Lovosphere: Mike finds love, sorta

Mike Arrington’s wisely turned his attention to the online dating business and done a quick wrap-up of 13 sites, ranging from CNETs Consummating to the very small Poddater. As someone who now watches this space with a professional eye, I appreciate not only Mike’s observations, but the tremendous discussion going on in the comments, with shrewd observations from Hot or Not’s James Hong, plentyoffish’s Markus Frind, and many other entrepreneurs in the space (and users, natch!) chiming in.
Some of my comments at TechCrunch ( cross posted now to here):
“One of the advantages of a big player like Yahoo! Personals (disclosure: I work there), is the very large number of profiles and the sophisticated searching and matching tools.
For many people, especially outside of bigger cities, or with more niche or specific interests,the smaller sites offer too few prospects, even though their communities and activities are really engaging. I personally don”t see social networking encroaching on online dating sites– think SN helps build a market for online dating, actually.

Well, online dating users have hit a lifestage event. They want to meet someone better or different than the people they have in their expanded personal network and they want to take focused action and meet people within a limited period of time. This is quite a different impulse than using a social network to find people to have drinks with, or very casual meeting. You can be linked to thousands of people on a social network, but for most people over 30, that doesn”t mean you are going to find a great date, a lover or a soul mate. “
Anyway, this is a rich discussion and outside the usual Web 2.0 focus TechCrunch often has..worth a read if this market interests you.

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  1. Randy Weber says:

    I’m a big believer in online personals, but I don’t agree with your comment. Heavy social networking users are not the same folks that are heavy personals users. Social networkers, who tend to be younger, are getting by without personals. As these folks age into what you refer to as a “lifestage event,” it remains to be seen whether or not these users will find the need to use personals sites. This is complicated even further by the likelihood that social networking sites will improve their dating functionality over time. The personals sites need to find a way to work with the social networking sites to get to these younger users. It will likely mean new revenue models and having to share a bigger piece of the pie.
    I’ve cross posted this comment on my blog and on Mike’s post.

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