BoyLinks is an index of Web sites of interest to boylovers. Links are sorted into categories ranging from community sites and personal sites to sites on literature and movies. BoyLinks worked together with BoyChat and FPC when Free Spirits was formed and has been a Free Spirits resource ever since. Individuals can submit links for inclusion in the index, but because every link is checked for allowable content, the submission process is not automated. The database is updated with new links on the first day of each month.
BoyLinks has always been the most popular Free Spirits resource, seeing approximately three times as many visitors as BoyChat every day.
BoyLinks (known as BOYLINKS until August 1997) was founded and hosted by Accord in 1996, growing out of his interest in boy actors. To create BoyLinks, Accord expanded a project he had been working on to compile links to boy actor web sites. Accord and Sean007 were friends and Sean helped Accord set up the BoyLinks site on Digiweb, where BoyChat was also hosted.
During the Digiweb hosting crisis, Jimf3 asked Accord to join the BoyChat Steering Committee and secured his permission to salvage BoyLinks and host it as an adjunct resource to BoyChat. Sensitive Stephen took the bull by the horns and set up BoyLinks on the new server. He acted as webmaster of BoyLinks for a couple of years and formulated most of the policies and procedures that remain in place today. Kabouter took over from Stephen as the next webmaster of BoyLinks.
During its first days as a Free Spirits resource, one of the major policy questions to be settled involved linking to sites that requested to not be linked. Much discussion and debate ensued among the members of the FSC. It took the better part of a year for any consensus to be reached. Sensitive Stephen was firm and consistent with one policy question: any boylover who requested that his site not be linked would have his request honored without question.
Jimf3 stood firm in his opposition to delisting resources by non-boylovers except in the face of legal challenges that stood the chance of taxing Free Spirits financial resources. He sent letters on a few instances on the advice of legal counsel rejecting demands for delisting. On one ocassion he gave in to an organization that appeared to have the intent and will to officially pursue legal remedies, citing practical considerations and the likelihood that winning the fight, though a probable outcome, would be too expensive to pursue.
Another issue that was resolved in the earliest days of Free Spirits' hosting of BoyLinks involved sites with hidden content. The committee decided after discussion and debate that no site would be listed on BoyLinks if it contained areas that were not accessible to the general public. Any password protected areas, whether available for free by sending an email to the webmaster or available for a fee would disqualify the site from being listed. The rationale behind the policy was that hidden areas of web sites could cause suspicion on the part of law enforcement that illegal content was being served and that that suspicion could put Free Spirits at risk of conspiracy accusations.
One more early question that spurred a lot of discussion among the members of the FSC involved links to sites that promoted real life organizations which provided services to children (i.e. Big Brothers, YMCA, etc.) Although a good deal of discussion occured in the early days, no consensus was reached. The committee was torn. On one hand, they thought that it was important to provide links to resources that would be of value to BLs. On the other hand, they were reluctant to present the appearance of encouraging predation. The practical outcome of the committee's inability to come to a definite conclusion was that a few such sites were linked but most were not.
Free Spirits attempted on at least two occassions to use BoyLinks to raise money. The site garners a large number of visitors — more than all other FS resources combined. In the summer of 1999, Jimf3 signed the site up for banner advertising with a major Internet ad service. The account earned more than 50 USD a day for the couple of weeks that it remained active. Had such revenue been realized, ads on BoyLinks would have paid for all of Free Spirits' activities and allowed a surplus fund to be used for other purposes. The ad service, however, pulled the account and notified Free Spirits that as customers objected to being linked from the site, FS would not be permitted to advertise with them.
The other attempt was more targeted. Two legitimate, commercial sites which sold items likely to interest BLs were already listed on BoyLinks by 1998 when they were approached and asked if they would like to pay for more prominent placement or for banner ads. One such site was enthusiastic about the offer and accepted, paying a monthly fee for several years - sometimes for banner ads and sometimes just for prominent placement, depending on budget constraints.
List of BoyLinks webmasters
- Accord (1996 - 1997)
- Sensitive Stephen (1997 - ?1999)
- Kabouter (?1999 - unknown)
- Anonymous BLinker (February 2000 - 31 July 2001)
- ReTeIp (1 August 2001 - present)