PR WEB - Jul 21 - Julie Ferman, Founder and President of Cupid’s Coach will appear on NBC’s “The Match Off”, Saturday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m. PST, repeating again later that evening at 1:00 AM PST. Earlier this year Ferman received the 2010 “Best Matchmaker” award by iDate - The Internet Dating Industry Awards for online dating and matchmaking, winning her category by a landslide. Most recently, Ferman was seen on the E! Entertainment show, “Kendra” in May, as she worked directly with Kendra Wilkinson on setting up her mom Patty with several local suitors in Los Angeles. FULL ARTICLE @ PR WEB
CHICAGO TRIBUNE - July 23 - Online dating is now an accepted and commonplace way to meet someone, having largely shed its stigma as an option for only socially stunted nerds. Match.com celebrated its 15th anniversary in April. Online dating has grown into big business. Match.com is part of IAC/Interactive Corp. and recently became the exclusive dating service on Yahoo, while eHarmony has acquired other Web properties related to weddings and parenting, including Weddingbee and JustMommies. Another twist on the model was launched this year through WinkVid, which offers online speed dating through webcams, with each date lasting four minutes. Although some dating sites brag about their ability to match up life partners, other services acknowledge their limitations."I really think of our responsibility as 'no bad first dates,' which seems like a low bar, but the reason is we can't promise you a soul mate," said Sam Yagan, co-founder of OKCupid. "That's ridiculous. That's chemistry and what happens when you see each other."
The full article was originally published at iStock Analyst, but is no longer available.
SMH.COM.AU - July 22 - Jetplace, the operator of dating website Red Hot Pie, has been ordered by the federal court to disclose to its users that it operated 1,371 of its own profiles on the website. Jetplace has been ordered to publish a corrective notice when each user of the website who registered between December 2004 and November 26, 2008 next logs on, and to send a copy of the notice to the email address of each user. Users can also apply for refunds if they can demonstrate that they were misled by the conduct into paying for membership of the website. FULL ARTICLE @ SMH.COM. AU
NY TIMES - July 21 - Unlike traditional dating sites where members spend hours on computers writing profiles and scrutinizing photographs, a raft of newfangled dating tools are striving to better bridge the gap between online and real-world romance. Ms. Cheek, an architect, founded one such venture, Cheek’d, which had its debut in May. Users receive calling cards to dole out to alluring strangers they encounter in their everyday lives, be it in a club or in a subway on their morning commute. Recipients of the cards can use the identification code printed on them to log onto Cheekd.com and send a message to their admirer. Cheek’d is not the only new company integrating calling cards and the Internet. Inspired by their own love story, Rachel and John DeAlto, 30 and 33, founded FlipMe!, which was introduced a few weeks ago and works similarly to Cheek’d. Card users said companies like FlipMe! and Cheek’d are emboldening them to approach people who might otherwise have been missed connections. Other companies are helping singles connect through location-based technology on their mobile phones. In the last few years the number of Web sites and apps like Grindr, Are You Interested? and Urban Signals, has swelled. One of the biggest is the free iPhone dating application Skout, which recently surpassed its millionth member.
The full article was originally published at NY Times, but is no longer available.
IOVATION BLOG - July 21 - When it comes to online dating scams, we all like to believe we learn from our own, and others, experiences. But according to new statistics on Romancescams.org, site dedicated to fighting online romance scams, the average loss per person involved in a romance scam has climbed to $11,500. That’s up from a 2007 report where the advocacy group cited the average loss per victim was $7,900. Barbara Sluppick, the founder of Romancescams.org, said the problem continues to escalate despite having more information. Phonebusters, the Canadian organization that deals with online scams, recently said that more money is earned in online scams than in the drug trade. On July 20th, iovation CEO and co-founder, Greg Pierson, presented to 800 webinar registrants, a comprehensive way to detect criminal activity online, without collecting personally identifiable information (PII) or interrupting the user experience. Over 300 major brands use iovation’s fraud protection service to protect their members from romance scams, spam, financial fraud and many other forms of online fraud and abuse. To watch the webinar, please visit www.iovation.com/risk-
The full article was originally published at iovation blog, but is no longer available.
PR NEWSWIRE - July 21 - Miami is the place where the heat is on, according to a survey from Match.com in partnership with Southwest Airlines. The 2010 Singles Summer Travel Survey found that South Beach in Miami received more than 43% of the votes for the beach destination with the most singles. One of the most popular interests on Match.com's user profiles is traveling. Other popular singles summer beach destinations from the survey included Key West (17.2 %) and Manhattan Beach (12.1%). FULL ARTICLE @ PR NEWSWIRE
MASHABLE - July 21 - Alikewise is an online dating site that matches people based on their book tastes. You can only search for other users by typing in a book title or author or by username — not by any other interests. A front page newsfeed also notifies you when others add books in your profile to theirs. FULL ARTICLE @ MASHABLE
PRESS RELEASE - Jul 20 - WhiteLabelDating.com reveals that ToyBoy.com is their ‘Partner of the Month’ as their latest PR campaign reaches more than 100M people worldwide and increases new member figures by 275% in one month. Maximising on the cougar trend - which had already seen traffic to the site more than double, ToyBoy.com conducted research looking at the benefits of women dating younger men. One of the key findings was on average, women felt four years younger than their real age if they dated a younger man.
OPW - July 20 - While most dating sites are built upon compatibility calculations, the premise behind Opposites Connect and its proprietary matchmaking software is to spark thought-provoking conversation and debate between two people with unique sets of viewpoints and characteristics. Oppoites Connect is a new site that matches opposites. They’re running TV ads right now. We have interviewed the Founder and CEO Larry Wilson recently.
OPW INTERVIEW - July 20 - Urban Social is…, well, I’m not sure, so I thought I’d ask the founders. - Mark Brooks
Urban Social is a most intriguing company that has been around since 2004. Can you tell us a bit more about what you do. Is Urban Social an events company or an internet dating company?
Anna: Our core business model is internet dating but our target market has always been directed towards outgoing singles. Our goal was to create an environment that offers them a little bit more than just online dating. So we brought online dating and events together. The events are offered by 3rd party organizers.
That’s very smart using a 3rd party. What motivated that? How does it work with them?
Anna: We only work with the companies that we feel offer the best dating events. We promote the events all around the country, so that our members have the opportunity to get out and meet people at these events, no matter where they are. It’s done through affiliates basically. We advertise them and our members find out about them.
Do they have to follow your event format or do they have more flexibility?
Anna: There is a lot more flexibility. We try and offer a wide variety of events. We’ve had things like blind dating, dating in the dark, “I’m a single, so get me out of here” weekend s and wine tasting dating ….So it’s not just about speed dating, it’s about offering them different opportunities and different ways to meet people.
What is the biggest event you’ve had so far?
Jim: I reckon the St. George’s Day event we did about 2 years ago, which was a fantastic event. We had about 120 people at that one.
What is the founding story? What drove you to start Urban Social?
Anna: We were a group of university friends living the single life in and around London. We felt there wasn’t anything in the marketplace at the time for us when it came to online dating. So we put our resources together and developed a bit more of a fun and niche site that really spoke to us.
How has the site progressed over the years in terms of the size of the business?
Jim: We’ve progressed well. Initially, it was all about getting enough members onto the site for it to be viable. So that was focused around getting hundreds of our friends and friends of friends to join the site. After that, the word spread and we grew quickly. We were also voted the best online dating site one year in a national newspaper in the UK. We also have affiliate programs in place, some key white labels and we’re continuing to grow at a steady rate.
A lot of dating sites have tried speed dating and they’ve generally found that it is tougher than it looks. So what would be your advice to a dating service that was considering running their own speed dating events?
Anna: It’s all about having a niche offering I think. You really need to come up with something different , and make sure you do it well.
Jim: The biggest advice we can really give is to focus locally. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to market locally than it is nationally. And marketing is really where you can lose a lot of money.
Have you run any larger events with over a couple of hundred people?
Anna: No we haven’t, we’ve kept them quite niche , as we feel the atmosphere is better at a smaller scale event . The average event size that we do is around the 50 or 60 mark. We find that they work much better that way.
I worked with Cupid.com back in 2004 when we bought PreDating.com, a speed dating company. We thought the 2 worlds of users would intermingle and get along great. But what we found was the people who came out to events love events and the people who do internet dating love internet dating and never the twain shall meet. There was some overlap but ultimately the socialites were more likely to be out and about than on internet dating services and we didn’t see quite as much overlap as we thought. Is this just an American thing or did you see something similar in the UK?
Anna: We’ve really seen a good conversion rate between the two but I think that’s more to do with our style and our target market.
Jim: We also find that because we offer such a comprehensive service to our customers, we’ve got a very near 50/50 mix of male/female, which isn’t the norm in the industry. So typically we’re targeting urban fun single professionals and those sorts of people tend to be very busy but also interested in getting out to meet people.
So we have found in the UK anyways, that it’s fairly successful. The events certainly appeal to women slightly more than the men, who can prefer online. But when you bring those two together you get great events.
What are your plans for Urban Social between now and 2011? What do you have in store?
Jim: We are looking into expanding our white label service to the US and Australia. We’re also looking at chat features, and a London centric site.
EARTH TIMES - July 19 - DontDateHimGirl.com, the popular social network for women on the dating scene will remove its database of alleged cads from the site in August and replace it with a user-generated forum where users can post their opinions about anything from dating and love to sex and marriage. According to site creator Tasha Cunningham, the move from has been a long time in the making. “We had been thinking about ways to take the focus off of the guys and put it on to healing the women who’ve had their hearts broken,” said Cunningham.
The full article was originally published at Earth Times, but is no longer available.
CNN - July 19 - This month, a 63-year-old woman launched "Date My Single Kid," an online dating site to expand the scope of potential suitors for her son. "We aren't trying to start a scientific matchmaker service like eHarmony," says Geri Brin. "We are doing it like a mother would do it. You know what your child wants. Her son estimates she set him up on at least 30 dates before her site went live. Some dates went well. Others lacked a spark. Geri Brin say parental involvement is natural today, when many parents act more like friends of their children. Already her site has lured in more than 200 parents, who are advertising their 20-, 30- and 40-something children as available for dates. There's nothing new about parents interfering in their children's love lives. Until the 1940s in the US, the family was usually the broker in a relationship. Matchmaking parents also exist across various cultures. Shaadi.com is a popular Indian matrimonial website where parents, including those who live in the US, post their children's photos and information in hopes of securing them a spouse. In Japan, some parents eager to marry off their child throw matrimonial parties at hotels and conference centers. FULL ARTICLE @ CNN
PR NEWSWIRE - July 18 - FlipMe dating is a new dating service with an online component. By handing out a FlipMe card, users can connect with a person they see in the subway, a bar, or at a coffee shop. This personalized and secure dating card serves as a safe platform to exchange conversation. It is also an alternative to handing out a cold business card, which can come across as a business transaction rather than a flirty exchange. Each card includes the private online ID code of the "flipper" as well as a unique "CardCode" that opens up a secure line of communication between the flipper and the individual recipient of the card. The card also contains FlipMe's catch phrase. If the person you flipped is interested, they can log on to flipmedating.com, enter the FlipperID and CardCode and contact you directly. FlipMe cards are available for $24.99 per pack (each pack contains 30 cards and a three month membership). FULL ARTICLE @ PR NEWSWIRE