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.
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