Online dating sites shake themselves up to remain fresh

It’s been nearly twenty years since online dating began, and now these dating sites have evolved to keep themselves fresh and relevant, shaking things up by providing apps, online games, and even the occasional offline event in order to keep their match-making successful.

The popularity of online dating sites simply can’t be understated.  The biggest players in the dating site world have been around for decades, with millions of instant messages sent in between men and women looking for love.

However, it’s not just instant messages or texts when it comes to online dating anymore, with the biggest players in the dating site market diversifying to incorporate a wide and varied range of opportunites to find the guy – or girl – of your dreams.  One of the largest online dating sites has taken a page from the massively successful online gaming sector, creating two-player online games to aid people in making online connections.

Other companies have been cutting the internet cord when it comes to working with its members to find the perfect match.  One such dating service allows members to choose from a selection of real-world dates that interest them, such as a bike ride or a hike, and others respond in kind, naturally matching people with like interests together.

This focus on facilitating a real world experience is new, and something that traditional dating sites have largely avoided, the dating website’s founder said.  Most have instead placed a heavy emphasis on expressing online identities – something that has led to countless horror stories when someone’s online profile doesn’t match who they are in person.

Music soothes the savage… heart?

The saying goes that music can soothe the souls of the most savage of beasts, but it’s probably a safe bet that no one ever thought that this applied to singles looking for love.

Digital music service Spotify, which supplies streaming music to users while allowing all their Facebook friends to see what rubbish taste they have, has recently teamed up with a pair of dating agencies in order to bring music lovers together.  It’s a bit of a time-saver, honestly, as most people have to soldier on through the painful first date, hoping that your potential partner doesn’t have a collection of Wham! albums in their flat (or perhaps hoping that they do – it’s a free country, after all), as the dating services will look at your Spotify history and match you with someone that has compatible taste in music.

Spotify’s platform director, Sten Garmark, commented on the new development by saying that music preference is one of the most common ways to start a conversation upon meeting someone for the first time, whether you’re simply making friends or if you’re looking for more.  No one wants dissonance in a burgeoning relationship after all, and when she likes Iron Maiden but he prefers Celine Dion, it’s probably better to just give it a pass and move on to the next pairing.

Truth be told, using music tastes as a way to match up prospective mates is nothing new, as dating sites have been doing it for years.  However, the automation that Spotify offers makes it painless for both end-users and dating site developers alike, as there’s no mucking about by ticking countless boxes or filling in forms – and you’ll be sure to be matched with someone who’s got the same poor taste in music as you do for once.

Cheryl Cole runner up in dating poll

Apparently, Cheryl Cole may turn to internet dating sites to find her perfect match after the split from her husband – British soccer player, Ashley, two years ago. Friends have recommended several dating sites for her, but not the sugar daddy site, SeekingArrangement.com, much to that dating site’s disappointment.

The website’s main business involves linking up pretty young women with rich old men and has been running an online poll of its (male) members to find out who their perfect “girlfriend” might be. Cheryl tuned up as number two in the list just after the person who took on her role in the TV series, the X factor, Tulisa Conostavlos.

Not to be seen to be one sided, the sometimes controversial dating website also ran a poll amongst its female members to find out who might be their favourite “sugar daddy”.

Surprise, surprise, Cheryl’s old boss, Simon Cowell turned up as the top candidate for their sugary attention. Perhaps a bit more surprising considering the average age of the sugar daddies was that Prince Harry was the runner up to Cowell at number two – hardly a daddy!

Tom Jones (is he still alive?) crept in at number five.

The two online polls sought the opinions of the 50,000 members that have signed up for SeekingArrangement.com.

Never far from the media limelight, Brandon Wade, who is the founder and CEO of SeekingArrangement, has offered Cheryl Cole a life membership for free. He didn’t quite specify at what age as a “life” member she would naturally stop being a sugar “baby” and turn into a sugar “matron”.

According to Wade, Cowell is the perfect sugar daddy as he is not only stinking rich but over generous to boot. His last fling with Mezhgan Hussainy ended quite amicably recently and to show nohard feelings he gave her a £5 million house in Beverly Hills in token appreciation of their relationship.

Perhaps SeekingArrangement is simply seeking some media attention for its European launch this month. It started up only 6 years ago and has done phenomenally well. A quick look around the online tabloids in Britain at the moment and the dating website gets a lot of mention, with apparently thousands of hard up young women all attempting to enrich their bank accounts by meeting up with rich old codgers using Mr Wade’s website.

Online dating is quite normal

An increasing number of Canadians are finding love in cyber space.

Some years ago when I first met my current husband online, internet dating was not so easily accepted. Now, it is not only accepted, but it is seen as the norm.

In the years between 2007 and 2012 the online dating industry more than doubled its cash revenue, from $900 million to nearly $2.0 billion yearly, and had a boost in visitors from 20 to 40 million per year.

With almost 1,500 virtual sites, there is something out there for all singles, which includes farmers, the over-50s, solo parents, religious-oriented, wealth seekers, and so on.

However, it is not only dating sites matching up mates; it is social media as well. What ’s more, how many individuals use Facebook’s relationship arena as a method of getting free advertising? A British study discovered that more than 70% of respondents use dating sites and social networks to seek out love, while 20% used solely social media sites.

Almost 50% of people surveyed by the research firm Synovate think that internet dating is a fantastic way to meet up with their match.

An associate professor in communication of Rutgers University based in New Jersey, who has conducted thorough research on the subject (including the meeting of her own husband online), says that online dating is a great way to be introduced to someone but in the end, a lot of the relationship stuff is developed offline.

Research conducted found that most online dating respondents are generally honest about presenting themselves but some online daters do attempt to present a more than perfect view of themselves so as to home in on potential partners, which is really not that different than job-seekers do to pad out their resumes.

It seems that as these are mostly white lies, survey participants found that lies were really a waste of time as the truth soon emerges at the first date or not much later.

Zoosk steps up marketing profile

Online dating site Zoosk is seeking out a consumer agency to market it to become the leading romantic dating website online and on a mobile.

The site has requested that interested parties should send proposals by 30th April. The expanding dating website is on the lookout for creative and proactive local professional assistance to assist it with communication to the British market in a dynamic, forward looking and original manner that mirrors Zoosk’s fundamental personality.

The British market is the website’s second biggest membership after the USA and the time is right to put more investment into promotional tactics to follow its large marketing campaign late last year in order to wage war with rivals such as eHarmony and Match.com.

The company reveals that its survey news has not been able to achieve much in Britain and that it is trying to transform itself from its current flavour of being a social dating community to a base for more romantic social networking, but this has to be advertised through a consumer consciousness and education campaign.

The website executive is intending upon choosing an agency that will set up a strategy of communication to the site’s main audience in the 25 to 49 age group to get them to create and discuss their romantic encounters, whether they are already married or still single.

Zoosk’s communications team is about to fly to London from San Francisco, where it is based, on the 10th and 11th May to conduct face-to-face interviews with interested agencies.

Zoosk currently has a 50 million membership, which is spread across more than seventy countries and members can make arrangements for dates by using the business’s website, mobile applications, a Facebook app and the desktop application.

Customer retention way forward for dating sites

The issue for many dating site owners becomes apparent when they realise the exact nature of the beast they are trying to build. Yes, dating sites are places where singles can now meet online, get to know each other in the chat-rooms and send IMs and private e-mails, but, in order to keep the whole shebang ticking over, it has to be a business that makes the owner money.

Free dating sites generate income through advertising, either on click-thru commissions or companies paying for the advertising space if the page ranks high enough for a given term. Paid sign-ups obviously gain access to greater benefits than a free dating membership and the website owner gets their cash directly through those fees. Either method has its merits, depending upon what you, curious single, want to use online dating for and how secure you want your Internet dating experience to be.

There is no doubt that dating sites that can boast a high, legitimate success rate will go on to use that information in their advertising campaigns. Take match.com, who reckoned at one point that they were responsible for 5% of all marriages in the US. That type of statistic is fantastic if you are looking to attract singles who judge your product, or dating site, by how well it matches with you your perfect partner, if that is indeed the reason you are signing up to online dating.

But this is where the dating site industry differs from many traditional model businesses that offer a service. In the real world, it is taken as read that your business grows by developing relationships with your existing customer base. Relationships thrive on trust, derived from continued good service; the selling aspects get negated as price becomes less of an issue. And generally, unless a major disaster strikes, that customer is yours for life.

However, for a dating site to be recognised as successful, it offers a service that means the two customers who have found love online with each other walk off into the sunset together. For every single success story, the dating site has to replace two customers; in any other realm, this would be a self-defeating accomplishment. This is why so much of a webmaster’s budget goes into advertising to attract new singles to their service and there is that constant quest to find a DCA (dynamic competitive advantage) to get one over on the competition.

But what if there was a way to keep couples as customers after they have began an offline, exclusive relationship? This has to be the way forward unless dating site owners want to continually be regurgitating the same advertising campaign, albeit with updated gadgets. It may well mean changing at least one of the dynamics of the business, but for the sake of a one-time concerted effort to research this aspect and create this aspect of the dating site, even at a reduced rate of membership fee, it is retention of a portion of your customer base that would have never graced the presence of your dating site again. Heck, having someone in your forums and chat rooms who knows the ropes and can advise other singles on the path to online dating happiness is almost like having employees, so it is well worth the effort to at least research your members to see if this is a viable option.

Zoosk has took the bull by the horns in this aspect, with Couple Profiles. It offers a place for people who have met on their dating site but don’t necessarily feel the need to give up their membership to record their relationship milestones. Again, this level of success is a fantastic advert if the target audience judge dating site success by long-term relationships. If webmasters don’t want to continually be chasing two new customers to replace every one success story and yet get membership fees working doubly hard, using those histories to good effect, highlighting couples’ true-life stories, has to be the way forward.

The legally-certified dating site personality test

When I first read this, I thought it may be an April Fool’s hoax, but, delving further, it seems to have some solid advice behind the mind-bogglingly long numbers used in the reporters article. These numbers will not be repeated herein, one, due to their perplexity and two, down to plagiarism laws that we abide by, but let’s run the rest of the article by you, sans les numbres terrible.

From the beginning – there has been one matchmaking algorithm created that doesn’t profess to match you with your perfect partner based on how long you’ve been a vegan, whether you were a boy scout, how long your toenails are or anything similarly specific. It simply states – look, there are five factors to determine your personality; we’ll match you based on those and those alone and you determine the rest – you can even see the results.

It beats the crap out of those dating site questionnaires that take an hour to fill in and, for those who promote dating sites on behalf of the owners, rarely lead the affiliate to any real income due to the urgent nature depicted by someone who starts online dating who wants to get straight into the action. Sit for an hour filing out a form? Nah, I want to get laid! Well, that’s the casual version. There are many other dating sites that you could join and substitute ‘laid‘ with ‘married‘, ‘divorced‘, ‘tied up with your pink stockings, Diane‘. The list is endless, but to represent the urgency, we’ll take casual dating as the benchmark.

However, it seems that one State in the US has set its stall by the duff information that these lengthy questionnaires promise to deliver. West Virginia, mountain Mama, has outlawed any other personality test other than the aforementioned five-criteria ‘16PF5 Personality Test‘ due to the increased number of divorces going through its courts, with blasé claims by dating sites that their psychometric calculations can pair you with a future partner.

Fernando Ardenghi, accredited with developing the test, also known as the ‘Lifeproject Method’, which assesses self-confidence, self-control, comments laissez-faire vous êtes, how open you are/if you’re socially dependent and finally your family orientation, which could have a bearing on the relationship you’re looking to develop yourself, has been hired to advise other online dating sites how to implement its methods.

I don’t think personality matching should have been his career path; if he can sell that to the senate, boy, should he have been a marketing consultant…

…let us know what you think: are dating questionnaires too intrusive or time-consuming or has anyone had better results by totally filling one in? Love to hear from you. xxx

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Inject passion into your e-mails to score big in dating

Thanks for coming back to us as we look to see what you can do to get better click-throughs to your dating site profile, hence promoting brand you, on your dating site. Yesterday we looked at highlighting the importance of asking questions to instigate any communiqué, more importantly, in the hope of securing one or two potential partners along the way.

Today, we look at an aspect that will instantly promote you from dating site newbie dullard to experienced singles dater without you really having to learn anything about the (sometimes) weird and whacky world of online dating. And that is simply, find some common ground with another of the singles on site.

This, at first, doesn’t have to be someone with whom you would consider going out on a date with, but someone with whom you can share your common interest with and introduce you to: passion.

if you can talk passionately on any subject, there will almost definitely be someone who can add their own comment or listen intently to what you have to say. And most dating sites have a huge audience that you can potentially broadcast to.

At first, building up trust is one of the stepping stones to getting your first date in the online world of cyber-love. This, like I say, doesn’t have to be the first person you strike up a conversation with. But if you can glean a few snippets about the etiquette on your dating site – if we’re talking Mrs Bucket (pronounced Boo-kay) or Onslow standards – you will know the accepted limits in the chat rooms. You may think that unimportant, but no one likes their toes stepped on.

By injecting passion into your words, you also start to put a piece of you into your writing that you perhaps don’t even realise you’re doing; this is excellent stuff! You may not know it but the person who responds to the passionate you really is connecting with a level beneath anything you could craft into a deliberated personality profile. You stand more of a success finding the right person for you; yet again, you may not notice this at first, but by letting your hair down you also let your guard down a little, too, giving other singles a route in.

It’s difficult to say, this, and even more painful to get your hand and heart around, but if you’ve been hurt before there’s a real good chance you don’t want that to happen; in order to move on, you have to risk letting someone from your dating site in, even if only the slightest little bit.

If you get the entry levels of communication right, combined with a subject that you care deeply and can share intimate details of, you’re onto a winner and you will soon find that you’ve gained a whole new circle of friends who not only see you as one of them, but as a leader, too.

Join me over the rest of the weekend when we conclude with a look at other aspects to filter into your e-mails, such as humour, confidence and belonging, into the posts.

Thanks for listening; keep in touch with yourself. xxx

Asking right questions will prompt a dating e-mail response

Well, the weekend’s here, you’ve got your first dating site membership under your belt, spent an elaborate amount of time getting your dating profile looking just so and have probably browsed some of the other singles profiles to see if any of them catch your eye. Heck, you may even have a shortlist, already.

How you approach the other members on your chosen dating site(s) is key to you getting the best experience from online dating. There are a lot of people who have been using the Internet to find partners for an inordinate amount of time. They love it, may not want to commit to anything serious and enjoy the flirtatious nature of being in a public chat room where everyone has got the same aim. But to take your online relationship to the next level, you’re going to have to show a little more interest than commenting on a comment they have made in a thread of conversation in view of the masses.

Private e-mail is the key to success in online dating. Having ‘listened’ in or chatted in the forums you may have got an idea of a potential victim’s partner’s personality and want to risk giving it a shot.

Dating advice is only a guide – the final ingredient is your personality

 

We are all unique – many of those questions in the chat-rooms will have resonated with you at some level. But there will be more you want to know; different dating profiles will throw up dissimilar sets of questions you need to ask to get to know the wide-ranging personalities on your dating site – some questions you will have thought of, the majority will never have crossed your mind until you start filtering down the many thousands of men and women all concentrated in one area looking for some action.

You have to decide what level of action you’re looking for.  Be prepared to have your ideas change once you’ve been using a dating platform for a while.  Dating sites are great places to let your hair down and exercise the extrovert in you, who you usually keep under lock and key. By letting yourself go, you’ll discover what you really want. The only way you’re going to find what a perfect match wants is by asking them directly.

Unless you’re on an out and out casual dating site, you need to be a bit more subtle than ask other singles if they want to meet up and start a no-strings, (new) FWB relationship. No doubt mainstream dating does have members not averse to a little casual fun but, especially on matchmaking sites where there a 1,001 compatibility questions, members do try to build up a relationship online first before going out on a date and even then there is etiquette to follow – like definitely not sleeping with someone you’ve met online on a first date. They’re big communities, everyone talks, reputations can spread very quickly. Make sure the word gets out about your reputation, for sure – it will attract more potential dates – but make sure its for the reasons you signed up in the first place.

The other reason for asking lots of questions, other than to ensure the single is not all flannel and had someone write their dating site profile for them (you wouldn’t believe!), is that talking about yourself too much in your opening communiqué will give your potential partner the impression you’re conceited or boastful – that your whole world revolves around you and you’ve done everything that everyone else has with a yak on your back. Nothing will distance you from others more than being so far up your own xxxx self that you show no interest in others, rather, give the impression that it’s all about you.

So there endeth lesson one – asking the right questions will give you a better view of other singles and make them more willing to respond, if it seems someone else is showing genuine interest in them.

Moving too fast with your facebook status

As we’ve often alluded to here on dating.org.uk in the past, dating sites have always had a certain style (as in: they all follow a similar format, not that dating sites are necessarily always chic and sleek), whereas social media design has pretty much remained individual to its own platform and been the brainchild of the guys and girls behind the original concept.

As we’ve seen recently, however, with online dating becoming ever-more user conscious, many of the newer dating site platforms are factoring in social media features and functionality.  So much so that it can sometimes be difficult to remember whether you’re in the public eye or have taken your online dating relationship into a private chat-room where you can reveal stuff you’d never dream of spattering on your wall.  Or anywhere else in the public eye, for that matter.

Julie Spira, renowned dating blogger, panellist, author – in fact, anywhere there’s a camera or tape recorder spouting ‘online dating’, anywhere within that fifty feet of the device, Julie’s usually somewhere in close proximity – was recently invited to chat with the girls about dating etiquette on facebook.  It seems that, in the search for love online, some people still need a helping hand what’s common sense when it comes to what you want your (potential) partner to see in your public profile.

Whether that be changing your status after the first date, using communication methods reserved for only the most intimate of friends before meeting in the flesh or even how to comment in the event that you may actually be in a position to take your date off screen into the real world, flick the ‘in a relationship’ status and point everyone who may be browsing your dating site profile to said herald, announcing your oneness with another to other would-be suitors, therefore not likely to respond to any advances in the interim.

Believe me, this can be complicated stuff.  Should you put ‘more than friends’ once you’ve slept with someone?  Duh!  If the partner with whom you’ve been intimate with moans that you class them as something other than casual acquaintances, I think it’s time to get your online dating status back paid up to date, primed and ready for action again, eh?

There are some specifics and I’ll have another look through before tomorrow’s article; if there are any particularly noteworthy snippets worth repeating, we’ll showcase the best of them.  ‘Til then, tootle pip. x

STD – not a dialling code for senior Canadian singles

Back in the old days, when broadband was a CB reference, breaker, breaker, picking up an infection from the Internet was strictly to do with a nasty little virus on your hard drive. According to one recent report, Canada is experiencing another type of infection rapidly grabbing its incredibly online-biased per-capita populace of dating site surfers.

Yes, it seems that the Canadian dating community have a nasty bout of syphilis spreading through its rank and file. Put it down to over enthusiastic youngsters who can’t wait to get into someone’s underwear for the first time? Think on…

We’re not talking your regular teenage dream, here, but rather of a generation that ought to know better, but so obviously don’t. The nasty little infection is being spread around the silver surfer set who hale from a time when Johnny was the name of Popstars and Chat Show Hosts and gay meant being happy with your lot. Perhaps it is this naivety causing the STD to spread like wildfire around the senior dating set so virulently.

the millennium bug struck, after all

Since 2000, new cases of the disease have increased ten-fold, with the middle-aged population getting to grips with dating sites and finding that there are millions of senior singles out there in dating land just as promiscuous as they were when Hendrix brought Woodstock down and free love didn’t mean a no cost trial on a dating platform.

The direct rise in dating site numbers from the same time parallels the spread of the disease in the more mature dater. According to one expert, once someone of an age starts into a relationship online, they feel like they know their partner well enough to sleep with them. In fact, this supposition is backed up by another report which suggests that sixteen percent of Canadians have been one half of an Internet couple who have ended up going further than man ever did in their quest for the moon, i.e. all the way.

It seems that the disease, or similar STIs -even HIV – have been reported in high volumes by users of Internet dating sites as far back as 2004, when it is believed that 43% of women who checked in because there was something not quite right had been with a partner from on online dating agency or another.

A combination of two other factors also contribute highly: the women are past the age of conception, so pregnancy is not an issue and the men, when faced with an erection, don’t want to have their rush of blood recede, leaving them flaccid and embarrassed.

Safe sex is for everyone and you don’t develop immunity just through a rite of passage of age. No matter who you’re sleeping with, make sure the little red rider is hooded before sending it into the bushy forest on its own.  Those teeth bite!

3 winks per minute in mad 2 days for lady in red swimsuit

We have spoken at great length, over the last six months, about the importance of deliberating over your dating site profile, getting it just so and tweaking it specifically for whichever dating site you choose as your preferred platform. Shows what we know, dunnit!?

Louise Leech, a widow from Glasgow, had been signed up to three dating sites for two years and received little traffic based upon her eloquently-crafted profile and conservative profile photograph, which was perhaps what she felt appropriate, given her time of life. But this story goes to prove that age is neither a barrier to being attractive to the opposite sex nor pulling off a sleek all-in-one swimsuit if you’ve still got the figure to do so, which Louise did with astonishing success.

Louise is a writer of romantic fiction from Dennistoun in Scotland’s second city, so what better background for attracting a man could there be? One of her characters couldn’t have pulled off as dramatic a stunt to woo an, as yet unknown, potential suitor. But, in real life, she was getting nowhere fast; that was until she decided to take a leaf out of Dame Helen Mirren’s book and invest in a passionate red shapewear swimsuit from Marks and Sparks, as has been seen modelled by the gorgeous Lisa Snowdon.

It’s fair to say that Louise had experienced, up to the point of taking the plunge and posting the photograph of herself in the red swimsuit on senior dating site seniorfishdating.com, a bit of a rollercoaster experience from online dating.

Following the death of her husband, Louise spent the first year letting the natural grieving process take its course. But as she came out the other side, she was only fifty five and, looking nowhere near that age, she decided to give online dating a punt.

That initial rush of excitement of taking a definitive step to actively change the single aspect of her life was soon quashed; her original dating profile photo drew little response from possible suitors and, by her own admission, like the hermit crab she shrunk back into her shell. The red swimsuit was, in effect, going to be her last hurrah, having decided that she was perhaps destined to be alone, given that she was now 57.

With the Lady in Red photo uploaded, she went about her daily routine and logged back into the dating site some two days later.

What happened next, however, absolutely overwhelmed her.

Over the two days, 900 prospective partners had responded to the new profile photo – that’s almost three a minute constantly for two days solid. Her inbox was crammed with hopeful silver singles, quite a difference for the woman who admits that getting back into the dating scene had proved more difficult than she’d thought, especially given that she’d been with her husband for thirty years before his untimely passing at the age of sixty-three.

So, what next for Ms Leech? Well, after she’s sorted the wheat from the chaff in her inbox, what’s the betting the next romance novel is about a woman who steps beyond the norm to rediscover herself via an online dating platform? Or maybe that’s just another example of truth being a wee bit stranger than fiction.

Reader’s Choice award best dating blog 2012 shortlist 3-5

As promised, we conclude the review of the short-list drawn up for this year’s best online dating blog, after looking at two of the five, yesterday. Those two being 31 dates in 31 days and Checkmate Magazine, the ‘Science Now’ publication for IvyDate.com’s intellectual singles.

Next on the list, we look at a blog hosted by a lady who’s been in all sorts of online dating reviews and panels, recently, Julie Spira. Her blog, Cyber Dating Expert, has made the Reader’s Choice nominations final five, which she is obviously thrilled about. And, to be fair, she has worked her way up through rank and file in the media industry from radio, blogging (obviously) and several TV shows where she has guested on numerous chat shows. Described in one write up as a ‘Renaissance’ figure and advertising a whole host of famous faces, most prominently Joan Rivers, who have endorsed her book ‘The Perils of Cyber Dating’ (you wouldn’t have guessed, would you?), Julie’s exposure to media and the perils of advertising have stood her in good stead, shaping her keen understanding of all the pros and cons you need to incorporate or avoid like the plague to promote your self and your dating site when you get to unearth a little bit of knowledge about your market and which channels draw in revenue. Good night, Seattle, we love you, indeed.

Next up we have eFlirt Expert. This is an online dating consultancy. I’m speechless. People actually pay for someone to write their profile for them. Just for normal dating sites! I can understand with the high end dating sites, where money is literally no object and you expect your $1,000 per month to fetch that genuine extra touch of class, both in service and the level of potential partner one would expect to meet for shelling out four-figure sums, but for a normal dating site? I’m in the wrong job. However, I must be in the minority; there are press articles galore about this dating consultancy and they do offer a package on everything. For $39, you can even get advice on how to chat up someone on Twitter. I am absolutely gobsmacked that singles would actually pay for that service. Swiftly, moving on, before my brain boils…

…the fifth of five, we have OkTrends by OkCupid, a bit of a close-to-the-bone (really) blog that is fragranced and peppered with real gritty commentary, painting pictures with words that would have been banned in the early nineteenth century, the artist possibly having their hands cut off for bad taste into the bargain. There are plenty of surveys, though how many are based on hard fact, like the fact that Twitter users are more likely to masturbate daily than everyone else or that they are so used to shortening their URLs that their relationships are likewise castrated – well, they’re a bit hard to swallow. But, there are some genuinely good dating site usage figures, tips, treats and guides that are written by someone with a rather black, ‘poke the fickle finger of fate at you’ side to their humour. Yes, I have signed up to their RSS.  One dating site that will genuinely keep me glued to my screen, I’m sure.

So, that’s it – your top five dating site blogs for this year’s readers choice award. Vote wisely; I know which box I’ve put my X in.

Best dating blog 2012 – shortlist has been published

The reason that there are so many dating sites, both existing and ones being created almost every week, is because of the diversity of human nature. It therefore stands to reason that those who spend time online dating, in order to get the best results, read about it whilst they’re between browsing dating site profiles. That’s where us writers come in, hopefully providing tasty tidbits to keep you amused whilst delivering invaluable advice gleaned from dating websites from around the globe.

There is even a competition for the best dating blog. It’s true. And the 2012 short list has been drawn up and you, avid single dater, can vote for which of these five you think is the best of the best.

In true Schofield-esque manner (minus the silver do), we announce this years finalists, in no particular order.

Checkmate magazine is a blog for the educated online dater (or perhaps that should be data, if we’re talking geek-speak); who else but the self-proclaimed intellectual would name their online presence after a game of chess? Relationships here have as much to do with two inanimate objects gravitational pull on each other as they do with finding your perfect partner online, but the science behind dating is lived out in all its glory by those who prefer figures in black and white, on paper or the chess board, perhaps to those behind the dating site’s galleria of beautiful boffins.

Next up is 31 dates in 31 days. No, not authored by ‘Loose Women’ as the title may suggest, but by Tamara Duricka Johnson, authoress of the book of the same title. Unique content traipses over ground the writer covered when she was still occupying the world of hopeful singles. The blog remains true to the core of the thirty-one day challenge. It makes you wonder what her now-husband thinks of this tawdry affair, now that she has indeed tied the knot. Still, the information contained therein remains extremely popular due to its relevance for the ever-hopeful single who hopes that, by getting through speed dating in this manner, it will help them reach their ‘Mr Right’ in as short a time as possible.

We’ll run through the other three finalists tomorrow. Voting for the candidate you see fit to carry off the best dating blog crown commenced on the 22nd of February and carries on until March 21st. Sadly, you won’t find our blog in the short list, this year, as we have only been live for such a short period; perhaps next year, we’ll be amongst the pick of the best dating literature on the Internet.

Dating sites – a bit of something for just about everyone

Being single is great for a while and only the absolute confirmed bachelor or ice-maiden can truly say that it’s what they want forever. For the rest of us, there comes a time when longing to spend time with a soul-mate or kindred spirit overwhelms the desire to go out and get ratted every night with a random bod you’ve met on your dating site or courtesy of your dating app, end up getting laid and then wake up next to said bod the following morning with absolutely no feelings for them, other than wondering whether they’ll go up in your esteem if, next to the kettle, is a 300gm jar of Douwe Egberts.

No? Never just hooked up with someone from one of the 1,000s of online dating sites festooning the Internet? Mmm, perhaps it’s just me then. But I know it’s not. Online dating is one of the hottest trends availing itself to singles all over the globe.

I’m sorry? You think you’re too old? Okay, if you’re of a certain maturity, traipsing half way across the county at the drop of a hat to meet someone you’ve just met on a dating site, parking up in a suitable location, downing several alcoholic beverages and then hopping straight into bed with them on the first night may not be your cup of tea, but if you’re 55 plus, then you, dear sir or madam, are in the fastest growing age range to discover the world of online dating. Oh, yes, it’s true – senior dating is top of the cyber-love pops!

And what was that, madam? You only go for older men who can lavish you with gifts in return for small favours and accommodating them on an ad hoc basis as and when the mood takes you? No problem there, either. There are many distinguished dating sites for the Sugar Daddy and Sugar Baby alike.

And you, sir? You go for the older woman with perhaps a swimming pool in her yard and a penthouse villa in The Canaries, à la Mrs Robinson? In the words of Harry Enfield – Young Man! Don’t fear – cougars are on the prowl online as well as their older male peers looking for younger female company.

And you there, looking for a same sex relationship – you won’t be disappointed either. By jove, many of the mainstream dating sites are even enlightened enough to acknowledge the vast sector of the UK population who would much prefer to spend the evening – and night – with someone of the same gender and have their own private areas to service them. Ooh, err!

Online dating has come a long way from the dial-up days of seedy little websites, which were more likely to infect your hard drive than lead to a relationship capable of allowing you to pick up something else equally undesirable and contagious. As a starting point, if this is all new ground for you, check out our dating site – you may be surprised at how many people you have lots in common with, no matter what your dating preference.

(Oh, and if this is your virgin online dating experience, be sure to check out the next article about online dating security!)