. — it’s maybe even more likely that the people from your extended Straddleverse are here than there.


2. …And ASS Groups Help You Connect With Like-Minded Folks You Might Not Have Met Otherwise

This was a really affirming ASS group experience for me, just saying

This was a really affirming ASS group experience for me, just saying

Y’all fucking love groups. Like, holy cow! I can’t even deal with it. Whenever I go to A-Camp, a meet-up, or even really down the street I meet someone who wants to start a Facebook group to corral me and the other Autostraddlers who share my vibe. But guess what? You don’t need to be part of Mark Zuckerberg’s machine to do that! Starting an ASS group will help you connect with other readers, A-Campers, and meet-up regulars alike who share your interest in, say, feminism, Tumblr, cats, or even Crystal’s workout plan. Our groups, like the aforementioned Facebook groups you hold close to your heart and have customizable privacy settings, let you comment on and favorite other people’s posts — but unlike groups anywhere else on the Internet, they’re populated only by the best people alive: Autostraddle readers, commenters, and community members.


1. QUEERMOS ONLY.

A friend request list I can believe in because it doesn't include any of my relatives

A friend request list I can believe in because it doesn’t include anyone I secretly wish I could avoid

Which brings me, actually, to my most important point about ASS. Above all, what we offer you is being part of a smaller, closer-knit, and more awesome community online than the Internet at-large. And what that means is that ASS is populated by people like you: queermos who love this website, share a collective political consciousness trending toward common sense, care about LGBT issues but also love crafts and movies, and can maybe even make a mean chili. And ASS, in turn, isn’t populated by, say, your uncle, estranged father, awkward classmates, work “friends,” and former elementary school teachers. Just you, me, and the rest of our family. Sounds good? Yeah, I know it doesn’t. ‘Cause it sounds FUCKING AWESOME.


OK, Now Go Set Up Your ASS Profile!

Oh, and let’s be friends. Because I love you, as previously stated.

Carmen is the Managing Digital Editor at Ms. , host of Bitch Media's POPAGANDA podcast and co-founder and Contributing Editor at Argot magazine. She previously served as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director at Autostraddle. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 926 articles for us.

296 Comments

  1. 11. Profiles are searchable, so say you might put your location, and then someone could search on that location, discover you’re the only queer there, then message you and marry you.

  2. ASSexual… so many puns, your enthuiASSm was impressive throughout…actually I kinda can’t believe I read an entire post about ASS, so kudos to you 🙂 also the @reply thing, is awesome news, it never even occured to me to try it.

  3. I’ll be honest that I didn’t really understand what Autostraddle Social was about before but the love and ASS puns have won me over!

    (Runaways, join with me so I have ASS friends ok?)

  4. I’ve had an ASS account for a few years now, but I’ve never really used it that much aside from commenting on articles. That changes now – who wants to be my friend!?

    PS: I’m looking forward to using ASS more, but I really don’t understand all the Facebook hate (both on AS and elsewhere). I’ve really found it to be the most useful tool for organizing, well, pretty much anything. My graduating class at law school had a FB group where we’d all share notes or job postings or whatever, my derby league has a group where we post all our practice schedules and cute photos or videos about derby, and I have a message thread with 5 of my friends that has been going on for more than two years now where we just talk about Pretty Little Liars, our cats, and which one of us is gayer.

  5. I feel the need to fill out my profile more now. it already has at least two long lists of things I like on it, so I’m not sure what’s left, but you can bet your ASS ima give it a valiant effort.

  6. I have had an account for a while now, but I had trouble finding people to befriend/was mostly unaware of the groups and the fact that you could search for other members… I don’t know how I missed that.

  7. Sorry, some sidetrack from all the ASS.

    I have an urgent call for solidarity.

    Where is Heather Hogan and my fix of Boob(s On Your) Tube?

    We need to talk about the news from SDCC, about Sarah Shahi returning to PoI and Alycia Debnam-Carey returning to The 100. They’re not rumors, they were 100% confirmed.

  8. ASS is my daily newspaper, my friend, my lover, my addiction. ASS is my life.

    Also…
    @carmenrios I have a not so secret crush on you and JUST WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND, OK? I MEAN PREFERABLY IN RL BUT IM PRETTY SURE WE LIVE FAR AWAY SO ASS WILL HAVE TO DO.

  9. PS. question tho – when I go to my activity to track my comments & replies, the replies don’t always show up 🙁 and also I wish there was a way to immediately jump to what I wrote, rather than sifting through the (now HUNDREDS of – commenters stepping up their gaaaame) other comments. But maybe there is a way and I just don’t know how??? ASS gods, help me. (this will never get old)

  10. OMG i had no idea you can keep track of your comment activity with this account thing. i’ve been desperately scrolling through hundreds of comments just to see if anyone replied to mine l o l. i shall scroll no more!!

  11. I would also really love to be friends with all you adorable and amazing humans. (I mean, sometimes the sheer amount of awesome on this website is so overwhelming I get scared to comment, so clearly the solution is to increase my own awesome by making friends with everyone via ASS? Right?)

    @carmenrios, thank you for organising us all!

  12. I just checked my ASS [profile] and I’ve had a pending friend request for 3 months! Sorry, new friend!

    I would love it if there were an easier way to see when people replied to your comments. Like, I don’t want to get 8 trillion emails from ASS because that would stress me out, but I don’t know how to see any replies on the activity part of my profile. Please ASSist. (I’m leaving)

  13. I never knew you could do so much, though I probably will stick to randomly commenting on shit and never checking back to see if anyone replied because I am lame like that

  14. This website is honestly a godsend.

    I have learnt so much from reading both the articles and the comments.

    Honestly I’ve never seen such an engaging and respectful space on the internet.

    It’s a testament to the hard work of the editors and contributors, not to mention the community that has been built by all the members and readers.

    Thank you.

  15. Thank you thank you for showing so many cool things I didn’t know I could do. Now I just need to get some ice cream and sit in front of my computer for a few hours and implement.

  16. I’m a terrible person who never uses my Autostraddle Social. Before this week, I thought I was bad at commenting–but messaging others? I’m even worse at that. My FetLife inbox, Facebook messenger, Autostraddle social, and text messaging on my trusty phone are all woefully neglected and I don’t know why I’m just horrible at messaging people back.

  17. I registered a while back when I was in the desert and hoping to find other queers…unfortunately i didn’t have regular access to technology, so nothing much came of it.
    Now i’m in a semi-remote spot in New England…anyone want to be ASS-homies?

  18. From the mobile site, where exactly is the comment history? I’ve looked for this a couple of times this week and been unable to find it. Also, how does one access the groups? I never use a computer and I’ve been interested in those features.

    • If you click on the ribbon looking thing that says member at the top right side of the page you should be able to access the groups from there by tapping on autostraddle groups. To get to your comment history under that same members tab if you tap on my profile and just under your picture and @ you should see a box with activity, notifications, etc. if you tap on activity it should bring up everything you commented on and other jazz. Hope this helps!

  19. Clearly, I have only been using a fraction the social features of my Autostraddle membership. I suppose that means I’ve been limping along half-ASSed.

    Profile info added. And Carmen, will you be my friend?

  20. I am really enjoying that this is turning into a giant friend request post.

    Adelaide/arts loving/fitness queers want to be buddies? Or you know, any and all generally friendly queers.

  21. I feel like this article is WERQING. I see so many people making profiles, chattin’, postin’, addin’, ASSin’. ~something is happening~ Y’all can feel it, can’t you? You can feel all of our ASSes.

  22. I have gone from having one AS friend and not really realizing ASS was a thing, to having seventeen new beautiful queermo internet friends! This is much more rewarding than facebook, where my family members are currently arguing about reproductive rights, and OKCupid, where the same ten ladies have been showing up in my “matches” for the past year…

  23. i am so glad to discover ASS exists! i’ve been reading AS for years & never knew. i’m commenting for the very first time to let you know how much i appreciate ASS!
    (plz feel free to friend me, folks!)

  24. Have private messages always been around or is this new??? I never understood how the groups worked because no one ever left comments in the groups I was apart of.

    So how exactly do I start a group? You left out that info in this post 🙂

  25. Dehhh-finitely clicked the link to sign up before realizing. But hey, I was inspired to finally fill out my profile!

    Also, my thumb is SO happy there’s an alternate route for looking up my comments instead of scrolling for miles on my phone.

  26. Apparently I’ve had this account for a year and a half and all I’ve really done thus far (minus de-lurking over the last week or so) is join groups in a frenzy…

    Clearly I’m not using my ASS to it’s full potential!

  27. Yaaaay! Since starting commenting this week I have been having so much more fun on AS (and I was already having a rly nice time). ASS blasts other social networks out of the water. Like I said in a previous thread, I’m coming HERE for my internet-strokes now, because the strokes are so much warmer.

  28. This article inspired me to get over my fear of meaningless internet rejection and actually friend request a few people people who I see in the comments and find intelligent/funny/otherwise delightful. I love all ASS users and I just want them to love me back. (everyone should add me, pls and thank you)

  29. oh my god, this website is too addictive. STOP STEALING MY TIME with all your awesome content, loving & supportive community, and general cuteness!!!!!!!

    okay, don’t. don’t stop that. fine, i’ll go on ASS.

  30. I’ve probably accidentally bugged several contributors with repeated friendship requests after being denied. I’ll /think/ I clicked “add friend”, and then they probably rejected me, but I just thought “Hey, maybe this didn’t go through the first time?” So I keep sending out requests until I’m added. Haaa. Be my friend!

  31. Thank you for explaining how ASS is supposed to work. I tried to use it earlier, but couldn’t really figure out how groups work and gave up.

    I could go for a new, queerer, less privacy violating Facebook.

  32. For a couple of years already I’ve had an account but have really only used it to read. But this post made me actually inspired to bring my AS experience to the new level (and encouraged me to comment for the first time ever!).

    So, who wants to be friends?

      • It’s not that interesting because I don’t usually remember much detail from dreams, more like images and feelings. But when I woke up I had a very clear image of the interface in my head, and the vague feeling that I’d been having an extended conversation and trying to plan an event with people who live far away.

        Sometimes I’ll remember more later in the day if something else triggers it, I’ll let you know if anything more exciting turns up 🙂

  33. Idea: maybe highlight an ASS group every week, to show folks what’s happening that they might be missing out on?

    Also, knowing that I can see my comments in the “activity” tab is a lifesaver because I have given up on using the “follow-up comments” notifications and had resigned myself to just scrolling back through posts if I wanted to check for responses.

  34. I didn’t know all of these things so thanks for explaining! I’ve been a lurker for ages but this has now converted me!

    I feel like I would be very tempted to buy ASS merchandise.

  35. Thank you for this post, it motivated me to make an account and fill it with some information.
    Now that I’m not in school it’s been hard to make new friends, so I hope anyone scrolling by the comments section feels totally free to add me! Even if I don’t turn out to be your flavor of apple jam it’ll be fun to meet you 🙂

  36. I’ve had an account for ages. When someone sent me a friend req I was all, “ooh, communities to chat with all these sexy humans!” But then I found out I can only see stuff by folks who’ve friended me, which made me a sad panda. That whole idea of sending friend reqs before knowing someone makes me all shy and awkward.

    So yeah, feel free to add me iffins ye like 🙂

  37. I cheerful give in! I’ve been long considering making an account (but classically hesitating), and have finally done so. Thank you for the swift kick in the pants.

    Now I suppose I should.. uh.. try to fill out that profileThingy with something of merit, eh?

  38. I cheerfully give in! I’ve been long considering making an account (but classically hesitating), and have finally done so. Thank you for the swift kick in the pants.

    Now I suppose I should.. uh.. try to fill out that profileThingy with something of merit, eh?

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.