Monday, 9 May 2011

Online Dating sites

The various social network sites I subscribe to have realized that I am single, and started advertising dating sites like at me. However, I have a hard time being able to tell the difference between these and scam sites.

The usual business model for social sites is to provide a functional service gratis, sell you special services, but mostly just sell advertising space. You'd think dating sites would be great for this ... after all, users are motivated to provide loads of detailed demographics in the name of finding a compatible partner. But this is not so. Instead, non-functional services are provided, you are constantly nagged to pay for functional services, and your are constantly tempted with too-good-to-be-true looking prospective dates as motivation.

Now it is possible that a 25yo hottie really wants to meet me, but (see photo) how likely is this... really?

The sites outlaw anything in your profile which could be construed as an attempt to bypass payment to meet people. shows you pictures and lets you "wink" at people ... sometimes they wink back: so far all I've got back is "no thanks". People have wink"ed at me to, and, though I have winked back, nobody has expressed further interest... most of them do not look like genuine people.

be2 is even more restrictive - you need premium access to see photos or have any contact with other members. Good greif.

But if you are careful, you can provide hints in your profile to direct genuine date-hunters to some place, like a blog, where they can contact you and still leave you protected. (That's how they justify not letting you publish contact details: it's for your protection.)

Hopefully, someone actually keen will see the hints I have left and find their way here ... hope springs eternal ... and post a message to one of these posts. Then I'll know they are real and something can happen.

It is possible that some people will think I cannot be serious if I am not prepared to pay for full access to talk to them ... but really, I probably would pay for full access if I was confident that the people I am seeing are actually real. Apart from that, I would rather have the money to make a better impression on the first date. I live on Waiheke Island after all ... this is a resort. I can show the right someone a very good time.

Obviously the proper thing to do is actually get offline and out into meat-space ... meet people, physically, join clubs, that sort of thing.

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