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

Wax lyrical on your dating site profile for greater exposure

The art of creating the perfect dating site profile takes time, patience, constant tweaking and hard work. Certainly for it to work in a way that attracts the type of person you want to get to know, on and off line, from your online dating experience, anyway. And it’s an aspect that many singles overlook in their desperation to be swiftly online and actively chatting in the forums.

But let me ask you this: Once you have started chatting to someone on the dating site forum, or perhaps even before, what do you do? You check out their profile to ensure this is the type of partner you could envision yourself with. Do you not think that the majority of the singles on your dating site do exactly the same before they open conversations with you? Of course they do.

The temptation for many singles who have not taken the time out to craft a dating site profile that they can simply cut and paste, after tweaking their base document to suit the mood on the dating site they’re joining, is to get straight into browsing without providing enough information about themselves that the other members can appraise.

But even that step may be one too soon, as singles rush like the Pamplona Bulls to check out the talent after final taking the plunge to start online dating. Before you upload any personal information about yourself, you have to create a user name, again something that is oft overlooked. But user names are important, even more so if using European dating sites, where as much weight is attributed to the written word, including the user id, as is the profile photograph.

There have been many studies looking into dating site names that do and don’t work, both in the northern and southern hemispheres. So choosing a name that will illicit responses is imperative; tying that name up with incidental data in your profile is an even better.

Julia Spira, she of much dating site renown, recently wrote of her experience choosing a user name from a song she’d heard on the radio; she then set the lead in to her profile as a query to anyone who clicked through in relation to the song from which she derived her dating site id.

The results were astounding. Even if people were not necessarily coming on to her for a date, it did inspire fans of the musician, someone who saw fit to change his name from Reg Dwight – that ought to tell you something about the power of choosing a suitable public moniker – the other dating site members were contacting her to answer the profile query. In fact, her inbox was full of winkers.

So the moral really is, choose a user name that reflects your personality but other members can also identify with and respond to. Pair that with a well-prepared profile, and you, too, can hope to be poked by a whole host of winkers, wanting to get to know you better.

The party’s postponed for the men in little white coats

See, now this is a headline that CEOs of static dating websites the world over will just not want to read. Following years of trying to shake of the stigma that has prevented many a single desperate for love from entering their credentials into an online dating facility, the moment that they finally achieve that goal, with 2012 officially seeing the death of dating site dementors, they are being told that static dating websites are dead and that the future of dating is on mobile devices, instead.

Don’t know about you, but at the drop of this news you can almost hear the post-stigmata party being prematurely ended with a solitary parp of a trumpet. And hear that one technician laughing gutsily alone, the news not yet filtered through to her, as the scientists, still in their white coats , turn silently as one before being ushered back below ground into a sterile environment to start recoding the dating site so that people can have the same experience on their Smartphone as they do on a static online dating site. The laughter finally stops.

These CEOs will claim a small victory, though. And so they should – it has taken years to cast off the cloak it adorned at the public’s behest. Now more than ever, with ten percent of US citizens hitting dating sites every month, the impact of the medium they have developed patiently in their underground laboratories has changed the way the world dates forever.

CNBC in the US recently hosted Love at first byte – an insider view into the unseen world of online dating. What they discovered was not, as one would expect, a world of fluffy pink pillows and love hearts adorning every wall. Contrarily, the image portrayed envisions a chaotic place, a world of psychologists’ couches, main-frame computers, blackboards with lengthy equations chalked onto the slate, forever being rubbed out and perfected. And IT guys with a hand on the socket, awaiting the ‘turn in off and on again’ request that’s a short moment away.  Stephen King, stretched on one of the couches, soaking it all in before he turns the scenaro into another million+ best-seller.

It is these armies of boffins and IT technicians that have brought the world of online dating to the fore, piggybacking on the rise of hyper-connectivity in a world where everyone has at least two social media accounts, accessible from Android, Blackberry and iOS platforms. And now that the men in white coats have finally cracked it, brought their paymasters that tag of ‘social acceptance’ to the niche, technology has outpaced them.

If you can download an app, and there are many that, utilising GPS, can even ping you whilst you’re out and about to let you know that someone else from your dating site is in the vicinity, carrying a hand-held device or not having to put aside time that eats into your night to find someone is a far more productive way for the single masses to date than the alternative.

The party’s over for the time being for the dating site scientists, but you can bet that they’ll be back with something soon that’ll change the game, again. With $2bn – and growing – up for grabs, there’s a lot at stake for the men in the little white coats.