OPW INTERVIEW - Jan 18 - Yale educated Chris Walker was one of the founding members of Operation Match in the 60’s. Now, after 40 years, he’s turned his attention back to the dating industry. He was frustrated with the user experience for people new to internet dating. DatingStartsHere is his answer.
For travel you use Kayak.com. For internet dating… DatingStartsHere.com. Datingstartshere.com’s mission is to be a starting point for singles. An introductory service for introductory services, if you like. Dating websites can work with DSH and get traffic. (FD: Chris Walker is a client of Courtland Brooks) - Mark Brooks
How did you become involved in the online dating industry?
I was involved in the early stages of computer dating in the 1960’s. As a psychology major at Yale I was always interested on what attracted two people to one another. I’ve been following the online dating field since then to see when technology would mature to the point where powerful but easy to use technology would enable better introductions.
Why did you create Datingstartshere.com?
Datingstartshere.com is not a dating site; it is a profile search engine. We aggregate profiles from multiple dating sites. It is designed to put the universe of people looking for new friends, dates and companions in one place.
Current sites do not provide the quantity or quality of contacts within a geographically convenient area. What sense does it make to have a relationship with someone distant? Our search engine allows for both a simple and an advanced set of filters. The simple set is age, geography, and height. The advanced filter deals with interests.
We also provide a guide to existing dating services as a help to those who wish to take advantage of the particular functionality of individual host sites.
Datingstartshere.com is for all ages over 18 who want to broaden their circle of friends and acquaintances with the goal of more successful personal relationships.
If it is not a dating site…then how does Datingstartshere.com work?
It’s very simple; a minimal registration is optional. Just browse the profiles and click thru the ones you find appealing. Actual contact will depend on the procedures of the host dating site where the actual profile is stored.
We envision that users will learn a substantial amount of information about each other prior to any type of electronic interchange. With the advent of front facing cameras on smartphones, many first dates will consist of a smartphone videochat for example. This new technology will reduce time and expense barriers to new introductions. We will enable contact with those who have put profiles on all current dating sites. In addition, we will enable exposure, for example, to those Facebook users who have given permission for access to their data.
Datingstartshere.com also features a dating site guide. The online dating experience can be confusing since end sites have so many different approaches to registration and subscription. With well over 1,000 active dating sites just in the US alone, we want to provide a user’s guide to help place the user with the right specialized host site.
Can you mention a few of the benefits for online Daters?
The key benefit for daters is the centralization of profiles and dating site information. Datingstartshere.com will enable users to access more desirable people that live close to them, quickly and for free. Why go to many different sites when the important information is collected in one place?
How about the benefits for online dating sites or Host sites?
Datingstartshere.com is an indispensable marketing resource for existing host sites (dating sites). We allow host sites to republish the member profile information that has already been collected in their database. Uploading the essence of each profile to Datingstartshere.com is simple and fast. Datingstartshere.com is the ultimate affiliate site, collecting a referral fee for each user that registers on the host site or converts to a paying member.
Accordingly, DSH can be considered a marketing ally which will provide additional revenues that are almost 100% profit. It is the dream of every marketer to have a revenue source that is variably cost based with no fixed overhead component. We have developed that.
Are there any future development plans for Datingstartshere.com?
Anyone who collects information on people who want to broaden their circle of new friends are potential allies. MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, and the many new types of social media are among those who will find our affiliation profitable and helpful to their user base. We want to make meeting your new best friend or date as easy as selecting a travel package. This is similar to the travel aggregators such as Expedia, Travelocity, Sidestep/Kayak, or Orbitz.
Datingstartshere.com will also research new technologies such as face matching. Since we are based in Washington, DC. we are familiar with this technology for face matching that has been developed for the security world. As this technology is brought forward to the private sector, we will adopt it to image searching for our users.