OPW INTERVIEW - Jan 4 - User feedback, an interesting blog story and social media sharing are the hallmarks of the all new DateBuzz.com. Here’s our interview with founder Sunil Nagaraj. - Mark Brooks
What is your background and what inspired you to start DateBuzz?
About a year ago, I started the parent company Triangulate along with my co-founders David Chen and Matt Weisinger. We wanted to make the dating process more transparent, fun, and effective with DateBuzz.
Tell us more. Why do you think traditional internet dating is not so much fun and how do you make DateBuzz more fun?
The whole experience of online dating today leaves users feeling isolated and insecure. In particular, guys message a lot of girls and usually don’t hear back. On the other side, females are either inundated with too many messages or get no messages at all.
So I think there is little transparency into what is going on and few of us feel that we’re in control of the process. In contrast, the DateBuzz world is powered by these bite-sized votes that we call buzz. It encourages people to interact with everyone, based on romantic interest or the desire to provide helpful feedback, lowering the bar for starting up a conversation.
On DateBuzz, you start browsing profiles and if you like what someone’s movie interests are you can mark that as buzzworthy. In the background, our system is continually learning about your tastes to build a composite picture of who fits it best. When you label something buzzworthy a notification is sent to the user so they know what aspects of their profile the community is buzzing about.
How are you promoting your site?
We’re the first site built around a vibrant community. One of the things I’m most excited about is our DateBuzz Blog. We have 3 women that are single, and we’re following their real dating adventures on DateBuzz. For the next 45 days they’ll be going on dates and video blogging about it on our DateBuzz Blog.
We’ve done some early testing, and there is tremendous interest in being able to watch someone else going through the dating process. It is entertaining, it’s engaging, and it exposes what’s really going on in the dating world.
Tell us more about how you’re getting that into the blogosphere.
We’re promoting this blog across the diverse network of bloggers that cover the dating world. In addition, we have social media sharing links within the site and throughout the blog. We give the content an initial strategic push, but from there, we see where it goes.
What are your goals? How many members would you like to be at in 3 months time?
We launched a beta product in July learned a ton of lessons about what users love doing and what they find difficult. Now, we’ve built up a strong community with thousands of active users buzzing around. We’re poised for rapid, high-quality growth while maintaining great engagement across the site.
Do you offer users any special ability to provide each other feedback after the date?
Throughout the site and at every step in the process you can provide feedback on each other’s profiles, to each other’s messages, and more. Over the next few weeks, you will see us roll out more and more features that will allow more communication and feedback at every stage in the process.
Are there any matching algorithms to take advantage of that feedback and help a person find new matches based on how they match with the prior person?
I’m glad you asked – this is a big part of what we’re doing. We use those bite-sized votes that we call buzz to personalize the experience. As you vote, we learn from that over time and make your search results smarter and more personalized. In the same way that Amazon shows you what people like you have purchased, we’re able to point you to compatible matches that users like you have found interesting.