Dave Wilkie, CEO Of Weopia - Online Personals Watch: News on the Online Dating Industry and Business

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And so the stage is set: New upstart downloadable standalone application vs. two-year-old flash-based in-browser embeddable avatar-based chat vs apps like IMVU with millions of existing users. Both companies rely on one or two research reports as a primary justification for existing. There are lots of co

The story about virtual avatar-based chat has been played out for several years now. I'm a big fan of virtual environments but both Weopia and OmniDate are missing key features and Q&A/gameplay. Until these issues are addressed, as it has been, there is going to be little movement in this arena.

At least get some in-environment advertisers. I don't understand why Omnidate hasn't done this yet. You worked in advertising, this should be easy.

Going mobile is not worth it at this time. Focus on your core product offering and get some deals in place.

Dave Wilkie

Our next couple of releases, over the next few weeks (mid and late March), will have much more activity, relationship quizzes, strategy games, flying games, dating games, a more concentrated space, and live voice chat. You're bang-on, Insider. Next, we'll have a larger avatar selection with customization and optional enhancements and places to decorate and further show off your personality.

We are in Beta and are listening to what our users are interested in. I've always found it best to go to market a bit earlier than when we feel we've hit perfection according to our own design, just to see what people do with it and to hear what people have to say. And, we do have companies coming to us interested in using Weopia in unique ways...ways that we hadn't even considered.

By the way, you can't do what we want to do with Weopia in Flash and a browser. That was a tough decision long ago and we went with maximum experience over easier accessibility in a browser. Now, creativity in Weopia development is limited almost only by our imagination.

Dave @ Weopia.

Alicja Pawłowska

I just don't see this idea being wildly popular. Why should I go to another website if I met someone somewhere else and I already have this person phone number?
Everyone would be anxious to meet this person as soon as possible not going to another website to keep dating. Main goal of internet dating is to help meet someone in real life not to extend meeting someone in virtual world.
Your website is definitively for people who are not anxious to meet someone met on line and for me if the guy doesn't want to meet me and invite me to another fantasy land it means that there is something wrong with him and he is running away from reality for some reasons.
Good luck I will be watching your progress:)

Dave Wilkie

Thanks Alicja. What makes online dating not so great is that people create such high expectations when chatting via email text, always looking at that great photo in the profile, and taking time to craft that perfect reply. The research shows that, on average, you like the person less when you meet than when you were emailing. So, on average, you are destined to fail. But, if you go into a virtual date, even for a short time, you come out liking the person more at your first date and are 200% more likely to go on a second date. This makes sense as we are people who need to experience. We can't judge on profile attributes like income and education and some text chat. In Weopia, you can cut the emailing down to a few emails, go into the worlds, find out if you click when experiencing beyond crafted text replies and dramatically cut short the time it takes to get together in person. Take someone into Weopia. Wait a few days as a much improved version is about to be released. It really is another dimension to the online dating experience and it cuts it short, not extends it.

Dave Wilkie

Also, Alicja, you sound like someone who is confident and willing to meet fairly quickly. I have friends who say the same thing. They like to have a couple of email exchanges and then they meet. But, if you look around at the online dating site complaints, you'll see that a lot of people have difficulty getting past the emails to the date. They complain about poor matches and extended email communications. I'm hoping we can help them. But, I am like you. I'd meet quickly. But having tried Weopia so much myself, I'd definitely go there fast.

Randoym Randt

It's a real shame for weopia that you can find the same boring beach sims on Second Life, but with more activities and options, and for free. This is what happens when people create virtual worlds only for the money, with no personal experience in virtual dating, nor understanding of what people do on virtual dates. I would know. I met my real life husband on Second Life.

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