Notes from idate: Mark Brooks session: Online Dating Overview

Is it unusual to try to live blog the session before yours as a way to manage being a little nervous?

Monday am: There are over 300 people at the idate conference, and everyone is avidly taking notes as Mark Brooks ( Online Personals Watch) gives a state of the state of the online dating industry from his perspective.
Some up and comers aka growing businesses Mark notes from the stats:
° Zencon?s blackpeoplemeet.com
° Manhunt.net
° glesnet

Mark also recommends Quantcast for another stats view, along with Hitwise, Comscore, Alexa and Compete.com, a service that says they show registered user log ins as well as page view traffic (this interests me, because as we go more Web 2.0, with more AJAX and JSON pages, we’ll be reloading less pages-and yet all our ComScore engagement metrics are going waaay up–another reason to look carefully at multiple measurement sets.)
Mark also takes a look at social network and online dating time spent metrics via Nielsen NetRatings and proclaims the winners:
° YouTube-30 min
° Beebo 1 hour and 3 min
° My Space -2 hours
(It occurs to me, as Mark talks, that Plenty of Fish is the golden child of his discussion, mentioned repeatedly, not only because it has tremendous growth metrics, but because Marcus’ success is the Horatio Alger story of this vertical, the smaller guy making good in the big leagues.)
Mark’s take on top news (online dating) stories for the year:
° Dr Phil joins with Match.com and drives credibility and success
° Putting real people on the home page (Match and Yahoo! Personals both do that)
° Y!P and Starbucks team-up–wonderful branding affinity
° NYTimes piece on social (read anonymous calling) phone numbers: vumber, jangl, talkplus and others
° The Helio/MySpace deal
MB Predictions for 2007:
° Online personals will subdivide into categories
° Social networks will niche out
° Social networks are taking traffic away from online dating sites (‘the top of the sales funnel’)
° Next generation services will crop up, like high-end matching making services (Love Access, Vintacom)
° Free eHarmony will emerge (he means an EH-like service)
° Mobile dating fueled by Nokia N95 and other integrated phone devices
° Facebook gets swacked by a new player
° Background checks will be added by other big dating services
° Voice 2.0 integrates
° Plenty of Fish gets bigger–top 5 (does that mean someone will buy it?)
MB Issues:
° How about that date bait? Mark has ideas about affiliates.
° Make it easier to cancel a subscription (good point)
° Scamming: Don?t kick’em out, kick’em to some annoying diversionary SWAT team (it’s called payback)
° Consider support and extension services, like photo cropping
Cute cartoon: “Let?s go back to meeting online, you’re much better looking there.”

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  3. Lally says:

    Thanks for the post. I didn’t get to go to the conference but this made it seem like “i was there”.

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    >Is it unusual to try to live blog the session before yours as a way to manage being a little nervous?

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    One thing all online dating sites missed out on is letting users deal with scams and spammers. I know one small site who had started to do so. It is Free dating U.S.A. It’s being free makes it prone to scamming and spam. But they strike back by appending “report abuse”link on every profile.

  7. Anthony says:

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  8. Pratul says:

    Online dating quite good if u know what u re doing.
    _________
    pratul
    Sydney Dating

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