Hoping for more than just connections on LinkedIn

Have you ever used LinkedIn? If you have and know how it works, how’s about putting together an easy-to-follow guide e-book and firing a copy over this way? Okay, that may take some time, but have you checked it out this year yet? No, me neither.

Apparently, for the last month, there has been a shoot-off site ‘Hitch.me’ which draws upon your LinkedIn profile information and searches your network to find you a partner. Yep – a dating site for the working professional.

I have to be totally honest, considering it’s a networking site for the organised businessman and -woman, I’ve found it haphazard and the navigation – well, I think Uncle Albert was in charge when they planned that.

But that’s the main site. According to one recent report, members are ‘flocking’ to the dating site version – 2,000 members having signed up already in the month it’s been live.

However, there are already reports of one issue that all of the top dating sites have had to contend with and subsequently figure a way around: Hitch.me is already showing a bias towards the number of male sign-ups, with the men outnumbering the women six to four in these early stages.  We may soon see half-priced credits for women to redress this balance.

What the dating site does have in its favour, and this is prevalent in the reported statistics to date, is that the worry of dating someone with a job is more or less negated. Because of the way the ‘connections’ works on LinkedIn, anyone who claims to be working at XXX Plc can soon be verified by someone else on the site working for the same company in the member’s extended network, providing that the a.n.other responds to your invitation to connect, that is.

Hitch.me carries the LinkedIn business metaphor through into dating land with many of its features. Instead of sending a video message, you send your intended partner a ‘presentation’, which is paid for in ‘credits’ – 100 for this service. You can also ‘pitch’ a prospect for 50 credits. So, by my maths, two pitches and one presentation and the 200 credits you get for signing up, that’s your cashflow blown.

But it’s not such a bad system – whereas paid dating sites charge a monthly fee in perpetuity, whether you use their service or not, Hitch.me only deducts credits from your account when you use them. And at $10 for 300 credits or 2,500 credits for $50, that’s not a bad ROI in anyone’s books if you score with some of the more high-flying users who have signed up to the stand-alone site, which has been rubber-stamped by LinkedIn. In the same report, it relates that 51% of the new dating site members are on $100k per annum plus salaries…

…guys, I’ll be back later; just off to see what I’ve done with my LinkedIn password…sure I wrote it down here, somewhere…

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