Technology

New Android Phone App for ChristianCafe.com

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In May of 2010 ChristianCafe released their iPhone dating app. Well, this month the Christian dating service has released a version for Android phones. Those of you with Android base mobile phones can now enjoy dating on the go. The new app integrates directly with your account on ChristianCafe.com and for those new to this dating site have the option of signing up for a free trial right from your phone.

Features of this new dating app include performing basic and detail searches, viewing profiles and seeing who is online in your area. Photo uploads are a snap to do along with communicating with your matches via email and winks.

For more information about the app you can watch the video tour:



To find out more about this dating site, read our ChristianCafe.com review. To download the app visit the Android Market and search for 'christiancafe'.

ChristianCafe.com iPhone & iPad App

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The popular Christian dating site, ChristianCafe.com, released an iPhone dating app (which also works on the iPad) this week. With this App, members can search and view profile information and photos of other singles. They can also send and receive messages and winks as well. Non-members who have never visited the website before can download the app and use it to create a basic profile and sign up for the 10 day free trial. To download the ChristianCafe.com app for your iphone visit iTunes.

Here is a short video of the ChristianCafe iPhone Application in action:

Members on the go who have a Google Android phone are in luck too. ChristianCafe expects to release an app soon for Android.

To find out more about this dating site, read our review of ChristianCafe.com.

The Technology Behind eHarmony Matching

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To power their complex matching algorithms, eHarmony relies on four database and data warehousing products.

  • The very popular and open source MySQL database server.
  • Oracle Database.
  • Data warehousing appliances from Netezza Inc.
  • Hadoop, a open source data crunching application which divides work among a large number of computers.

eHarmony uses Orcale to do the initial matching after a new member signs up. For the behind the scenes processing, eHarmony uses a 50 node Hadoop cluster. Since moving to Hadoop, eHarmony has seen 4 to 6 times sped improvement in how long it takes to perform matching calculations on a large scale.

All this technology is controlled by eHarmony's main technical team, which includes 40 engineers based at the Los Angeles headquarters. eHarmony also has hired a number of development firms throughout Europe, which has doubled the number of engineers working for them.

To find out more about the technology that powers eHarmony, read ComputerWorld. For more on the dating site itself, check out some of our reviews of eHarmony.

Match.com and eHarmony use JaJah VoIP Calling

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Last week, according to CNET News both Match.com and eHarmony started to use a special updated version of JaJah which allows members to place phone calls without giving away their phone number. Match.com calls this service for its members, matchTalk, which we recently looked at last month (see Story). eHarmony calls their service, Secure Call.

Both phone services from these dating sites require the person who will receive the call to approve of it first. Once approved members can initiate phone calls over the dating site that actually use your own home or cell phone, no special hardware required. No phone numbers are given out and either person can terminate the call and disallow the person from every calling back. It is the ultimate in privacy and security for first time callers.

For more information about these dating sites and their member calling phone feature, review of Match.com and our review of eHarmony.

Online Dating Aggregators

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What is an online dating aggregator? It is a website that pulls profiles from multiple dating sites based on a search inputted by a user on the aggregator site. James Nord of Rubixx says it is similar to how a travel website like CheapFlights.com works by searching a number of airlines for the best flight. While in theory it sounds like a good idea, practically it has a way to go. One of the main problems is the lack of search criteria. Rubixx allows on their website to input your gender, the gender you are looking for, a age range and a US zip code. This really is not enough information to search on, especially based on the number of profiles that it shows you. You basically end up just looking at pictures. No additional information is present in the simplified profiles Rubixx displays to you in the search results, with the exception of what dating site the profile is found on. Once you find a profile you like, you click on the picture and you are redirected to the dating site where you can look at more details of the profile. Most of the dating sites require you to sign up with a free account before you can view more details. Currently Rubixx gathers profiles from the following dating sites, Match.com, Date.com, Matchmaker.com, AmericanSingles.com Cupid.com, uDate.com, Friendfinder.com and MillionaireMatch.com.

Another similar web portal to Rubixx is Copenda. Copenda calls themselves a Social People Search and Dating engine. With Copenda you can search the social networks hi5, MySpace, Friendster and the dating sites Match.com and PlentyofFish.com. The big news at Copenda is they will be adding Facebook to the search soon in June, 2009. Currently there are more than 200 million users on Facebook. Copenda has more features than Rubixx and in its own way, acts like a dating site. The reason I say this is because you can favorite profiles, add comments to them and even rate them. Comparing multiple profiles is allowed as well as viewing more than one profile photo. Searching at Compenda is more in-depth as well when compared to Rubixx. You can specify keywords, location distance as well as marital status, religion, body type, height range and ethnicity. The only thing missing really is the ability to communicate directly with the person.

For more on the story, read The Washington Post. You can find Rubixx here and Copenda here.

How Online Dating Sites Work

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I found an article that looks at the technology used to make some of the popular online dating services like Yahoo Personals, eHarmony, PerfectMatch and Match.com give members a quick and smooth experience.

These online dating services run on a curious mix of technology, science (some say pseudoscience), alchemy and marketing. Under the covers, they combine large databases with business intelligence, psychological profiling, matching algorithms and a variety of communications technologies ... to match up lonely singles -- and to convert one-time visitors into paying monthly subscribers.

The author first looks at the business models behind online dating, with the main choices being subscription based memberships and advertising supported. He then lists 4 steps which make a successful dating site, not only in terms of revenue for the owners but for the actual members of the site as well.

  1. A perfect match, served up fast - This refers to the hardware technology behind the scenes that has to deal with millions of member records and the processing power needed to calculate matches for everyone.
  2. From "just looking" to "paying customer" - The different marketing techniques used to convert a free member to a paid member.
  3. Make a high-quality connection - Connecting members through communication.
  4. Weeding out cheats, scammers and married guys - Including automated and manual approaches.

The last thing the article tackles is the question: Does online dating sites work?. Basically it is unknown if online dating produces better long term matches than meeting single people in more traditional ways. What online dating does do, is it allows you to easily meet other single people online, in the comforts of your home.