I lived for a number of years in the US Upper Midwest near the Canadian border, and the gays & lesbians there created an online group for themselves. Called Rainbow Ranch, it was on eGroups if I remember correctly, later moved to Yahoo.
We used it as a dating service, and for socializing, having monthly get-togethers around the state, including camp-outs in the summer. For a while I lived in a town of only 500, where there were a few gays, but not a lot of choice, so being able to network across hundreds of miles was great.
I did finally settle down with a guy for 2 years in a tiny farming town, who strangely enough had been living just a few doors down from me before I realized he was gay through a newspaper article. The article didn't mention him being gay, but my gaydar knew.
Not a lot to do for gays there, but there was a gay bar 70 miles away, which we'd visit on weekends, sometimes staying over with local gay friends we found. And not just overnighting for sex, but to avoid the drive home after midnight in the winter, with temps well below zero and sudden blizzards not uncommon.
It was an interesting change of pace for me for a few years (a very SLOW pace), but for right now I'm enjoying the exact opposite here in South Florida, where I do something different with gay friends & organizations almost every day. In fact, sometimes I'm too busy, and might enjoy a brief return up there for a few weeks.