How soon should you meet up?

Different people have different ideas of how soon people should meet up after becoming acquainted via online dating.
As a general rule, it’s women who usually tend to be a bit more cautious (for obvious reasons) but you may well find some men who prefer to take their time, as well as women who like to move faster.
Some dating sites are more likely to appeal to those who want to take their time (such as those sites that cater to those seeking serious relationships) while others will have a larger concentration of fast paced daters. So how do you decide on the bes time?

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The book is officially out!

Copies should be with the retailers within a week or so. The Amazon buying links on the right should actually work now 🙂 I am back from holiday and am trying to sort out things such as press releases and publicity. Hopefully, things are about to get busy! No tags for this post.

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Leaving Allegran

After 2 years and a few months, I am leaving Allegran. Things have been getting too busy and I forsee a couple of busy months ahead where I will need to concentrate on some serious self-promotion. After that, I will most likely be looking for part time/freelance work so that I can continue working on […]

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Online dating safety: are we doing enough?

A new report published in the UK, has shown that most British Internet users do not trust online services, but use them anyway because they believe the benefits outweigh the risks. Add that to the fact that many UK users are simply not safety aware and it’s no surprise that people keep getting scammed. Are dating sites doing enough to ensure their users’ online dating safety?

Many dating sites employ moderators to weed out the scammers, but that is not always enough to stop all of them from getting through. Nasty, unethical sites lull their users into a false sense of security, but really what we need is some serious online dating safety education.

How much information is available on your site to educate people about potential dangers? Is it available somewhere obvious, or is it hidden somewhere at the back of the site? The potential existence of scammers on the site is not something any site owner would like to talk about, but really, it’s something that has to be done as part of our responsibility to our customers. Like everything else that is not a positive feature, it should be handled delicately, but it should definitely be handled, rather than swept under the carpet.

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Get in there!

The book is almost ready and one of the final touches is getting some incentives in to add value to the book. I’ve already got a couple of companies giving me some promo codes/coupons, but there’s room for a few more if you’re quick. If you’re looking for what is basically free exposure to a […]

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What we can learn from social networking sites

There’s been much debate recently about the shift in the US online dating market. I’ve been following the discussions with interest. It looks like the market is slowing, social networking sites are taking a chunk of the audience and site owners are sniffing the trends and trying to combat the problem. Some sites are going from a free model to a paid model, others are going from a paid model to a free model and there’s some sites popping up that try to bring together social networking and dating to create something that will appeal to both audiences.

I think that if you’re sold on the idea that social networking is stealing your customers you gotta take more than a superficial view at what social networking sites do that dating sites don’t.

I gather that there’s lots of operators out there who went “oh, social networking is free and we’re trying to charge our users money, so no wonder they’re going away”. I think this is a rather simplistic way of looking at what your customers want or need. If you’re free, and Myspace is free, then what is your site giving your users that they can’t already get for free on Myspace? Are they going to have to spend months on your site filtering out the freaks? Time is money.

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Plentyoffish in the UK

Looks like Plentyoffish is going to do more stuff in the UK, with the launch of a new affiliate programme. The UK market still has a lot of scope for growth. I would say much more than the US market right now. We’ll see how big a chunk of that growth Plentyoffish can get. I’d […]

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The best job in the world

I held off writing about this for a few days, but enough is enough. Sooner or later it was bound to come out. Durex are looking for condom testers. No money, but plenty of perks. Obviously. Closing date for applications is 30th of April so there’s still time! Just remember: saying you have a whole […]

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Online dating – good for your health?

Is this thing for real?! Researchers at Arizona State University released a survey on Monday showing that writing love letters lowers cholesterol levels. (Full article here) Apparently writing love letters for 20 minutes, 3 times a week lowered cholesterol more than writing about “insignificant topics” So by this token, heavy users of dating sites should […]

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Online communication and false intimacy

I came across an interesting article today about the way mobile text conversations and online interaction supposedly affect teenagers’ views on relationships. By “interesting” I don’t actually mean intelligent and well thought-out, unfortunately.

Here’s an example:

Professor Doreen Rosenthal said mobiles and the internet had created an accelerating intimacy between adolescents, with many making relationship decisions more swiftly than previous generations. Electronic communication tended to shrink the time span in which friendships developed, leaving teenagers more exposed to risky decision-making.

The article seems to suggest that, as a result, teenagers get a “false sense of intimacy” and tend to sleep with each other faster than they otherwise would:

“For many teenagers, this acceleration of intimacy is occurring without the usual checks and balances of face-to-face contact. It’s a pseudo-intimacy. You don’t create genuine intimacy through these mediums.

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Is love still built to last?

Here’s an interesting article about love, marriage and sex.

Quoting Californian Couple’s therapist Marty Klein:

Klein says his boomer generation is the first to marry for love, expect hot sex with the same partner, and live for an extremely long time.
Is this want-it-all concept working for today’s marriages? Not particularly well, according to Klein, citing statistics that suggest about 50 per cent of marriages end in some form of separation, and more than 50 per cent of boomer adults are not monogamous.

What most experts forget to mention when discussing our generation’s high divorce record is that divorce was practically socially unacceptable up until the latter half of the 20th century. People weren’t happier then, they were just less likely to be able to do anything about it, unless one of them died. In a country like America (and, by the way, Israel) where people are socially pushed into marriage and see it as an integral part of any relationship, you’re bound to end up with a higher divorce rate, as people discover they’ve made a mistake (or simply grown apart) and break up. Alternatively, they choose to keep the security of married/attached life, while getting their excitement by having illicit affairs.

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Male and female communication styles

I was browsing the Sky news site today and came across an article discussing the difference between the way men and women communicate online. the article itself specifically deals with the way men within a business environment often take women less seriously because of their overly personalised, often embellished emails.

Women commonly use flowery speech and create personal e-mails; men tend to be precise and to the point,” says Marilyn Davidson, professor of work psychology at Manchester Business School, who co-wrote Gender and Communication at Work.

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Rising standards

I’m surprised hotenough.org is the first site in the US to vet people based on looks. The UK’s Gorgeous Dating has been doing it for years and attracting some pretty well-off members who often say they’d never dream of dating on a “normal” site. With online dating having now become so big, there’s gotta be […]

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How far is too far?

Danger! In my quest for discovering new and exciting dating industry-related blogs, I recently came across Netchoice, who may be very US-centric, but seem to have a lot of good thing to say. This piece about True.com has gotten me thinking about the ethics of marketing a dating service. After all, people may be buying a subscription, but what we’re actually promising them are answers to their most intimate hopes and dreams. Sure, we all use phrases such as “get a date” and “find your soulmate” when we can’t actually guarantee all our customers will, but surely there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed when it comes to actually lying to your customers?

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3D dating or pure escapism?

In a recent article in Wired Magazine, Regina Lynn talked about her experience of dating in 3D virtual worlds like Second life and why she found the experience preferable to standard online dating. She said: If I’m going to get involved online, I’d rather meet people in a 3-D virtual environment. The avatars they wear […]

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Buy my book!

I am introducing a news section so I can advertise things to do with the book. Today’s exciting news is that I’ve added Amazon sales links to the site. The book is available for pre-order from Amazon (and a few other places) already. I get more money per sale if people click on to Amazon […]

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Social networking Vs dating sites

Fight!I recently started reading The Paradigm Shift and came across the whole discussion about social networking sites.
I remember reading sometime last year (I think) about some research conducted across Europe that found that most people who used social networking sites, used them for social networking, rather than outright dating. I would add that even the dating done on social networking sites is usually (in my experience at least) very different to the type of dating done on dating sites. Standard dating sites are very focused. They’re very pragmatic, to the point of taking all the romance out of the process and turning dating into a business transaction. It’s basically a glorified meat market, whether you like it or not.
A lot of people have a problem with that approach. It takes a very particular state of mind to decide that you’re going to go online and basically “shop” for either a serious relationship or a shag. Obviously, this sort of online dating is popular for a reason and it helps millions of people find love everyday who probably wouldn’t have otherwise, but we as an industry have to admit that this form of dating is not right for everyone, just like “traditional” club/pub/work dating is not right for everyone.

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Is it really over?

Writing a book is like fighting the Terminator: just when you think it’s done and dusted, the thing rises up again for another round. Editing, proofing, indexing, it just never ends. Whoever said writing for a living was easy? Oh yeah, no one. I am pretty sure I am done working on it now. I […]

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Is image really everything?

The NY times just published an article about online dating coaching. It totally summed up the main difference between the American and the British online dating scene for me.

This particular quote drew my eye:

Jim Safka, chief executive of match.com, based in Dallas, says online dating is like being on stage and being viewed by thousands of people. “Wouldn’t you spend some time backstage getting ready?” he asked.

To me, comparing online dating to standing on a stage makes it sound like you are expecting people to put on a show, rather than just be themselves. Who wants to be in a relationship where they have to put on a show all the time?
Over here, people think about online dating more in terms of going down the pub (or bar, if they are a bit trendier) and meeting people. Sure, you want to make a good impression, but you’re not going to get a makeover for the occasion. In the UK, makeover photos are pretty much frowned upon. This is really the land of understatement.

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More about compatibility testing

Following on from my earlier post, I just came across an interesting discussion on reddit talking about personality testing, horoscopes, etc.. I think it illustrates my points quite well. Here is what someone got as his profile, without actually answering any questions: You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and […]

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Sex Sex Sex

So the market is levelling out in the US, what are you gonna do about it? Apparently, you go back to the very roots of marketing and talk about sex sex and more sex. So first we had the whole female orgasm brainscan email thing from chemistry.com, then lavalife decided to go even further and […]

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The problem with compatibility testing

Money TrapThere’s been a lot of talk on the industry sites recently about personality testing and matching on various dating sites and whether or not they work. For people who run dating sites, personality tests provide that little bit extra they can offer their customers to get them to choose you over others. In the US, where the online dating market is now leveling out, there is obviously a need to provide extra services and to create the impression that there is a real need and a real demand for such services. America is a country where marriage is now seen almost as a business transaction. There’s even books out there that tell women to leave a man unless he’s proposed within a set duration of time. It’s all about “sealing the deal”. It’s also a society in which people are taught to expect a lot more for their money and, as a result, take a lot less responsibility for their own welfare. The proliferation of fast, processed food is one example of this, as well as the fact that people have actually won lawsuits for having their coffee served too hot. It doesn’t take marketing rocket science to see how simple it would be in an environment like that to create a market for a service that offers to do some of the “hard work” for you and save you time, so you can get back to your “busy life” (cause none of us want to admit our “busy lives” are so empty, we spend most of our free time trying to pick up people online).

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In this life and the next

Dragon dancerAfter months of people talking about it in conferences, etc. I finally decided to give Second Life a go. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s basically a virtual online world where you can go around in the form of an avatar and interact with other people from all over the world. That was a very, very simplified explanation, I’m sure the site itself can tell you a lot more. what I personally find so interesting about SL is that it is at once possibly one of the most advanced things on the Internet today (prompting people to start calling it Web 3.0) and yet the whole concept is basically a tarted up version of the real early days of the Internet where anonymity was king and everywhere was full of sci-fi and fantasy freaks with too much time on their hands. I must admit that being on there gave me the same sense of wonder I got when I was 16 and tried chat for the first time. It’s new, totally surreal and very, very strange (also, not entirely unlike Snow crash).

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Don’t look down

Rock climber The woman in this picture isn’t me. I am not blonde, for one. Also, there is no way I would ever be this calm hanging off a cliff. I chose this image for this post because I want to illustrate something. I will get to that shortly. So welcome to my dating blog. I hope you will find it useful. As you may already know, my name is Shimrit and I work in the online dating industry. I’ve recently written the book you can see on the right hand side. It will be out in the shops in May, which should give you plenty of time to decide whether you like my writing style (it’s available on Amazon for pre order, in case you’re one of those mythical “pay now, buy later” people!)
So this blog is going to be all about online dating and dating in general and my (not so) humble opinion of both.
But before I start talking about dating, I’d like to open this blog by talking a little bit about being single.

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