eHarmony Free Communication Nov 21 to Nov 25 2013

eHarmony
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eHarmony notified us earlier today that they are currently having a free communication event. It starts today and runs for 5 days and ends Monday November 25th just before midnight (PST).

Free communication on eHarmony allows new and existing members to communicate not only by the guide communication process but through email as well. When you join during this promotion you will not only be able to create a profile and take the eHarmony famous matching questionnaire but you will be able to communicate with any matches you will receive in the next 5 days. The ideal time to join is now since it will give you 5 full days to try out the service to see if it is the right fit for you. Singles interested in finding a long-term relationships and who are willing to make a time commitment in not only filling out the questionnaire but to answer questions posed by your matches will get the most out of the eHarmony service. No credit card is required to join. The only thing not included during the free weekends is photos, secure call and skip to email.

The last free eHarmony communication weekend was at the beginning of this month (see Story). For more on this long-term matchmaking service please read our eHarmony.com review.

AreYouInterested.com Reveals Cities with the Pickiest Women

Communication
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Women can be picky daters. At least, that's the stereotype. We like our men to be incredibly hot, smart, successful, and charming, and we aren't willing to settle for anything less, right ladies?

Well, maybe that holds true for women in some cities, but not others.

According to data released from dating website AreYouInterested.com, women in Brooklyn are the pickiest daters in America (coming in ahead of Los Angeles and Manhattan). The website compiled this information based on 453,000 interactions of women ages 18 and up, noting that Brooklyn residents are the least likely to reply to messages from potential dates. Men would have more luck in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Behind Brooklyn, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cincinnati and Los Angeles also ranked highest for the pickiest daters.

But perhaps creativity has something to do with response rates. AYI.com also found that emails engaging the respondent ("where are you from?") worked much better than emails just saying "hi," or "what's up?" which fell flat.

Other interesting findings:

  • Women are 71% more likely to respond to someone if they have a mutual friend on Facebook.
  • Women are three times more likely to respond to a younger man than men are to respond to a younger woman. It seems cougars are in among AYI.com members!

The cities where women are most likely to get in touch after a potential date has reached out include Miami, St Louis, Las Vegas and Portland, Oregon. So guys, on your next Vegas trip you might want to consider moving permanently.

AYI.com has an interesting base of users though - it's not strictly an online dating site, but identifies itself as more of a social discovery site. Members don't only join for dating purposes, but also to form friendships. Social discovery sites provide a place where people can meet and socialize online - to make friends, play video games, exchange music, or a number of different things - not just to date. Which means users who join stay around longer, even after they meet a significant other.

So are women picky about their friendships, too?

According to its website, AYI.com has more than 70 million installed users and over 3 million Facebook fans. It offers an integrated Facebook app, iPhone app, Android app and website, and works by connecting members to each other based on mutual Facebook friends and interests.

The company is owned by SNAP Interactive and you can find more details on them by reading our review of Are You Interested.

Meet MeetMe, A New Take On Social Dating

MeetMe
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Anything with a cutesy smiley face in the logo has to be good, right? Or maybe that's just my inner 13-year-old girl talking. Either way, when I discovered MeetMe.com and its accompanying kitschy logo, my curiosity was piqued.

MeetMe calls itself a social discovery application that connects members through games and apps on the web and mobile phones. MeetMe was initially founded under the name myYearbook by two high school students, Dave and Catherine Cook, and their older brother Geoff, during Spring Break of 2005. Following humble beginnings at the suburban New Jersey high school they attended, myYearbook partnered with game developer Arkadium to bring Flash based games and a virtual currency, called Lunch Money, to the site.

After that, there was no stopping the site's momentum. An entire virtual economy developed from the Lunch Money currency, including the ability for members to donate to their favorite charity using the Causes application. The site added Meebo instant messaging to provide real-time chat and Chatter, a real-time stream that incorporates media sharing and gaming. Games available inside the stream include Ask Me, Rate Me, and 2 Truths and a Lie.

myYearbook made further efforts to improve its members' experiences by launching applications for the iPad, iPhone, iPod, and the Android operating system. It also rolled out a new site design in 2010 that was created by crowd sourcing ideas from the site's members. Finally, in June of 2012, the site was renamed MeetMe and its current incarnation was born. With its fresh focus on introducing new people instead of reconnecting old acquaintances, MeetMe has seen a great deal of success.

Where MeetMe really excels is making the meeting process fun. There are matches and search options just like typical dating sites, but MeetMe has many more entertaining things to offer. Users can ask each other questions and follow a continuously updating live feed that features the answers of other local members. There's also a blind date game for braver souls, and a game called "Owned!" in which you can buy and sell friends using Lunch Money (and earn half the profit when you sell someone or your photo is bought).

Of course, there is also no shortage of more traditional games for users to play. You name it, it's there. Arcade games, casino games, word games, strategy games, card games...everything you could ever want to play is available, from air hockey, to blackjack, to a Pac-Man knockoff, to crossword puzzles and solitaire.

Admittedly, I'm not sure how a card game that's meant to be played solo can help you meet other people, but hey - at least you have the option.

To find out more about this dating service you can read our new review of MeetMe.com.

Meet Sam Yagan, The “Nerd King Of Online Dating”

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CNN Money has declared Sam Yagan, co-founder of OkCupid and CEO of Match Inc., the "nerd king of online dating." I can't say it's the most flattering nickname I've ever heard, but I'm pretty sure Sam is too busy taking Scrooge McDuck-style dives into piles of money to care what CNN thinks of him.

Nicknames aside, CNN and Fortune actually seem to think quite highly of Yagan, who was recently included in the '40 Under 40' list and profiled by the magazine.

Yagan's journey to become one of the most famous names in the online dating biz started with almost no dating at all: he was engaged to his high school sweetheart, and his first company was a CliffsNotes-alternative called SparkNotes. Both ventures went well: he is still married to his high school girlfriend, and SparkNotes sold to iTurf, Inc. for $30 million in 1999.

Do Unto Others

Communication
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In the working world, you hear a lot about networking and reputation. The Golden Rule of treating others as you’d like to be treated frequently comes into play, and you can often actually witness the consequences; no one wants to suddenly work under the co-worker they were badmouthing.

What many don’t realize is that reputation can matter in the dating world as well. Even a mid-sized city can feel like a small town at times; when you start filtering for age, interests, and education level, chances are you’re looking at a pool of potential matches that is very similar to the ones your friends are seeing. Thus, even if a potential match is a stranger to you, that doesn’t mean you don’t know someone who’s met or even dated them before. And as we all know, people like to talk about their dating experiences, the good and the bad.

With online dating being somewhat anonymous, it can lead some to make questionable choices - such as the lewd first-contact message or the incredibly hostile response to a rejection. Those people think they’re behaving in a vacuum; they think they can throw a temper tantrum and move on to their next potential match consequence-free. In truth, that’s not always the case.

Not everyone throws fits and writes obscenity-laden messages, but it’s a good lesson to bear in mind just the same. Depending on your personal circumstance, the dating world can indeed be small, and people do like to talk. So when you’re telling your own “horror stories,” remember that you might be talking to someone who’s already heard the story from someone they know. Even if they don’t know your “ex-date,” trashing someone else can make your date wonder if you’ll do the same to them. Unless you’re talking about someone truly offensive or abusive, it might be best to follow that Golden Rule, and keep your tales to yourself.

Not everyone is compatible, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remain on our best behavior just the same. In addition to the fact that it’s simply the kindest way to behave, it can have incredibly personal, tangible rewards - or consequences.

Why You Should Try A Niche Dating Site

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The great thing about online dating is that it opens up the opportunity to meet millions of people you never would have met otherwise.

The downside to online dating is that it opens up the opportunity to meet millions of people you never would have met otherwise. It's hard enough to choose a mate in real life - how can you possibly be expected to choose one when the digital pool you're picking from is so vast?

Enter the solution: niche dating sites. Online dating giants like Match and eHarmony may have the greatest name recognition, but niche dating sites are rapidly finding their way into the spotlight. Here's why:

  1. You already have common ground. One of the hardest things about online dating - and about dating in general - is getting the conversation started. On nice dating sites, you already know you have at least one thing in common. No need to stress out about coming up with the perfect conversation starter.
  2. Quality over quantity. Yes, the number of options on a niche dating site will be smaller than the number of options on a major dating site, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's easy to get lost in the crowd on a big dating site, but on a niche site you could easily find yourself connecting with someone you missed the first time around.
  3. Passion is encouraged. Maybe you hesitated to talk about your sci-fi obsession, religious beliefs, or committed vegan lifestyle on your OkCupid profile for fear of scaring away potential dates. But on a niche dating site, you're supposed to bond over your passions, hobbies, and beliefs. You can be who you really are, and meet interesting people while doing it.
  4. Having fewer options is actually a good thing. Remember what I said about how hard it is to make a decision when you have so many options? That's actually a scientifically proven fact. Research done at Northwestern University found that being presented with too many possibilities can actually make it more difficult for you to pick one. The fact that niche dating sites have fewer members might actually work in your favor.
  5. They get to the root of compatibility. 81% of singles agree that sharing an interest in the same activities is one of the most important factors in a successful relationship. It's not that you can't find that on a major online dating site, it's just that niche dating sites have already done a lot of the hard work for you.

Does all that mean you should delete your Match.com profile immediately? Of course not. But you should consider adding a niche dating site to your online dating regimen. You never know where your next love might be hiding.