The Man Behind Pink Banana Media – Matthew Skallerud

In Being Gay, Dating, Gay Business, Relationships on January 11, 2009 at 11:15 pm


Matthew Skallerud, President of Pink Banana Media, began his career in the GLBT marketplace in the mid-90s – a time where not many companies catered to the GLBT community and their needs to go forth and flourish in this country. Matthew wanted to be a trailblazer – a true trend-setter. And that’s just what he transformed himself into after many a trial and error. Equal4all is proud to introduce Mr. Skallerud in the raw…

Equal4all: Way way back, in what feels like eons ago (okay, just 1995), what was your deciding factor in launching GayWired.com? Did you feel that the GLBT needed a bit more representation on the newly-transformed world wide web?

MS: The internet was really just getting started at this time … there were little bits and pieces of GLBT info found online, but you really had to dig around to find it.  This was before Yahoo and way before Google.  So we launched GayWired.com as more of a resource site for people to find GLBT online resources as they evolved and came online.  Of course, the web exploded and we were right there in the driver’s seat in terms of having the opportunity to develop and grow alongside both the technology and the excitement of the internet.

Equal4all: When you were a child, what was your absolute dream job? Did you think you’d be an internet superstar?

MS: Since I got my degree in Aerospace Engineering, it’s safe to say that as a child, I wanted to first be an astronaut, and then later in life, a fighter pilot (go figure!)  Never in my wildest dreams did I envision where I’m at in life today.

Equal4all: Tell us a what a typical day is like in the world of Matthew Skallerud working at pinkbananamedia.com:

MS: I’m an early riser, so I begin my morning (with coffee) reviewing e-mails and going through my top social networks, starting with Facebook.  I then get my top news and information for the day from my Google customized start page.  Then, once that is done, the coffee has kicked in and I’m ready to rock and roll, working on various client projects each day.

Equal4all: How do you feel that your websites have broadened the GLBT horizon?

MS: Since we started early on when there really was no roadmap for how to do things online, we helped lead the way by testing out various concepts including one of the first back-end content management systems (so that editors could post and format content anywhere on the road) to e-commerce (we helped get TLA Video and 10% Productions started with their first online e-commerce sites).  We also had the opportunity to test out various forms of online advertising, at a time when both banner ads and e-mail campaigns were in their infancy.

Equal4all: Who has been your best client to date and why?

MS: I can’t say I’ve ever had a “best” client … I’ve had some real favorites over the years, including VisitBritain and VisitLondon.  My favorite clients are always those that are willing to work with us as a partner to test the boundaries of what is considered normal in online marketing today, allowing us to help lead them along in Web 2.0 and social network marketing so relevant in today’s online marketplace.

Equal4all: We’re sure you have had to go through trial and error in your internet endeavors – please share a horror story with us that you’ll never forget and how you overcame that hurdle:

MS: The horror stories are usually associated with the fast-paced growth of the Internet and how both the positives and negatives of human behavior manifest themselves in this new space online.  From anti-gay activists trying to hack into our site and bring our site down to denial of service attacks aimed explicitly at us over the years, our worst times have always been the small number of hatemongers out there trying to cause us harm.

Equal4all: When did you first realize, “Hey, I made it!”?

MS: When I started making more money per month than I ever did working in the corporate world.  Then, when I moved back to LA in 1998 and bought my first real house, I realized I was doing things I could have never done had I still been self-employed.  The cherry on top was being featured with Gay.com and PlanetOut.com in a feature article in the Marketplace section of the Wall Street Journal.

Equal4all: How do you feel about gay marriage? Is a wedding in your future?

MS: I feel it’s only a matter of time before our laws reflect where society is going.  Ask 20-somethings about gay marriage and it’s so much less of an issue for them compared to older generations.  Well, in about 20-40 years, those 20-somethings will be running our country.  They’ll turn around and ask themselves “what is THIS law doing on the books” the same way we do today when we see laws making black-white marriages illegal not so long ago.

Equal4all: Please give advice to anyone who may be struggling with their sexuality and coming to terms with who they truly are:

MS: Don’t bend under peer pressure. Come out at your own pace, and find friends and other people who can help and guide you along the way.  For most of us, it’s an individual journey that is hard at first and easier as we all mature.

Equal4all: What can we expect from Matthew Skallerud in the future?

MS: I’d like to continue in the forefront of online marketing, helping companies large and small promote themselves to the GLBT community online, no matter where they may be … the web, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, a blog and more.

Quick, on your toes…

Blue or red?


The ocean or a lake?


Cook or take-out?


Blonds or brunettes?


What kind of car do you drive?

Honda Ridgeline

Favorite candy bar?

Reeses Peanut Butter Cup

Favorite website?


If you would like to follow Matthew Skallerud’s personal blog, please click here. If you would like to contact Matthew directly, please email him at mattskal@pinkieb.com.

Interview conducted and written by J. Federico

  1. It’s so cool seeing a gay man in charge of a really big business

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