Dr. Jim: Congratulations on your launch, Patrick. Tell us, why did it take so long for someone to establish a site that catered to gays?
Patrick: Thank you. I don't know why it has taken so long for the industry to identify this tremendous opportunity. It was partially because of the eHarmony policy and other relationship sites' lack of service to the gay segment that I founded myPartnerPerfect. For far too long the industry has neglected the gay community and their pursuit of life-partners. Instead, the dating service industry has been flooded with gay sites that only promote hook-ups and short-term encounters. I don't object to sites with that goal, but a very large segment of the gay community is looking for something deeper, that can last a lifetime. That's exactly what the myPartnerPerfect system was designed to do.
Dr. Jim: Do you think all of the recent, negative press around eHarmony is fair, or are these just cheap shots from competitors and a few dissatisfied customers?
Patrick: I think the larger issue being drawn out in the press isn't with the focus of eHarmony's services, but the underlying premise of that focus. Sites like eHarmony will always have a place in the world of online dating and relationships, but it is my hope that myPartnerPerfect can help fill the void in the market and foster many happy and healthy relationships for gay men.
Dr. Jim: What's the difference between a niche site that caters to a specific audience versus a site that is accused of being discriminatory?
Patrick: Wikipedia describes a niche market as "a focused, targetable portion (subset) of a market sector. By definition, then, a business that focuses on a niche market is addressing a need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream providers." eHarmony, in my opinion, essentially started out as a niche site for marriage-oriented heterosexual Christians. Dr. Warren himself attributes much of eHarmony's success to its ties to Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian community. It was only recently that Dr. Warren and eHarmony began distancing themselves from that "niche" market as the site began growing rapidly and they began positioning themselves for the masses. myPartnerPerfect is completely forthwith about the segmented "niche" market we cater to due to the demand in the market that is not being met.
Dr. Jim: In what ways does the culture of your service and site differ significantly from large sites, like Match or Yahoo! Personals, which try to address the dating needs of everyone?
Patrick: myPartnerPerfect is an exclusively gay site that has been designed to cater to gay men. Much like any other niche site, myPartnerPerfect addresses the areas of partner selection that are not only important to our community, but unique to our community. Although there are many similarities between heterosexual and homosexual relationships, there are also many differences in partner selection. Our Partner Perfect Compatibility™ matching system was designed because of the many differences of gay partner selection in the areas of relationship styling, characteristics of partner selection, partner qualities and personalities, and above all else, cultural and sexual lifestyle considerations.
Dr. Jim: From your experience and research, are gays more interested in compatibility testing (and perhaps long-term relationships) than other groups? If so, why might this be?
Patrick: I wouldn't say that gay men are more interested or less interested in compatibility testing than the general population. I think that gay men are a very discerning population of consumers and demand the very "best of breed" of anything they patron and that's why myPartnerPerfect has developed the Partner Perfect Compatibility™ matching system.
Dr. Jim: What does a customer really get for his money at your site -- what are the compelling features that can't be found elsewhere?
Patrick: In addition to the unique Partner Perfect matches presented to the user by our matching system, members can search the database with 5 different customized browsing tools (including our Deal Breaker Search, our Partner Perfect Search, and our Custom Search). We also have unique profile customization tools, a monthly gay-relationship eNewsletter, private matchmaking services, anonymous phone calling, our myProfilePartner™ personal profile advice and review services, monthly socials and singles mixers, weDate!™ group dinners, and our a la carte menu to select the features that are most important to the user who is not yet ready to commit to a full Premium Membership.
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