Well it’s bitter time here at Dead Robot Industries! I’m going to review them and hopefully give you, dear readers, insight as to why gay campsite websites are uglier than drag queens left out in the rain. (SFW means Ok to open. MNSFW means “maybe not safe for work” – Stay out of the “Gallery” sections. NSFW means don’t open it at work, ok? Just don’t)
The Cedars (SFW)
What? A nice layout? A picture that doesn’t shy away from showing the camp area? Photos that are up to date and actually show people having fun? Google Earth map link? On every page? I’m in shock! Oh wait. The Event’s page is fucked – I knew it was too good to be true. Clicking on a date gets you nothing. Nice that they have a Forums and a Guestbook right out there for all to see – very Web 2.0.
It gets a 4 out of 5. No crap and no animated gifs makes me want to visit!
Campit Resorts (SFW)
Okay first off: Frameset: the “Blink” tag of page layout. The Gallery page link at the bottom of the home page frame is dead so click away all you like, however the Gallery link in the nav bar frame leads to images 3 years old. Take that as you will. Table on the right side with the border set to “2”. Classy! The map is in the “links” section and buried within the About page. Whatever that means. I would think that you’d want your guests to find you easy.
To it’s credit, the site is packed with lots and lots of info (I dare to say “dense”). Other than the riot of things going on, I’d have to say I feel comfortable scooting around this site, but the layout is brutal. I’ve been to Campit, and I can say that the website is like your crazy cousin you don’t talk about: nice to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live with it.
I give it 3.5 out of 5. Lose the frameset.
Rainbow Ridge (SFW but rainbowy)
I… ah… oh god… My eyes… I’m blind… I feel sick! Okay enough. You get it. Like an aluminum bat to the bridge of your nose, we’re treated to rainbows on black throughout with white centred text that dissapears as you read on into the flag colours. Ow. Non-tiling backgrounds. Classy!
The site is entirely in long form: nothing in point form to quickly identify what you’re looking for. The photo gallery is a little app that pops up microscopic pictures of other people’s tents, with barely any of the facilities. Hrmmm… And what would a gay campsite website be without it’s own section dedicated to “dancing” (which explains their rec hall – isn’t that a “facility” feature?). The reservations form looks like it was laid out by Robin Williams on a cocaine bender. The Events section proudly announces no new events, sealing my non-desire to spend the $5 to use their rec hall.
I give it 1 out of 5. It makes me want to visit only to see if they’ve painted the trees rainbow colours.
The Hillside (MNSFW)
Oh another black and rainbow motif. How clever. Okay people there’s a lot of stuff to get through here so lets… No… Wait. It’s crap, you know that just by the home page. I’ll save you the trouble and just jump right to the batshit crazy:
TO APPLY send an e-mail with the requested information & picture(s)…
A slim GWM between the heights of 5’4″ to 5’11” is a plus. This doesn’t mean men with other physical descriptions won’t be considered, however height and weight are important.
Include work and personal qualifications including age, height, weight and full physical description. A photo is a must.
…it’s faster to reply by clicking on the button below to send an e-mail that includes complete qualifications (note above) and photo(s) if possible.
THE MORE INFORMATION YOU CAN PROVIDE THE BETTER.
One word: Yikes.
But it gets more batshit as you go deeper: on the Camp Map and Security Section:
HILLSIDE CAMPGROUNDS DOES NOT INCLUDE A CAMP MAP ON ITS WEB SITE FOR SECURITY REASONS. HILLSIDE’S OWNER DOESN’T WISH TO SHARE SUCH INFORMATION WITH SOMEONE WHO IS NOT AT CAMP. ANYONE WHO VISITS HILLSIDE CAN SEE A HAND-DRAWN MAP IN THE REGISTRATION OFFICE. HILLSIDE IS A VERY LARGE CAMP WITH MORE THAN THREE MILES OF ROADS WITHIN ITS GATES. WE INVITE YOU TO VISIT HILLSIDE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CAMP’S LAYOUT.
Uh. Okay. If I want to visit, I guess I just use a psychic tuned to batshit crazy? Where the fuck is the logic in that? What the hell happened that the owner doesn’t want to divulge to new clients where to spend their money?
0 out of 5. As inviting as going to a creepy, sweaty co-worker’s halloween party by yourself.