Date locally, act globally

Joel Bleifuss

“Activism is sexy, activists are sexy, and it’s high time that all humans were offered a way to ‘take action’ while ‘getting action,’ ” says John Hlinko. He is founder of www.ActForLove.org, a new web-based personals site “that directly addresses the disconnect between apathetic youth and the political process by promoting the one thing all young people have in common—their libido.”“If you want to engage activists, why not use the world’s oldest form of engagement,” says Hlinko, who describes himself as a longtime Internet activist and an even longer-time dater. Personal ads worked for him; he met his girlfriend online.A veteran of MoveOn.org and JustSayBlow.com, a semi-comedic sally in the drug war, Hlinko says that ActForLove.org will donate a portion of its proceeds to activist efforts, start campaigns for good causes that no one else has championed, and build an “ever-growing network of activist singles and turn them into activist doubles.”ActForLove.org has partnered with Spring Street Networks, a company that manages Web-based personals data bases. ActForLove.org members will have access to personals ads submitted to Salon.com, The Onion, The Village Voice and Nerve.com, sites that Hlinko says attract “a hipper, left-of-center crowd.” His goal: “We are going to help change the face of activism and make it fun.”

Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.

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