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How to Know When You or Your Mate Needs Space?

October 18th, 2008 · Comments Off on How to Know When You or Your Mate Needs Space?

Relationships are all about give and take. At some point of time or the other, every relationship stands the chance of getting suffocating and this is when you or your mate may desire some personal space. If you have been in a relationship, you will know just what it means by ‘wanting your own space’. If your mate has been touchy, irritated and fidgety for a while, there is definitely something on his / her mind. The need for personal space can take several forms – physical, emotional, quiet time etc. In case you or your mate wants to have some private time away to recharge and reconnect, there is no harm in indulging in the same. Remember, this does not mean that your relationship is weak or falling apart.

An important thing to keep in mind if you and your mate decide on taking some time apart from each other is not to be depressed about the situation but to take the time to reflect on the relationship. You can keep your mind busy by reconnecting with your friends that you might not have been spending much time with as you were engulfed in your relationship. Relationships can be confusing at times and sometimes as much as you try to make them work they just don’t or won’t.

If you were the one wanting the space make sure you communicate the issues that are bothering you about your mate and if you are the one that was “suffocating” the relationship then try to take a step back and allow your partner to clear their head. Don’t go the complete opposite direction but just let your partner know that you are there for them when they are ready to re-engage. It will be important to keep the communication lines open and to not alienate each other and when the time is right you’ll both be in a much happier and healthier place.

-Brian

Comments Off on How to Know When You or Your Mate Needs Space?Tags: Romance Advice

How to Get a Fiancee Visa

October 16th, 2008 · 1 Comment

If you are not a U.S. citizen and would like to marry an American Citizen, your fiancé (an American Citizen) must file an application for the K-1 Visa at the American Consulate on your behalf. A number of other documents must be filed along with the Application form including a valid passport, copies of birth certificate, divorce decrees, if any, police verification certificates, reports of medical examinations, photographs as well as evidence that the fiancé will support you, etc. On approval of the visa, you must get married to your fiancé within 90 days. For more information on getting a fiancé visa, visit the official U.S. Consulate website.

Here are some of the services where you’ll be charged a fee:

  • Filing an Alien Fiancé Petition, Form I-129F
  • Nonimmigrant Visa application processing fee. (non-refundable): $131.00
  • Medical examination
  • Fingerprinting fees, if it is required. $85.00
  • Other costs may include translation and photocopying charges, getting the documents required for the visa application (such as passport, police certificates, birth certificates, etc.). Costs vary from country to country and case to case.
  • Filing Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status

It doesn’t matter what country in which your fiancee lives in, the K-1 FIANCEE VISA is the only proper visa and method for them to use to enter the U.S. for the purpose of marriage. If he/she enters the U.S. on another type of visa or visa waiver you can still get legally married but they will then need to depart the U.S., obtain a K-3 spousal visa at the U.S. Consulate in her country of residence and then re-enter the U.S. on the K-3 visa in order to remain in the U.S. permanently as your spouse. Our suggestion to you is to not try to do this without the help of an attorney that specializes in Fiancee Visas. We highly recommend the services of HOLMES & LOLLY at www.fianceevisas.com. They have processed over a thousand applications a year since 1991.

Be ready for a long detail oriented process if you are determined to get married to a non-US citizen. The approximate processing time for a K-1 Fiance Visa is about 3-6 months from the initial filing to fiance’s arrival. After you file your petition, you have to wait for the USCIS to approve it and send it to the State Department, who performs a background check and then forwards it to the U.S. Embassy. When the embassy receives the file from the state department they then send a packet to the applicant instructing them to what documents they’ll need prior to the visa interview. Once you collect all of the needed documents, you’ll need to schedule an interview with the embassy in the Immigration section of the embassy. After a consular officer has reviewed the case, your Fiance will be interviewed.

Your Fiance will be required to sign a statement regarding his or her legal capacity to marry and intention to marry. Provided everything is in order at the time of the interview, your Fiance will receive a visa the same day. All supporting documentation including the K petition, birth certificate, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and medical exam will be placed in an envelope and given to the applicant for presentation to USCIS at the port of entry. Good luck getting through the process. It is a huge time and emotional investment but will be well worth it once you can get your fiancee over and living with you.

If you have been through this process and have other advice, post it below.

→ 1 CommentTags: Dating Tips

Hitwise September 2008 Online Dating Site Rankings

October 15th, 2008 · No Comments

The September, 2008 Hitwise US rankings for Online Dating Sites have been compiled and released.
1. Singlesnet
2. PlentyofFish
3. Yahoo! Personals
4. Match.com
5. DateHookup.com
6. Adam4Adam.com
7. eHarmony.com

Here are the top 3 sites ranked by Hitwise in the U.K. – 8/08
1. PlentyofFish.com
2. DatingDirect.co.uk
3. Gaydar.co.uk

Here are the top Canadian sites ranked by Canada Comscore – 7/08
1. PlentyofFish.com
2. Lavalife.com
3. eHarmony.com

Hitwise US also reported the Top 10 Industry Search Terms – August, 2008

The terms listed below are ranked by volume of searches that successfully drove traffic to websites in the Hitwise Lifestyle – Dating category for the 4 weeks ending August 30, 2008, based on US Internet usage.

Rank / Search Term / Volume
1. match.com 4.44%
2. plentyoffish 3.88%
3. singlesnet.com 3.05%
4. plenty of fish 2.71%
5. singlesnet 2.58%
6. plentyoffish.com 2.17%
7. adam4adam 1.67%
8. eharmony 1.16%
9. yahoo personals 1.10%
10. datehookup 0.97%
Source – Hitwise

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What To Do On A First Date

October 14th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Ever felt jittery about going on your first date? Considering the fact that this can be the beginning of a wonderful relationship, it makes sense to spend some time to consider where best to go on your special first date. Plan an evening that gives you both the opportunity to know each other better in a comfortable & relaxed atmosphere. Impress your date with something different then a typical movie and dinner date. Here are a few great date ideas that we came up with that might or might not work depending on where you live and what entertainment you have access to.

1. Bingo – If you have a local bingo hall in your area at a church, community center or casino then Bingo is a pretty good time as it is a pretty social event where you can people watch, win money and prizes and interact with each other.

2. Ferry Ride – For those of you that live on a coast or next to a large body of water it is pretty fun to ride the ferry to a neighboring island just to explore your surroundings. This makes for good one on one conversation time with a scenic backdrop.

3. Amusement Park – If you are a young a heart person and want to be in an environment filled with action and activity where you can choose rides from bumber cars to scary roller coasters to see if your date has a stomach for extreme activities or not.

4. Bowling – This is definitely an oldie but goody activity where you can rent a lane, wear shoes that have been worn by 100’s of people and show off your skills or lack of them and embarrass yourself in public.

5. Bike Ride – This is a nice low impact sport. Many people have their own bikes. You can pick a meeting spot to start your ride like a lake or park that you can meander through. Don’t be a show off and just pace your ride so it is enjoyable and not competitive.

6. Volunteering – This is an activity that more people should be putting aside time to do. Volunteer yourself at a homeless or youth shelter with your date and see how they interact with strangers and youth. It is a good exercise to see their real personality.

7. Tour a local winery – This one is easy and highly popular for the socialite types. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice glass of wine. The spirits will help you stay calm and might even open you up a little to the uncomfortableness of the first date. Just be sure to not over drink and make a spectacle of yourself.

8. Horseback ride – If you don’t live by a body of water then there is probably plenty of options for horseback riding on marked trails. I am a big fan of this

9. Hot Air Balloon ride – I have done this before and it was pretty scary for me but can be one of those bonding moments as you hug each other in fear.

10. Aquarium or Zoo visit – Everybody loves some kind of animals and fish are fun to watch swim about aimlessly. Both of these activities are interactive and easy conversation starters.

11. Farmers Market visit – Check out the great deals from your local farmers and merchants. If you don’t have a Farmers Market then visit a flea market or swap meet.

12. Comedy Improv show – This is an easy date idea. Stay away from the front row seats if you don’t want to be made fun of. They can usually pick out couples that are on a first date too.

13. Dinner Theater show – A little more exciting then your typical dinner. Dinner theater is a great entertainment dining experience.

14. Sporting Event – Are you both sport fanatics? Try a baseball, football or hockey match for your local professional team, college or high school.

Go ahead, get out and enjoy yourselves! Got another great first date idea? Post if below.

→ 1 CommentTags: Dating Tips

Are You a Jealous Lover?

October 9th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Jealousy has happened to the best of us at one point in our lives. Hopefully you learn the lesson and didn’t let it become a personality trait that you carried over to your next relationship or infatuation. There is nothing more harmful to a friendship or relationship than a jealous person. Jealously brings out some dark and unattractive characteristics in people. You might think that you are just being concerned or communicating to your lover but there is a limitation to how much communication and understanding why you are curious about where your lover is and what time they are coming home and who they are hanging out with.

Here are a few good tips to keep you out of the “Jealousy Trap”:

  • Give each other space to have friends of the same sex or opposite.
  • Have trust even if you have been in relationships where your lover cheated on you. Don’t blame someone else’s relationship ignorance on your current lover.
  • DO NOT ever go through his/her personal belongings including receipts, phone logs, text messages, emails, etc. This is a relationship killer. If you don’t have the trust in your mate then you probably shouldn’t even be in the relationship in the first place.
  • Don’t send numerous text messages or phone calls if your lover isn’t picking up or answering calls. They could be busy or out of range. This just makes you look crazy and the person on the receiving end of this type of activity will usually not find this attractive.
  • If you are in a new relationship and super excited about it, be sure to keep a level head so that you don’t crowd the person out and look too pushy to get settled down. Enjoy yourself and take the time to learn more about each other over time and not in one month.

Being suspicious about your lover will only lead to the end of that relationship. Nobody likes to have someone snooping around in their personal business. If you have a strong suspicion that something is going then be sure to communicate the issue without being confrontational just in case there is a misunderstanding and no truth in it. If you catch your lover in a blatant lie then just bring it to light and let them know that you don’t want them to ever lie again to you. Let it go if it is not too big and if it happens again then you can just break the relationship. I often see couples that get caught up in the ‘tit for tat’ battles and they start dwelling on old issues over and over again just to gain an edge in the relationship. This isn’t healthy and if you are always looking to score points in these kind of battles then you are probably not in a good place with yourself and your relationship.

Arguments and small fights are common but just try to make sure it doesn’t turn into a blame game battle. One of the most important traits I have learned that are important for females is that must have their own set of friends outside of the relationship so that you aren’t their lover and best friend but that they still have a support group of friends to talk to in helping them resolve issues they might have.

Good luck and don’t be a “Bugaboo” boyfriend or girlfriend. It is an ugly thing.

-Brian R.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Romance Advice

eHarmony.com Review (eharmony)

October 8th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Click Here To Visit eHarmony.com

eHarmony.com Information

Site Name: eHarmony.com
Established: December, 1998
Member Size: 4 Million + Active Members
Description: eHarmony is a community of serious singles looking for real and meaningful long-term relationships. Take the Relationship Questionnaire and receive your free, in-depth Personality Profile (a $40 value).
Special Features: 29 Dimension of Compatibility Test – Safe, Anonymous Communications – eHarmony Advice – eHarmony Labs – Flexible Matching

eHarmony.com Site Review:

At eHarmony, new members must complete a pretty lengthy questionnaire that helps determines key characteristics, values, beliefs, emotional health & skills. They use a sophisticated matching algorithm that matches you to other single members based off of these answers to help you find compatible and long lasting relationships. This is a scientific approach to online dating and relationships but has proven to be effective and is gaining popularity while large traditionally sites like Match.com and Yahoo Personals have also introduced their own personality/compatibility tests to their services. eHarmony is a site and service for the serious minded singles that are looking for a quality relationship and not looking for numbers. The approach is more personalized and specific to your personal preferences and personality traits.

FREE to Review Your Matches. You can review the profiles of your compatible matches for free. And when you are ready to start communicating with them, just select one of eHarmony’s membership plans (1-month, 3-month, 6-month, or 1 year). Both parties are notified simultaneously when a match is made. Both must be paid subscribers in order to communicate. Either side may initiate communication.

eHarmony recently launched an online ID verification service for eHarmony members for an additional fee. If you subscribe to this service, the verification will be posted with your profile. The service, which is a partnership with RelyID, a leading provider of age and identity verification services, gives eHarmony members the opportunity to easily validate profile details which are viewed by other potential matches. This service helps members feel more confident and secure in communicating with other members, and help decrease the odds of an unpleasant surprise when they meet for the first time.

Summary of eHarmony.com

Founded in 2000 by Dr. Neil Clark Warren, eHarmony’s Compatibility Matching System helps you find compatible long-term relationships. On average, eHarmony reports that around 236 members get married every day in the United States as a result of being matched on eHarmony. (Harris Interactive Study, 2007). eHarmony is available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

Many people ask the question on how eHarmony matches are chosen? The eHarmony compatibility matching process occurs in several stages. The use the Match Settings that you selected with regard to geography, race, religion, smoking, drinking, etc. to create a group of candidates. Then, based on your answers from the relationship questionaire they determine which people in their database you might be compatible with for a long term relationship. Finally, their system compares you individually with each potential match using their 29 key dimensions of compatibility to rank which dimensions are most important match for each candidate. Sound complicated yet? Well, leave it up to the black box to help you get matched up to someone that you are most likely to be compatible with and then you can sort through those matches that are emailed to you by physical attraction features and reading their profiles. eHarmony even has a feature called Flexible Matching where they temporarily relax the Match selection criteria which you indicate are least important to you.

Many other areas that people mess up when creating their Match settings is that they will select not to be matched with a drinker. That will disallow all drinkers including a person who has a glass of wine at a special event or party will not be available to you. This effectively eliminates about 85% of your potential matches. Once you have completed the compatibility test and are signed up on eHarmony and wish to access and change your Match Settings you can edit it your preferences by:

1. First Logon to your eHarmony account
2. Click “My Settings” tab at the top of the page
3. Click “Match Settings” link
4. Click “Edit Preferences” link next to the item you would like to update

Be sure to click the “Save and Continue” button after changing any selection.

I have even seen on some review sites where customers asked if eHarmony matched on income. All of eHarmony’s matches are based on compatibility and not on criteria like income that has proven not to be an effective criteria for a successful marriage or relationship. eHarmony has a high proportion of female users: 63 per 100 according to eHarmony’s Profile on Quantcast, an independent open internet ratings site.

eHarmony Subscription Plans:

1 Month = $59.95 – most flexible eHarmony plan
3 Months = $119.85, saves you 33% off the monthly rate, $39.95/month
6 Months = $179.70, saves you 50% off the monthly rate, $29,95/month
1 Year = $239.40, saves you 67% off the monthly rate, $19.95/month

eHarmony.com is a registered and secured VeriSign site, registered with Trust-e site privacy and a member of the BBB OnLine Reliability Program.

Company Information:

eHarmony.com is a privately held company, with investors that include Technology Crossover Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Fayez Sarofim & Co. eHarmony.com is the Internet’s No. 1 trusted relationship services provider. Find serious relationships for love and marriage at eHarmony today.

eHarmony
P.O. Box 60157
Pasadena, CA 91116
customer service email: eHarmony Customer Service.

If you are looking for eHarmonie, eHarmone, eHarmoney or e-Harmony the online dating and relationships site you are most likely looking for eHarmony.com.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Dating Site Reviews

Jewish Online Dating Services

September 24th, 2008 · No Comments

There are a few other options then the ever so popular Jewish dating community at Jdate.com but few compare to the quality and database size of active users. Jdate.com is owned and operated by Sparks Network that also owns the mainstream dating service, AmericanSingles.com and a few other niche dating properties: BlackSingles.com and ChristianMingle.com.

We operate a white label Jewish Dating site powered by Jdate.com at: Jewish Personals. It offers a quick sign-up process to begin searching for other Jewish singles in your area.

Other notable Jewish online dating services include sites like: Frumster.com, JLove.com, JSingles.com, JMatch.com, JewishCafe.com and JPeopleMeet.com. Frumster.com claims to have 5 weddings a week from their site. I would guess that Jdate.com is probably doing about 10x this on a weekly basis. Many of the Jewish singles sites listed above also host and have Jewish singles events listed in different cities around the world. Jdate.com is also available in hebrew at: Jdate.co.il. They are the industry recommended service for Jewish introductions online and a well trusted brand. Good luck in your search to find a Jewish soulmate online. Send us your testimonials and any other sites we should mention or add to this list.

-Brian

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Online Dating Traffic Trends

September 23rd, 2008 · 1 Comment

I am addicted to stats and analytics and am always looking for any pulse or meter on the online dating industry so I can start making assumptions and guesses as to where each company is going and who the leaders are.

Check out the Snapshot report from Compete.com on eHarmony.com, Match.com, Yahoo Personals, Singlesnet.com and Plentyoffish.com. This month’s trend is pretty interesting considering that eHarmony just signed that deal with AOL Personals which is eating up half of Match.com’s space that they have exclusively occupied for years. Match.com’s business is very partnership focused with some presence in paid search and sprinkled display ads that appear on social network sites once in a while. eHarmony continues to pound the concrete with it’s cable network commercials with a different twist that looks to be focused more on a mainstream demographic. eHarmony also participates in paid search and bids aggressively on top terms like “dating” and “personals”. They have been a little more strategic lately with their business development efforts trying to put a dent into Match.com partnerships. This should be a pretty effective strategy considering they are becoming a household brand for dating now even though they have a 1-hour long sign-up process.

Yahoo! Personals has the power of their network behind them for free ad placements on the Yahoo home page and through out their properties. They buy paid search but aren’t aggressive at all. Yahoo Personals does really well in SEO on top dating terms because Google loves big brands and keeps squeezing the small guys out of the mix.

On the free side of things PlentyofFish.com seems to still be holding ground and growing. I see him buying a lot more paid search on Google lately and he evens bids on high cost terms for traffic. He must be working a pretty decent arbitrage to be able to afford this. I wonder what his gross to net spend is on Google AdWords and AdSense. Singlesnet.com had a strong year but they seem to be losing a little steam lately. They were all over the social networks and ad networks and are still buying heavily on search but I don’t see any partnerships with portals and ISPs. The ad model will eventually get too expensive and is not consistent to grow your business. In order to keep up with the growth they have seen they really need to secure some partnerships in the US. The one shady thing I have seen with them on search is that CPA networks that they have been working with are spamming the paid search listings and occupying several spots of shelf space. I have reported them several times but those networks are pretty aggressive at getting new ads back up in place of the ones removed.

→ 1 CommentTags: Dating Industry News

White Label Dating Technology

September 22nd, 2008 · 7 Comments

Are you a dating domain poacher and are sitting on a few valuable dating related domains but don’t have the resources to build out or maintain an online dating site? I have scoured around looking for a few of the best of breed businesses to work with depending on whether your domains are international, geo-specific or general category domains.

We’ll start with a company, Relationship Exchange, that has been doing white label dating for quite sometime. They are owned and operated by Vintacom Media group up in Canada and Dreammates.com is their private brand and Dating.com also runs off of their platform. You can find a ton of partner information on their corporate site at: WorldDatingPartners.com

A new contender in this space is WhiteLabelDating.com. They are growing fast in the UK market targeting newspaper websites that are losing advertising dollars by the day and other portal and entertainment based sites. Since Internet World 2008 in May they have launched 482 new sites. Their database has also increased by 175% and revenue has grown by 58% month on month. Pretty impressive stats.

The 3rd company that does a great job at niche related domains in the Military, Seniors, BBW Singles, Pet Lovers, Active Singles, etc is Tango Wire. They don’t have a private brand but instead focus on the technology side of their business. We use them to promote our Military-Singles.com partnership domain. All of the other Army, Navy, and Military Singles partners contribute to our conversions as all of the profiles are in the same walled garden and as we send in new profiles we are adding to their databases and vice versa. They handle all billing and customer service related issues and offer easy to use customizable templates to setup your home page.

If you want to sell or auction off your domains then some good services to use are Sedo.com and Moniker.com that have several auctions a year at different domain conferences across the world. You have to submit your domains for review and acceptance into their auctions so they usually only take premium domains. Sedo.com will act as your domain broker and you can actually list an asking price and your domain will then appear in their marketplace for purchase. We have bought and sold many domains from these services and they are all highly respected companies in the industry.

added 12/29: I just came across a UK based white label dating service: Easy Date White Label Dating. They are the company behind the popular UK dating site DatetheUK.com and SpeedDaterUK.co.uk.

-Brian

→ 7 CommentsTags: Dating Industry News

eHarmony Deal with AOL Personals

September 18th, 2008 · No Comments

eHarmony announced a new partnership on the AOL Personals channel where it will share it’s online dating advice to readers of AOL Personals. AOL singles will also be able to register for eHarmony’s relationship service directly competing on a page shared with AOL’s long time partner Match.com.

The page looks to be co-sponsored by the two websites. My experience with this in the past doing business development partnerships in the dating vertical is that both sites will hurt in this relationship having to split the traffic and the consumers will get very confused as to what service they belong to.

I can understand AOL trying to diversify their revenue in the online dating/personals section of their business but this is a dangerous move especially since the Match.com brand is so integrated into Love.com which AOL owns and operates. Match.com should get aggressive in pushing eHarmony out of this partnership and making it exclusive again.

eHarmony must have sold the deal to the AOL execs as ‘casual dating’ versus ‘serious relationships’ but the truth is that people don’t really see any real difference in the two sites as Match.com owns and operates their own serious relationship site Chemistry.com that they could have easily integrated into this deal.

Serious relationships sites are categorized by the simple fact that they have “Personality Tests” in there sign-up process to filter or weed out “casual” daters. This is funny when you think that sites like Plenty of Fish even have personality tests and they are one of the largest casual dating sites online. I guess POF is a serious-casual dating site then right?

Here is a quote from the CEO from eHarmony, Greg Waldorf: “We’ve always regarded matching services like eHarmony as distinct from more casual dating sites,”

EHarmony claims to be comfortable charging for its services while others offer free dating sites because the company is in the business of finding partners, not dates. Some 236 people eHarmony users are said to get married on average every day, according to a Harris Interactive study. That statistic is still very hard for me to accept or understand how they got those numbers confirmed.

I wonder if eHarmony will ever launch Gayharmony or Jharmony websites.

-Brian

→ No CommentsTags: Dating Industry News

Do You Use Social Network’s to Date?

August 29th, 2008 · No Comments

I get asked at least once a week whether I think that social network applications like Myspace, Bebo, Facebook, Twittr, Stumbleupon and Yelp are replacing the traditional online dating services like Match.com and Yahoo Personals. I think that tons of younger singles are using these apps for hook-ups for sure but the core demographic of an online dating subscriber has always been a little bit older and in the 25-45 age demographic. I know plenty of people that have met their significant others or have used online dating sites for hook-ups too. It is becoming more and more normal to hear in casual conversations of people talking about dates that they recently went on from people they met on sites like Perfectmatch.com or Jdate.com. The stigma that used to be attached to internet dating is long gone for sure. I am seeing more niche dating sites launching every week and people doing searches for very specific terms like “Cowboy Dating” and “Green Singles”. There are services like Tango Wire that specialize in just about every single niche group from Military Singles to BBW Singles.

Share some of your online dating experiences if you have used social networking sites to find love online and if you think it is a safe option being that so much more of your personal information is available on some of these sites like Facebook.

– Brian

→ No CommentsTags: Dating Industry News

Meetic.com Stock Down

July 29th, 2008 · No Comments

Want to buy stock from a publicly traded internet dating company? Well, the international dating service Meetic.com (MEET:FP) is traded on the European stock exchange Euronext. The stock took a dive recently after the company reported second-quarter sales which missed analysts’ estimates. The company was still profitable but only had 12,097 new paying subscribers in the second quarter where it had 62,000 added in the quarter prior.

Meetic.com is based in Boulogne-Billancourt, right outside of Paris. They are looking to expand into Germany and the U.K. dating markets. I don’t see a shortage of singles out there so at 10 Euros a share it seems like a good bargain. Any of the US site analytics companies always report international websites completely wrong with the exception of Hitwise. I would say that Meetic is probably the largest international dating service next to Match.com with tens of millions of singles in more than 20 countries.

Bloomberg.com Europe Article: Meetic Plunges to Record After Sales Miss Estimates

→ No CommentsTags: Dating Industry News

Plenty of Fish Dating (POF.com)

July 28th, 2008 · 6 Comments

CLick to Visit Plenty Of Fish

Plenty of Fish Information

Site Name: Plenty Of Fish
Member Size: 5.3 Million Members
Description: PlentyofFish is an online dating site, popular primarily in Canada, the UK, Australia and the United States. The service, based in Vancouver Canada generates revenue through advertising. While it is free to use, it offers premium services, such as message tracking in which members pay for credits that can be used for higher tiered services. The site also offers a paid version.

Site Review

Are you new to the world of online dating and looking for a good starting point with your love life? There are a ton of dating services and resources available to single people online and new ones cropping up on a daily. I recommend that you join a few different services from the free dating sites to paid subscription services and you’ll see that most of the functionality between the two are about the same but that the real apparent difference is in the quality of the users.

Plenty of Fish (www.plentyoffish.com) is one of the largest and more respected free dating services online with about 800,000 active users. The guy behind the operation still runs the company out of his apartment with his girlfriend and a few employees now that handle photos and customer service issues. He spends most of his time on removing fraudulent users from the site which is obvious from the lack of design aesthetic on the site. According to data collected by Comscore Plenty of Fish had about 1.4 Million unique visitors back in November 2007. POF has been on a steady growth curve according to Quantcast and Compare.com.

POF has a basic but easy to use interface and the sign-up process is fast. You can search or browse for singles in your area or get sent matches via email. If you are serious about meeting someone be sure to upload a photo of yourself. Profiles without photos are almost non-active and get almost no attention. Plenty of Fish uses the UserPlane AV Webmessenger system for instant messaging which I wasn’t able to get working on my Mac Firefox browser.

I would say that free dating services like PlentyofFish.com, Meeta.com, OKCupid.com, DateHookup.com and Mingle2.com are great places to start your journey into the online dating universe. Most of these sites have very fast sign-up processes that help you get into using the service quickly. You can divulge as much as you want on your profile or keep it limited and private but keep in mind that profiles with little bio or personality info on them usually get missed and you really aren’t getting the full value or visibility on a site if you are hiding yourself from other people wanting to learn more about you.

Plenty of Fish also has their own Compatibility Predictor (CP) test that measures five broad relationship variables that are each essential for building romantic relationships. Users don’t need to score “high” on each of these characteristics to be in a fulfilling relationship. What’s important is how your profile interacts with the profile of a potential romantic partner. The Compatibility Predictor captures the five key ingredients that can determine whether or not two people have the “right” psychological chemistry. Below are the relationship variables they capture:

Self-Confidence, or the degree to which a person feels comfortable with him or herself. People that are high in self-confidence tend to be assertive and competent in both their private and public relationships. People that are low in self-confidence tend to be reticent and somewhat anxious.
Family Orientation, or the degree to which a person supports and values the family. People that are family-oriented tend to want or already have children, are very close to their immediate relatives and prefer cooking at home to eating at a restaurant. People that are not family-oriented tend to be individualistic, unconventional and very much enjoy attending parties and social functions.
Self-Control, or the extent to which a person exerts control over various aspects of life. People that are high in self-control tend have strong emotional reactions to things and try to regulate those feelings by micromanaging and attending to specific details. People that are low in self-control are usually relaxed, even-tempered and lenient.
Openness, or the extent to which a person is open to and dependent upon others. People that are high in openness tend to like a wide range of things (e.g., food, music, movies, etc.), in part because they are concerned with pleasing other people. In contrast, people low in openness are very independent and opinionated; they know what they like and aren’t apt to change their opinion.
Easygoingness, or a person’s work ethic and degree of mental flexibility. People that are high in easygoingness are very relaxed, broadminded and unaffected by change. In contrast, people low in easygoingness tend be hardworking, firm, and sometimes inflexible.

PlentyofFish.com has grown over the years with new features and better matching technology. They have a huge presence in the US and Canada and usually have about 100,000 users online at during peak hours. The sign-up process took me about 5 minutes and that was including taking the personality test that you have to complete every question on.

Be sure to keep yourself safe dating online and check out some of our Online Dating Safety Tips.

If you are looking for Plenty of Fish dating site, POF dating, plentyoffish, plenty of fish personals, plenty of fish in the sea dating then you are probably looking for the official plenty of fish site at: www.plentyoffish.com

→ 6 CommentsTags: Dating Site Reviews

Hitwise June 2008 Online Dating Rankings

July 15th, 2008 · No Comments

Hitwise US internet dating rankings have recently been updated and here is the top sites by traffic according to Hitwise which monitors internet traffic and collects data directly from ISP networks. Hitwise is a commercial product where you have to pay to access data reports similar to Comscore. It is used to measure market share of a vertical for online businesses.

Here is the sites that topped the list:
1. Singlesnet
2. Plentyoffish
3. Yahoo! Personals
4. Match.com
5. Adam4Adam.com
6. DateHookup.com
7. TRUE.com
8. eHarmony.com

Other noteworthy sites that moved up and down were BlackPeopleMeet.com moved up from #11 to #10 and Mate1.com fell off the top 15 to the number 17th position. This list looks a lot different in the UK and other countries. Gaydar.co.uk usually tops the list in the UK and PlentyofFish in Canada followed closely by Lavalife. Isn’t it funny to see that eHarmony.com didn’t even make the top 5 list. Someone needs to tell them that they can’t promote an online dating site by simply buying TV commercials over and over.

If you look at Singlesnet, Match.com and Plenty of Fish on Compete.com you’ll see that Singlenet is still ahead of Match but that PlentyofFish looks to be substantially smaller in size than Match.com. This could be whether the two technologies have factored in partnership deals like Love@AOL and MSN Personals that drive a ton of volume and traffic to Match.com.

singlesnet.com vs. match.com vs. plentyoffish.com
– Compete.com results.

Hitwise also reported “Free Dating Site” U.S. Rankings for June, 2008:
1. PlentyofFish.com
2. DateHookup.com
3. OKCupid.com
4. HotorNot.com
5. WebDate.com

→ No CommentsTags: Dating Industry News

Russian Mail Order Brides

July 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

Back in the early days of online dating, “Russian Mail Order Brides” and penpal services were very popular and most of the top sites had a good deal of Russian, Ukrainian women featured on their sites. The Soviet Union was still the Soviet Union and international profiles flooded most of the dating services online.

This is how the profiles made it to US websites. Companies like Kiss.com (previously known as Foreign Relations), A Foreign Affair and Cherry Blossoms had marriage agency contacts abroad in Russia, Eastern Europe, Philippines and South America. These agents had paper profile questionnaires that the women would fill out and then the agencies would mail a package of these applications with photos attached with paperclips to them of each of the applicants. Some of the women provided their own photos and most of them were professionally taken at the agency offices. Many of the women back then did not have email addresses so almost all of the correspondence was done via letters and phone calls so you can imagine the process. Customers on these websites would order the addresses or full contact information of the woman (around $12 a piece) and most of the services provided Russian (Cyrillic) address labels to put on envelopes to ensure delivery of letters.

Some sites like Kiss.com allowed customers to purchase full color copies of the original photos that were submitted for a charge of $5. Once the letters went back and forth a few times they would then plan to meet in person in the foreign country as this was a requirement for a “Fiancée Visa” or K-1 visa to be accepted. This process could take months and years to finally get completed but I estimate that 1000’s of women successfully married men in the US and around the world through these services.

“Mail Order Bride” is a dating niche that still isn’t fully mainstream yet because people still have pre-conceptions that the women are just “Gold Diggers”. Well if you have been to Russia or any of the former Soviet Union countries you will see that they are doing pretty well nowadays and actually the Bentley car dealership in Kiev, Ukraine sold more cars then the Beverly Hills Bentley shop last year.

Today, there are many Russian and Ukrainian dating sites online but only a few trusted businesses that have real profiles on them. Below is a list of the sites that we recommend using if you are looking for international dating and a woman from South America, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Estonia, Moldova, Poland or the Philippines.

Anastasia International – They have been around since 1993 and have offices here in the US and in Moscow, Russia. They offer romance tours and have 1,000’s of new profiles updated monthly to their site.

Cherry Blossoms – Located in Hawaii, Cherry Blossoms is a trusted brand focused on international dating and mostly helping single men find partners in the Philippines and South American countries.

A Foreign Affair (www.loveme.com) – They were one of the first mail order bride sites online and have been running tours and their international dating service since 1995. They can help you with Fiance Visa applications and International Travel. They are also US based with offices in Phoenix, AZ.

Be prepared to be a little patient and ready to spend a great deal of money on travel and the paperwork that comes with this type of online dating. It can be an exciting experience for you and very fulfilling if you find your soul mate on the other side of the planet. Be weary of scams though. Never send money to anyone until you have met in person.

If you can read cyrillic Russian then here are a couple other popular Russian based dating services: Date.ru, Mamba.ru and Kiss.ru.

-Brian

→ No CommentsTags: Dating Tips

eHarmony Makes Traffic Stats Public

June 30th, 2008 · No Comments

eHarmony recently became a Quantcast tracked site to track their visitor analytics and have this information available publicly for 3rd party verification probably for potential advertisers to validate their userbase. The data is actually pretty normal but I was surprised to see how many Nigerian and Western African scammers are using eharmony especially since the sign-up form takes you about an hour to complete. They are probably creating profiles on eHarmony and waiting for one of their free communication weekend promos to start spamming everyone.

If you aren’t familiar with Quantcast, they are an website analytics company similar to Web Trends and Google Analytics where site owners place javascript tags on pages they want to have tracked. They also use methods similar to the Hitwise and Comscore measures to estimate site popularity and website demographics.

Here is a snapshot of the eHarmony data and below is a link to the eHarmony traffic profile on Quantcast:

http://www.quantcast.com/eharmony.com

4,086,445 uniques in the US May 2008
204,275 uniques in Canada
27,960 uniques from Ghana
18,940 uniques from the UK

Monthly Traffic Summary – US
Page Views per Month – 352,187,056
Average Page Views per Visit – 15.68
Visits per Month – 22,465,275
Average Visits per Unique – 8.46
Uniques per Month – 2,655,417

One other interesting data point from looking at their analytics is that they aren’t at all visible as a brand outside of the US where you see Match.com in tons of international markets. Looks like eHarmony might need to get some of that $110 million dollars they raised back in Dec. 2004 to work. I’m glad they at least dropped Dr. Neil Clark Warren from the commercials.

→ No CommentsTags: Dating Industry News

Top Dating Sites List

June 27th, 2008 · 2 Comments

I recently saw a list of the top 100 online dating properties and it was pretty good but had a lot of sites that were mirror sites and some that had come and gone and weren’t even active properties anymore. I will continue to add to this list but thought I’d share with you some of the top dating sites in alphabetical order along with my top picks in popularity. Comments and new sites welcome.

  1. AmericanSingles.com
  2. BBWRomance.com
  3. BigChurch.com – Owned by Friendfinder
  4. BlackCupid.com
  5. BlackSingles.com
  6. Black People Meet – African American dating
  7. CatholicMates.com
  8. Chemistry.com – Serious Relationships
  9. Cherry Blossoms
  10. ChristianCafe.com
  11. Date.com
  12. DatetheUK.com
  13. DatingDirect.com – UK focused
  14. Duo.co.kr – Korean dating and matchmaking service
  15. eHarmony.com – Starting to be a little less religious.
  16. Fling.com – adult personals
  17. Friendfinder.com
  18. Great Expectations.com – Offline matchmaking
  19. InterracialRomance.com – New!
  20. InterracialSingles.com
  21. JDate.com – Jewish singles; large database
  22. JLove.com – Jewish
  23. JSingles.com
  24. LargeAndLovely.com
  25. Lavalife.com
  26. LesbianRomance.com
  27. LonelyWivesAffairs.com
  28. LoveHappens.com
  29. LoveMe.com – Foreign Brides
  30. Match.com – Top Notch
  31. Matchmaker.com – Run by Date.com
  32. Mate1.com
  33. Meeta.com – Free
  34. Meetic.fr – International dating service
  35. MetroDate.com – Local dating
  36. Milf-Date – Mothers I Love to Freak.
  37. Military Date
  38. MilitaryFriends.com
  39. MilitaryLoveLinks.com
  40. Military Singles – All Military focused niche site
  41. Military Singles Connection
  42. Mingles.com
  43. Neu.de – New!
  44. OKCupid.com – Free w/ Cool Quizes
  45. OnlineBootyCall.com
  46. PlentyOfFish.com – Free
  47. PerfectMatch.com – Serious Relationships
  48. Relationships.com
  49. SinglesNet.com
  50. SpeedDateUK.co.uk
  51. True.com
  52. Udate.com – UK focused; owned by Match.com
  53. Uniform Dating
  54. Webdate.com – Free
  55. Web Personals
  56. Yahoo! Personals – Main stream

Let me know if you see some sites that I might have missed that deserve to be on this list.

-Brian

→ 2 CommentsTags: Online Dating

Match.com Announces Deals with ninemsn and Terra

May 19th, 2008 · No Comments

DALLAS, May 19, 2008 — Match.com Reinforces Global Leadership Position With Two New International
Partnerships to be the exclusive online dating partner for ninemsn in Australia and Terra with presence throughout Latin America. Both partnerships will expand Match.com’s international presence and solidify its position as the global leader in online dating.

In Australia, Match.com was chosen by ninemsn, a joint venture between Microsoft Corp and PBL media, to become the exclusive integrated dating provider on ninemsn. Under the agreement, Match.com will reach an audience of more than eight million people a month in Australia and expects to significantly increase its market share in the country. The new service, “ninemsn dating provided by Match.com” is fully integrated within the ninemsn network, including Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Messenger Today and Windows Live Spaces.

“We are thrilled to partner with ninemsn. The decision to select Match.com as their exclusive online dating partner further validates the strength of our product and fortifies our global partnership with MSN,” said Thomas Enraght-Moony, CEO of Match.com.

In Latin America, Match.com is partnering with Terra, the region’s largest internet portal. With this partnership, Match.com will be the exclusive online dating provider for Terra’s sites in 18 countries across Latin America. This new agreement extends Match.com’s existing relationship with Terra, where Match is the online dating provider for Terra in the US. Visit Amor@Terra.

“The opportunity to be affiliated with a company like Terra is incredibly exciting and we’re so pleased to be partnering with them. The partnership is truly a testament to the strengths of our product, our international team and the ability to apply our expertise to optimize the service at a very local level,” continued Enraght-Moony.

Match.com’s international business continues to be a key driver of the Company’s success. In Q1 2008, Match.com saw an eight percent growth in international subscribers and a twelve percent growth in revenue per subscriber. Match.com currently operates more than 37 local country sites in 15 languages, and the company’s reach spans six continents.

→ No CommentsTags: Dating Industry News

Black Dating Services

May 12th, 2008 · No Comments

Which Black dating sites should you join? The answer depends on your personal dating needs and preferences. Black dating sites offer Black individuals the opportunity to find friends and dates with an African-American background. There are many reasons for wanting to join a ‘Black dating’ site, but most people wish to do so because they would like a partner who shares their heritage and cultural values.
There are Black dating sites designed exclusively for Black individuals, and most major online dating services offer the opportunity to search for a particular ethnicity such as Black or African-American. Although there are some less-than-desirable sites in any market, most black dating sites offer fabulous features such as photo profiles, live chats, message boards, instant messaging, and more. As you can tell from some select black dating message boards and chat rooms, Black dating sites can sometimes be a great way to build community and make Black friends in addition to finding a date of that particular ethnicity.

If you’re not Black, but would like to date Black individuals, you may still be able to join a Black dating site. However, don’t be surprised if some people do not respond to your correspondence. After all, they joined the Black dating site to date people of a specific background, and you may not meet their expectations.

BLACKPEOPLEMEET.COM

With over 570K U.S. monthly unique visitors, Blackpeoplemeet.com is considered one of the leading African American dating sites on the web. Free to join, create your profile and browse members, but to contact other members you must pay for a full subscription – depending on the length of subscription you choose, the cost is relatively low compared to other sites that offer the same services. With a subscription you’ll be able to see member photos, listen to audio greetings, watch video greetings, send messages and chat with thousands of black singles that are online every day. 

BLACK PLANET LOVE

Blackplanet.com features more of a complete, social community rather than just another cookie-cutter dating site – with everything from member discussion boards, news and articles, blogs, and even job listings to conventional dating site features such as chat and messaging, you’ll never find yourself without something to keep you busy. This site is the largest and most resourceful black online dating site out there. After creating your free profile, you’ll have the ability to browse groups, watch videos and thanks to a partnership with Vibe Magazine, listen to tons of music; all of this without ever leaving Blackplanet.com.

You can also join Meeta.com’s Free Black Dating Service, BlackSingles.com and Black Cupid. Meet other black singles for online dating.

→ No CommentsTags: Online Dating

Gay Dating Services

May 12th, 2008 · No Comments

There was a time when gay men were more likely to opt out of hetero-normative relationship structures than to seek long-term partners. Multiple boyfriends were in, serious dating was out. But now, increasingly, gay men are seeking out life partners or at least steady, lasting relationships. Along with this growing trend are new online sites aimed squarely at homosexual dating.

Gay online dating is a market that is growing consistently, with information and statistics on gay and lesbian online dating services prolific in the online environment. Gay dating sites are a useful resource for gays and lesbians to find a partner, and not feel harassed or judged like with some online dating sites that, in the past have frowned upon or even rejected gay applicants. With online dating as a whole headed in an upward direction, gay online sites have followed suit and seem to be evolving as fast as or even faster than some straight dating sites.

Below are some gay dating sites we recommend:

GAY.DATE.COM

Gay.Date.com is part of the hugely popular and famous mainstream straight dating site, Date.com, and as such it has all the same great features. As a reputable and long-running site, Gay.Date.com has a huge members’ database and excellent technical support. Unlike many other gay dating sites, Gay.Date.com is strictly a non-nude site. Many other gay dating sites like Gay.com offer an adult and non-adult search forms, where you can search for nude and non-nude pictures respectively, others offer completely different section to those looking for sex and those looking for relationships, allowing you to choose in which section you want to create your profile.  If you’re looking for long-term, lasting love, then you can’t do much better than Gay.Date.com, as it has the features, membership base and technical support to making your quest for love on the net both enjoyable and fruitful.

ALT.COM
 
The website is a kinky BDSM, bondage, fetish and alternative lifestyle personals web service run by the same people who run AdultFriendFinder, the FriendFinder network. Alt.com promotes self-expression and aims to give people the courage to practice alternative sexual lifestyles and techniques such as bondage and domination.

Members of the site complete their profiles with answers pertaining to personal sexual preferences, activities, and lifestyles. Alt.com features webcam chatting for its subscribers. As well, anonymous emailing, chatting and instant messaging are available to paid members. The site also provides a “Purity Test” link asking the visitor to take the test to determine the level of one’s sexual preferences or otherwise one’s purity. All-in-all, Alt.com is a good site for experimenting or expanding on your already wandering sexual preferences.

Here are a few other notable gay dating services: Manhunt.net, Lesbian Romance and Adam4Adam.com which is a free service. If you have used any of these and had good or bad experiences with them then post comments below.

→ No CommentsTags: Online Dating

Adult Dating Services

May 8th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Amongst the so-called “Boom” of online dating sites, a different kind of matchmaking service is thriving online: adult dating sites where courtship takes a back seat while urging members to head straight for the bedroom.

With names like AdultFriendFinder.com and Fling.com, adult dating sites contend to help users find one-night stands, swinger parties and other sexual escapades. AdultFriendFinder, the most popular of the sites, over draws 10 million unique visitors a month, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. That’s twice the traffic of Match.com and Yahoo Personals, Nielsen says.

Adult dating sites work in much the same way as more traditional sites. Users create profiles by filling out questionnaires — while many dating sites ask users about things like their views on religion and favorite books, adult sites focus more on appearance and measurements. Users are encouraged to post sexually explicit photos. The sites match members of similar locations and interests.

Here are a few Adult sites we recommend:

AdultFriendFinder.com

AdultFriendFinder is the largest and most popular site of its kind. With over 20 million members, you’re sure to find the one night stand, steady sex partner or just sexy friend that you’re looking for. Registration for AdultFriendFinder is free to view profiles, receive messages and more – or you can sign up for a silver or gold membership for even more benefits to help you hook up fast.

Fling.com

With thousands of new men, women, couples and swingers signing up every day, you can check out millions of sexy photos and watch live webcam porn from straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual members. One feature that sets Fling.com apart from other adult dating sites is their award-winning, real-time video chat to get acquainted before you meet, to see before you touch! Fling.com is also free to register and offers photo verified, real members.

SexyAds.com

Join the millions of other sexy singles that have posted their profiles for discreet encounters, adult dating and personals. Sexy Ads has been a trusted adult dating service since 1997.

Strap on your belt and be ready for a ride if you are going down this highway and always be weary of scammers, escorts and the all too friendly lady man unless of course that is your flavor.

Eroticy.com

Explore your sexuality on Eroticy.com adult photo personals. Become a member of the interactive adult community that welcomes singles and couples. Get a free trial membership with no credit card required.

Other adult dating services include SexSearch.com, NaughtyConnect.com, and Alt.com.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Online Dating

UK Dating Services

May 6th, 2008 · No Comments

As online dating continues to move into the mainstream marketplace and become part of daily conversations with your friends and family the international appeal to dating services is in big demand. There are a few dating sites that have focused on specific markets instead of taking on the entire dating world and here are a few of the notable ones that are well represented in the UK market:

Research from Bath University in the UK found that one-third of all net users turn to the internet to establish some sort of relationship, and 20% of the estimated 11 million singles in the UK have used some type of dating service.

Here are a few UK based dating services that we recommend trying:

UK Match.com Dating Site

UK.Match.com – Besides being one of the largest and most trusted dating services already, Match has offices in London, UK and the UK product is managed by its own team to keep the context of the service relevant to the user base and easy to use and understand.

Meetic.co.uk – They are one of the largest European dating sites that recently also acquired Datingdirect.co.uk with over 3.5 Million registered users.

uDate.com – They were acquired a few years back by the IACi Corp but left to still run a stand alone product. uDate has excellent filtering and matching technology to keep your search relevant to what you are looking for in a potential mate.

Friends Reunited Dating – In September 2003, The popular UK Classmates site, Friends Reunited, launched its own free dating site in response to the requests from many of it’s members.

→ No CommentsTags: Online Dating

Jdate Launches UK Jewish Dating Site

April 30th, 2008 · Comments Off on Jdate Launches UK Jewish Dating Site

April 29th, 2008JDate announced the launch of a sister-site in the UK market, www.JDate.co.uk. , to expand its network to Jewish daters worldwide. Jdate is already available in Hebrew, English, and French languages and the UK Jdate site is designed for the UK market which has nearly 300,000 Jewish residents and is home to the fifth largest Jewish population in the world.

Along with JDate’s already-popular website features like live chat, instant messaging, and message forums, JDate will offer UK-based singles events and parties to bring Jewish singles in the UK together in real life settings.

Here is a quote from President and COO of Spark Networks that owns and operates Jdate:

“We are thrilled to bridge the Atlantic divide and re-introduce the UK Jewish community to JDate. It is a natural evolution that this emerging Jewish group will have the chance to utilize all of the site’s great features to meet their special someone.”

More Info on Jdate:

With over 650,000 active members worldwide, JDate is the leading online community for Jewish singles. JDate is owned and operated by Spark Networks (AMEX: LOV), one of the world’s leading providers of online personals services.

Comments Off on Jdate Launches UK Jewish Dating SiteTags: Dating Industry News

History of Internet Dating

April 22nd, 2008 · 3 Comments

Here is the history of internet dating or at least as I remember things. I have been working in the online dating industry for several major brands including Kiss.com, uDate.com, Match.com, Perfectmatch.com, ePersonals.com and our very own Lovesites.com. I have seen sites come and go, even large ones. I have been involved in two major acquisitions and have worked briefly for the publically traded IACi.

I started working for Kiss.com back in April of 1996 when my current business partner, Norman Clarke got me a job as a customer service / office assistant helping with emails, calls and order fullfillment. You have to go back to 96′ for a minute to understand how websites ran. Our online ordering system was done via emails that we printed out and entered into Filemaker Pro. We ran daily transaction batches using MacAuthorize over a 14.4 modem at the end of the day then emails people addresses they ordered. I think there was about 16 dating websites listed in Yahoo! (back when they were a directory) and the top dating sites were Webpersonals.com, Friendfinder.com and OneandOnly.com. Our boss, Lee Zehrer, a pioneer in internet dating purchased the domain Kiss.com back in December of 1994 and Match.com was registered in January of 1995. Back then internet dating was very much international dating and mail order bride focused.

There were large international dating services like Loveme.com, APrettyWoman.com and CherryBlossoms.com that featured womens’ profiles from Russia, Ukraine and the Philippines. You actually purchased member addresses and had to send them letters instead of emails. Most of the international profiles didn’t have email addresses and Hotmail wasn’t even a big site yet.

OneandOnly.com had launched one of the first affiliate programs and maybe even before Amazon.com and all of the dating directories like Cupidnet.com (purchased by Matchnet, LLC), Aarens.com, Singlessites.com, ASinglesPlace.com and Lovesites.com ruled the search engines. You need to go back to 96′ again when the main search engines were Altavista.com, Excite, Webcrawler, Lycos and Hotbot. Yahoo was powered by Inktomi. Google was still a project in a garage in Palo Alto, CA.

Everyone was racing to be #1 in a category that still didn’t have a good public image or acceptance. You didn’t go telling your friends that you were using the internet to find a date back then. A couple of quiet acquisitions happened in the early days but no major consolidation until OneandOnly.com, based in Dallas, TX and Match.com, then based in SF, CA, were both acquired by Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch. Then Cupid’s Network Inc., owned and operated by Daniel Bender, which included the property Cupidnet.com and AS.org (AmericanSingles.com) was purchased by Matchnet, PLC in May, 1999 for $3.6 million.

This brought a ton of visibility and validity to the online dating industry and tons of new projects got started and funded. There were sites like xSeeksy.com, Spring Street Networks, Socialnet, DatingFaces.com, DatingClub.com (run by Targetmatch out of Isreal) that were trying to take the industry by storm. Portals were signing partnership & advertising deals with these companies left and right. Spring Street Networks went after the low-tech newspaper market with a white label application. Socialnet tried to be a free dating service about 2 years too early. They even offered out their female-CEO as a potential date on the site. DatingFaces went down the ‘butler’ path to try to give you a more friendly experience and couldn’t get to critical mass fast enough. The DatingFaces database eventually got purchased by AOL to launch out their AIM personals service which never took off. People were still dating for free on Excite’s Classifieds2000 and Yahoo! Personals as they were still free services at the time.

Yahoo! Personals then decided to move to a subscription model after a short relationship with Match.com where they saw the revenue opportunity in the online dating space.

Webpersonals has had an interesting history as one of the first dating sites online which is still alive but has been rebranded. Interactive Media Group in Canada bought the URL webpersonals.com from Andrew Conru of Friendfinder.com back in 1997 where it started a free online dating service. In July 2001, Lavalife.com was rebranded and the webpersonals.com brand was combined into the new service. Lavalife was purchased in April, 2004 by MemberWorks Incorporated, a provider of consumer and membership services through affinity marketing and online channels for approximately $152.5 million CAD in cash.

Date.com is a privately owned company based in New York with offices in Miami Beach, Florida. The site was launched on Valentines Day in 1997 and became a subscription-based service with its re-launch in 2000. Avalanche LLC, owners and operators of Date.com acquired the Matchmaker.com service in Feb. 2006 and moved the users over to the Date.com platform but kept them separate from the Date.com user base.
Matchmaker.com was originally acquired by Lycos.com back in June, 2000. Matchmaker was broken into dozens of city and religious communities and had one of the first personality tests used to match potential members.

uDate.com was first launched commercially in February 1999 and was able to acquire customers quickly by offering consumers a feature rich experience. uDate.com, Inc. became the challenger for overall global market leadership of the online dating sector when it acquired the brand Kiss.com in 2001. uDate.com, Inc. became a public company trading under the ticker symbol UDAT on the OTCBB exchange. The Company was headquartered in Derby, United Kingdom. In Dec, 2002 USA Interactive entered into an agreement to acquire uDate.com, Inc for approximately $150 million in USA common stock.

Here we are today and the term ‘online dating’ has become a household term that everyone talks about with their friends and peers over lunch or drinks. I can now hardly run into anybody that doesn’t have an online dating story to tell about their own experience or a friends expeditions in dating on the internet.

Social network sites like Friendster and Myspace have revolutionized the technology and many sites have evolved their feature sets to include many of the social networking functionality. You can hardly watch cable TV anymore without seeing an eHarmony or Match.com ad or product placement in movies like Perfectmatch.com did with “Must Love Dogs”. The industry got past its akward and fast growth period, has done a little bit of consolidation and now faces the challenges of reinventing itself to keep up with technology advances in software development and the entire social media craze. Free dating services like OKCupid, PlentyofFish and Meeta.com are new challengers to the media giants for share of voice.

We’ll see where the next century of dating takes us but for now go out and meet someone online. It’s now officially “Kosher” to do so.

-Brian

note: if you find an inaccurate fact within this article please post a comment or email us directly so we can fix it. I hate passing on bad info.

Citations:
http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~bakera/ArticleE.htm
http://sec.edgar-online.com/2004/08/16/0001204459-04-000467/Section18.asp
http://www.onlinedatingmagazine.com/history/lavalife.html
http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=62982

→ 3 CommentsTags: Dating Industry News

Which Dancing with the Stars Couple is a Perfect Match?

April 1st, 2008 · Comments Off on Which Dancing with the Stars Couple is a Perfect Match?

Do you want to know how compatible the Dancing with the Stars couples are? The chief Relationship Expert for Perfectmatch.com, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, analyzed couples from DWTS and reveals her pick to win the competition based of the Duet Total Compatibility System test. Dr. Pepper was featured on “Good Morning America” where she analyzed the compatibility of anchors Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts.

Before this season of “Dancing With the Stars” started, all of the dance couples took the Duet compatibility test, with mixed results. Pepper Schwartz talked about the test and the compatibility of the GMA anchors. For each of the DWTS couples, the Duet assessment analyzed personality factors, strengths and weaknesses as well as areas that are similar and complementary. On “Dancing With the Stars” tonight, Schwartz will talk about her analysis of the Duet test results and will reveal who she believes is the perfect match — and most likely to win the competition. And, conversely, who is least compatible and faces the biggest uphill climb.

See a sneak peak of the Duet Test results

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