Monday, April 28, 2008

Fishing Online

The news story about the death of a Frenchman, described as an "avid online dater", under mysterious circumstances reads like a Pink Panther screenplay except this is no work of fiction. Though not suggested directly, the implication is that the death and "avid" online dating are somehow correlated. That could be worrisome news for lot of folks though the specifics of that phrase are not made clear.

Among other things It made me wonder if my buddy C could be classified as such as well. She has a very busy schedule and few opportunities to meet anyone in real life bouncing between work, graduate school and a mean fitness regimen. Her strategy is quite interesting. She logs on to instant messenger services that a lot of dating sites offer not to mention the likes of Gmail, Yahoo and the like and leaves to do whatever she has to get done.

She is most often not even at home, let alone around her computer when the prospects ping her. When she comes back she checks to see who bit bait while she was out. She then responds to the ones that interest her and casts her line out the following day. C tells me there is no way she could graduate even with a B average from business school if she really hung around chatting online. This works out a lot better for her.

I think of her as a remote angler putting her fishing rod out into the shark infested online dating pool. Her system allows her to look engaged in the online dating game quite "avidly" when really she is disengaged. I am sure C is not alone in employing such time and effort saving devices in finding a partner. I think there is a business case for an online dating service aggregator like they have Indeed for job boards.

This would be your one stop shop for all online dating needs. If the aggregator could charge customers a reasonable fee to tap into the different sites all from one place making C's life quite uncomplicated. The service model should have the aggregator paying the individual sites according to actual usage based on who and what the customer is searching for. That should be fair for everyone in the equation. In the meanwhile, I have forwarded this story on to C so she knows to tread carefully as she sets out her fishing rod each day.

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