ChristianMingle.com Celebrates 2011 Success

Christian Mingle
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With over 5 million registered members, Christian Mingle has become the largest and fastest-growing online community for love-seeking Christian singles.

"Gone are the days when online dating was considered taboo - even in the Christian community," says Ashley Reccord, Christian community manager for ChristianMingle's owner Spark Networks. "One of the amazing gifts of our age is that the internet can virtually erase many of the barriers to finding new relationships with people who share your interests and values."

ChristianMingle believes that one's faith is a deeply important part of who a person is, and that religious beliefs are a driving force behind what Christians look for in potential partners. The site is free to join, but don't let the low price tag fool you - it offers a fully featured dating service that is secure, private, and highly interactive. Members meet via email, chat rooms, message boards, and instant messenger which encourages a sense of community and creates an engaging social atmosphere.

Users can also connect and discuss their faith on Believe.com, ChristianMingle's faith-best content destination. Believe includes video and audio resources for the Christian community, as well as a "Verse of the Day" and a "Bible Study of the Day." Users can also browse a searchable Bible, prayer requests, and a church directory.

Nearly two million singles joined ChristianMingle in 2011, the site's most successful year yet. To celebrate their expansion, increase awareness of the site within the Christian community, and share members' success stories, ChristianMingle has launched the "Good News!" campaign, a series of online videos and television commercials that highlight the personal stories of couples who met on the site. "Every day, ChristianMingle members send over 100,000 messages," said Tre, one of the men featured in the advertisements. "I sent one of those messages and met my beautiful wife."

The "Good News!" campaign also reaches out to churches across the nation, to provide resources for group leaders and pastors. ChristianMingle hopes that their outreach efforts will do more than bring Christian singles together on the site - they hope to create a safe and active faith-based community for members with shared values that goes well beyond dating and marriage.

"ChristianMingle believes that marriage is important, but also that relationships and community are important," says Matthew Barnett, a pastor and ChristianMingle Advisory Board member. "ChristianMingle serves as a great resource for singles looking for companionship in like-minded Christians who share the same belief system and interests."

To find out about this dating site, please read our ChristianMingle.com review.

The New York Times Studies Dating Studies

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You know you've made it when the New York Times writes a feature about you.

As anyone who has followed my writing knows, I love nothing more than dating studies. I don't know what it is about them, but I'm incapable of ignoring a new study, survey, or experiment about love, romance, relationships, sex, dating, and everything in between. Maybe it's the idea of trying to quantify something that seems so unquantifiable, of explaining something that seems impossible to explain. Maybe it makes me feel like I'm putting my psychology degree to good use. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for a colorful infographic.

Whatever it is, the New York Times has caught the bug too. "There are millions of Americans seeking love on the Internet," begins a Times article called Love, Lies and What They Learned. "Little do they know that teams of scientists are eagerly watching them trying to find it." Studies of online dating habits have covered just about everything, from what triggers attraction to the role that politics plays in choosing a potential mate. The explosion of online dating sites has opened up a brave new world for researchers trying to understand the mechanics of love and connection, and they've made some very interesting discoveries:

  • Do people lie on dating sites? Absolutely. According to a study led by Catalina L. Toma, an assistant professor in the department of communication arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, about 81% of daters misrepresent themselves online, but usually only by telling lies of the little and white variety. "Daters lie to meet the expectations of what they think their audience is," Toma explained, but their lies can't be too grand because they will eventually meet their date in person.

  • Despite the variety available online, most people "stick to their own kind" when it comes to dating sites. "We are nowhere near the post-racial age," said Gerald A. Mendelsohn, a professor in the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley. His study found that even daters who stated that they were willing to date outside of their ethnicity didn't actually do it. Instead, he found that "white more than black, women more than men, and old more than young prefer a same-race partner."

  • Politics are on almost everyone's mind as we approach the 2012 elections, but not on the minds of online daters. Rose McDermott, a professor of political science at Brown University, found that few singles are willing to express a political preference online for fear of attracting fewer dates. "I was personally really shocked," she said. "People were much more likely to say 'I'm fat' than 'I'm a conservative.'"

Are online dating studies the way of the scientific future? Yes, says Andrew T. Fiore, a former visiting assistant professor at Michigan State University. "Online dating provides an ecologically valid or true-to-life context for examining the risks, uncertainties and rewards of initiating real relationships with real people at an unprecedented scale," he told the Times. "As more and more of life happens online, it's less and less the case that online is a vacuum. It is life."

The Biggest Online Dating Success Story Of 2011: Badoo.com

Badoo
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As of November 2011, Badoo had:

  • 130,000,000+ current users
  • Members in 180 countries
  • 127,503 new users per day
  • 1,411,665 photos and videos uploaded daily

Add all that together and what do you get? The biggest online dating success story of 2011.

Badoo is taking the world by storm according to TechCrunch. It's a truly global, multi-lingual phenomenon, with location-based social networking functionality that is bringing people together to chat and flirt all around the world. In fact, if Badoo was just a site for social networking, it would be the 4th largest in the world. But Badoo is so much more.

Knowing that each user's needs are different, Badoo takes on different roles in different countries. In the UK, it's primarily used for casual dating. In the Czech Republic, it's a marriage site. In Indonesia, it's a safe space for burqa-clad women to explore self-expression. The site has been used for everything from making friends to throwing parties. Thanks to that ability to be so many different things to so many different people, Badoo now brings in $100 million per year in revenue.

Their success story began in 2006 when, rather than seeing Facebook as competition, Badoo set out to fill a gap that Facebook had left in the market: helping strangers connect. Badoo then offered all of it's core functionality for free, giving users a full experience without the big price tag that comes along with many traditional dating sites. For those who want even more out of the site, paid subscriptions are available that unlock special features like the ability to see who has viewed your profile. A system of micropayments is also in place to help users improve their search rankings and become more visible.

Jessica Powell, Chief Marketing Officer of Badoo, believes that the site's success stems from its flexibility. Unlike sites that are specifically designed for dating, Badoo creates a space in which users can connect in any way they want. It's more like real life, she says, when "meeting new people" can be anything from being introduced to a friend of a friend, to saying "hi" to a stranger at a bar, to flirting, to going on a date. Badoo reflects the offline world because people want to meet real people, not pages of meaningless data.

The site's strategy of "real world meets cyberspace" seems to be working - Powell says that 50% of the conversations on Badoo now lead to an offline meetup, and at the rate Badoo is going, that number is only going to increase.

For even more information about this dating service you can read our Badoo.com review.

Chemistry's FREE this October Weekend - 2011

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Chemistry.com is have a free weekend promotion starting tomorrow. From Friday, October 15 to the end of day on Sunday, October 17 all members of Chemistry will be able to flirt, communicate and connect for free.

Chemistry will be advertising this promotion on TV so you can expect this dating service to have many new singles online actively looking for love. All you need to do is sign up as a free member and take the personality test to join in on the fun.

June was when the last free communication weekend was held by Chemistry (see Story). To find out more about this online dating site, please read our review of Chemistry.

2011 Dating Sites Reviews Choice Awards

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It is the beginning of October which means it is time for us to open voting for the Single's Choice Award poll of 2011. This poll is the start of our annual Dating Sites Reviews Choice Awards which recognizes the best dating sites and services of the year in a number of different categories. The first year we honored dating sites with awards was 5 years ago in 2007.

The Single Choice Awards is a category which visitors can cast their vote on which paid and free dating service is their favorite. The poll allows you to choose from a list of the top 8 paid dating sites and the top 7 free dating sites. These lists where determined by the editors of Dating Sites Reviews but only the people who vote get to voice their opinion on who should earn the Single's Choice Award. If you have not already, please cast your vote now:

Compare Dating Sites

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We have had our compare dating site feature up and running for a few weeks now. Our dating sites compare tool is integrated right into our dating site search tool. Once you select the criteria for a dating site and perform a search, you now have the ability to check off any dating site in the search results and compare them.

You can compare as many dating sites as you wish but we only show up to 4 on any one page. Dating sites when compared are displayed top to bottom (side by side) to make it easy to look across the page and compare each feature of all the services. A list of features are displayed on the left with the name of the dating sites across the top and bottom. A checkmark will be visible in the feature row if the service supports the feature. If the feature is not supported then a minus sign or a blank will be present. Compare results can be sorted and you can remove any dating site from the results once you have disqualified it to make comparing the other services easier.

We keep track of many features dating sites offer. This includes things like if there is a guarantee or coupons offered, to what regions and languages the site is available in. We also list if the dating site is designed for a particular person in mind like seniors or someone from a specific faith. Mobile applications are also listed along with the type of relationships the site is designed to create (i.e. casual, long-term, marriage, etc.). Using our new compare tool now makes it much easier for singles to see a side by side comparison of any dating site we have reviewed.

Check out the following page for examples of some of the more popular dating sites being compared with each other.