MySpace dating pitfalls

Last week, I blogged about my friend Dave’s experience on dating via MySpace, here’s our friend Elif’s take on dating scene on the same popular site:

I definitely don’t use it (MySpace) for dating. As you can see from my profile, I accept just about anyone who wants to add me as a "friend," and I tend to get a lot of random messages on there, I ignore nearly all of them. There are far too many weirdos out there.

With MySpace, it’s so easy for people to create a persona that is attractive, popular, fun, etc. You never really know if the person’s profile is the truth or not, so actually going out on a date or even engaging in email conversation with a MySpace random is much too risky. That’s why I just use MySpace for fun and to link back up with old friends. I have been able to reconnect with many old high school, college and even elementary school friends on it.

I think what Elif is alluding to are the classic pitfalls of online dating. How do you know the person’s really who he says who he/she is.

I looked at Michael Stone’s free dating site over the weekend- www.kickbackworld.com. I think all dating/socializing sites should consider the following questions (among many others) – What does your site offer that others don’t? What kind of safeguards do you have in place to screen out the whackos? How user-friendly is your UI?

In the end, it all comes down to your positioning related to other dating sites out there and how successful you are in attracting the ‘influencers’. The popularity of any social site depends on the ‘network effect’ or simply put, how many people are using your site. Of course, more in this case is better, unless your site can’t handle the traffic.

Women tend to be more discerning about where they socialize online and men seem not to care as much.Here’s Elif’s take on the contrasting attitudes between the men and women:

It’s probably because guys are usually the “hunter” and MySpace is another weapon or bait of choice.

I think attracting (attractive) women is key to the success of any social (dating) website, which is true of any real-time dating scene as well. If there are attractive women, it is pretty much a given that men will come 🙂

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2 responses to “MySpace dating pitfalls

  1. Again your article is very informative, I am definetly going to try and implement your suggestions. We are working on a completely new user interface. Also you bring up a great point about users safety and keeping out wackos. We are trying to develope some new ideas to help with this.

    You hit the nail on the head with the idea that attracting women is the key. That is the biggest hurdle to the sucess of a dating website or most social networks for that matter.

    You have a new reader I will be checking back for new posts as well as going threw your archives. Im sure it will be a good read. I hope that when we finish the site in 3-4 months that you will come back and check it out. Thanks for everthing,

    Mike Stone

  2. Hi Mike,

    I am glad to help! Sure, ping me once your site’s updated.

    Here are two additional features that you might want to consider:
    1) Relationship advice. This can be serious or light-hearted ie. something along the lines of – Is your boyfriend a loser or a keeper? You could have your members rate the boyfriend based on the information given.
    2) Offline social events, where members (from your site) can interact in person. This works well if your site is localized or offers some localization element. I mean, if it’s a serious dating site, folks have to meet in person, right? If they’re chatting online all the time, that’s not a dating site, that’s a…well..a chatroom.

    Good luck with your site!

    Cheers,

    Mia

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