Update - 2008 Dating Sites Reviews Choice Awards

Awards
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Just a quick update regarding the 2008 Dating Sites Reviews Choice Awards. The Single's Choice Award poll has just past the 410 vote mark with Match.com in the lead and eHarmony coming in a close second. This year we have decided to give a Gold, Silver and Bronze award to the top 3 voted dating services. The reason for this is, first and second place are only a few percentage points off. With the results being this close, singles obviously feel both dating services are worth joining.

If you haven't voted yet please do as the poll will be closed soon with the results being released soon to follow.

Related Story and Poll: 2008 Dating Sites Reviews Choice Awards

2008 Dating Sites Reviews Choice Awards

Awards
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Last year we started the 2007 Dating Sites Reviews Choice Awards in late August and it was a resounding success. This year we hope to continue the momentum with the 2008 Dating Sites Reviews Choice Awards! This annual event attempts to find the best online dating site for the current year in several dating categories. Our visitors can also participate in this selection process.

First up is the poll for the Single's Choice Award. This award is our top award and is voted on by you. This year you can select from 10 of the most popular dating sites on the internet today. Please cast your vote:

A new LavalifePRIME Review

General News
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Our review of LavalifePRIME is now up. This online dating service is designed for singles who are 45 years and older and contains a number of social networking features. If you enjoy active conversations on message boards and chat groups, and are looking for a relationship or online friends, this site has a lot to offer.

Check out the full LavalifePrime Review now.

Are you a member of LavalifePRIME? If so, why don't you post your own review.

LavalifePRIME User Review
Average: • 4 votes cast   View

Yahoo! Personals Adds a Guarantee & Drops the Premier Membership

General News
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I logged into Yahoo! Personals the other day to note any changes and notice a few surprises with regards to the memberships. The first is, Yahoo has gone from 3 membership levels down to 2. Their Premier Membership has been removed and the remaining membership pricing will be just a dollar more, when compared to the old casual membership. Subscription prices are now between $13.99 to $25.99 per month depending on the length of the membership. The old Premier prices for a month ranged from $20.83 to $39.95. The features that where part of the Premier subscription level (which dealt with searching and rating matches) have either been removed or rolled into the existing paid memberships. The free membership as far as I can tell has remained unchanged.

The major surprise is Yahoo! Personals has a guarantee now. If you purchase a 6 month membership Yahoo will make you a 6-Month Promise. If you do not find someone special by the end of your subscription, they will give you another six months for free. You must have a approved searchable profile with a photo and must communicate with at least 5 different members each month to be eligible. Another nice touch is they will email your status each month to help you keep track of your eligibility.

It appears that the 6-month promise started in May, 2008. I am unsure why Yahoo did not promote this at all since few dating services actually offer a guarantee. If promoted they would have brought in more members and received some free publicity from dating blogs such as this one. Sometimes you have to wonder about large companies marking departments, it doesn't take much to release a press release.

Yahoo Personals promise is very similar to Match.com "Make Love Happen Guarantee". In fact it is virtually the same except for a few small details. I guess they figured if it works for Match, it will work for Yahoo.

For more information on Yahoo! Personals, please read our review.

Date.com soon to be Available in 18 Languages

Date.com
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Date.com, Amor.com and Matchmaker.com (all owned by Avalanche, LLC) will soon be available in multiple languages. Enlaso will be doing the translation services for Avalanche. They offer enterprise language solutions to companies who not only need translation services but business and cultural perspectives as well. In the press release they mention "localizing" the dating sites, I wonder if this means a redefining of the profile depending on the country and the culture? Match.com International does this with great success, they ask dating profile questions that are more relevant to where you live (see The Issues with International Online Dating).

By the end of 2008 all 3 dating services will be translated and localized into Spanish, Portuguese and German and by 2010 there will be another 15 languages added. With online dating growth leveling off in North America, Avalanche is looking to international markets to help grow its subscriber base. Since 1997, Avalanches largest dating site, Date.com, has had more than 20 million members worldwide.

eHarmony and being Divorced

eHarmony
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The Consumerist has a post regarding eHarmony and their divorced policy. In it they talk about a woman who was separated from her husband for 7 years when she signed up to eHarmony. She took her time and filled out the hour long profile. At the end she was informed that she would not be able to join since she was not actually divorced. After a year and when the woman got her divorced finalized her daughter wrote to eHarmony for her to see if she could reopen her profile so she didn't have to spend another hour to fill it in again. eHarmony's response was:

Since you are divorced, please reply with the county and state of your divorce proceedings, the name of the judge, and the date your divorce was finalized. We hope you understand that this information is very important in order to protect the integrity of our matching process. Once this information is received, we will be very happy to reset your Relationship Questionnaire for you. You will need to retake the questionnaire so that we can accurately assess your relationship needs and provide matches who are deeply compatible with you.

First off I must say is I do applaud eHarmony for sticking to their guidelines and allowing only people who are not married or separated. Other dating services could learn from this and it is what makes eHarmony one of the top spots to go if you are looking for a serious long term relationship.

In my opinion eHarmony does need to make a few changes to make things flow more smoothly. First off all, one of the first questions they ask is if you are single, separated or divorced. If this is a deal breaker profile question for eHarmony, then it should stop the user from entering further information at this point. They should really have all the profile deal breakers up front so people don't waste their time filling out a profile that eHarmony will ultimately deny. This just makes potential members angry.

The other thing I didn't like from the eHarmony customer service response was that the woman had to provide proof of the divorce. Why can't they rely on her word? On everything else she wrote in her profile they trust her about. Plus if a new member says they are divorced, you don't have to go out and prove this. I'm all for verification of profile information but I think they should allow her to change her status and maybe for these type of issues have a verification logo or something for the profile. Just like how some sites are doing for photos. If she needs to prove she is divorced then all divorced members should have too.

After checking out eHarmony profile creation again I notice that eHarmony Canada still allows you to continue the profile creation if you select you are separated. eHarmony.com has improved on this and now has your current relationship status on the home registration page. If you select separated or married, the browser changes and asks you if you want to learn more about eHarmony Marriage, a service from eHarmony that helps married couples with advice on how to improve a struggling marriage. This is a much better way to go about it than telling you after you spent the time to fill out the profile.

Read our eHarmony review for more information about this online dating service.