Archive for August, 2011

Five Hollywood Ideas to Get You More Members in 2012

Friday, August 12th, 2011

by Zima

Do you know what SkaDate has in common with Hollywood? We both use scripts. Only difference is – ours is a dating one, and theirs are riddled with plot holes, paper-thin characters, and historic inaccuracies. In the end though, both are designed to entertain the masses with the final product, which will generate a ton of cash for the studio or a site owner.

For years Hollywood successfully exploited the dating concept to get butts in seats. I think it’s time we hit back and use the Tinseltown’s ideas to get those butts (or rather bucks) all for ourselves. Here are the five 2012 movies to increase your site memberships.

5. The Avengers

The Avengers are a bunch of superheroes who are supposedly avenging… something. Maybe the upcoming movie will finally clarify this point. The team includes Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, and Scarlett Johansson among others, so the superpower on display will be clearly ‘looking charismatic and pretty’. This concept worked miracles for Darwin Dating, so there is no reason it won’t work for everyone else.

The characters can fly, smash things up in spectacular fashion, and unashamedly run around half-naked while calling each other ridiculous names. Thus they pretty much do whatever everyone does while drunk or high. That’s your first hint that the Avengers-themed dating site should primarily focus on college students.

But wait, there is more! The Avengers matchmaking portal will be ideal for targeting people with various weird fetishes, from eye-patches to big hammers to huge muscle-mass  to costumes. Lot’s of colorful costumes. And masks. So it’s all symbolic, since we all wear masks on the Internet.

4. The Dark Night Rises

Dontcha wanna date?

But what if you want to approach a more “serious” and mature audience? I’ve got just the solution for you. Batman. The third and final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s broody Dark Knight saga is coming to an end next year, so that’s the chance to get all gritty and, well, rubbery, and still cash-in on the current superhero frenzy.

The community can be built around discussions of various gadgets, custom-made cars, and loony murderous psychopaths in the area. Or S&M. Catwoman, anyone? How about Bane? Hell, Batman himself can be a Pain-and-Punishment Convention host.

Alternatively, site members can be attracted by promises of tuxedo-clad double-identity gentlemen who possess loads of cash. This will be especially enticing for women, I think… Although, you never know with Batman.  Add Robin to the bunch and the site can become an all out gay dating extravaganza.

3. World War Z

OK, let’s tone down the kink a bit and switch to a post-apocalyptic fantasy. You know what the world of online dating needs? Zombies.

That’s right, the undead are everywhere these days. The TV has the excellent Walking Dead, Zombie Walks are becoming increasingly popular around the globe, and even Brad Pitt himself now seems to be in love with a zombie… um, I mean zombies. He is the producer and star of a mokumentary about the aftermath of the aforementioned world war with the ghouls.

Applied to a dating site, this concept can be played two ways. One is the obviously clever satirical take on site members as hordes of mindless undead. Another is a touching role-playing experience, uniting the pseudo-survivors of the Zombie War. But who am I kidding, the site should be a hub for all zombie lovers out there. This one has a real potential of crossing over to the social networking territory. (Shameless plug – SkaDate Dating Script can power that too). But wait, we already have Facebook…

2. American Reunion

Enough with the macabre! Let’s look at the bright side – a brand new theatrical American Pie movie is coming out after what seems to be ages of straight-to-DVD leftover dumps. It’s all about the reunion this time, and the original cast is back in its entirety. Not much of an achievement really, since all of them don’t seems to do much lately, bar Alyson Hannigan and Sean William Scott.

As much as everyone hates reunions, we all keep attending them if only to piss off others with a few of our real (and multiple fake) achievements. But it’s different on the web, with social networks and dating sites tailor-made for getting back in touch with classmates.

Just think how many people missed the opportunity to hook up in high school due clique divisions, peer pressure, and those crappy cars they were stuck with for a half a decade. Voila, an American Reunion site will finally give everyone the opportunity to reveal their feelings to past secret crashes, and to exact revenge on the Homecoming Queen for not showing up for dates by spamming her mailbox.

All your date are belong to us!

1. Twilight Breaking Dawn 2

Is emo subculture still around? Is it still considered a subculture? You might not like it personally, but building your site around a Twilight theme will work like a charm in baiting those angsty teens. They’ll need a place to went off after seeing the latest chapter in the Saga, while deciding once and for all who’s tougher – a sparkly vampire or a werewolf with supernatural abs.

Seriously, though, if there ever was a Hollywood franchise perfectly suitable for adaptation in the online dating form, Twilight must be it. Even when the franchise fades away eventually, the teenage anxiety is not going anywhere.

This will be the key to getting an annual influx of new members, who reached a certain age and found themselves in need of sharing heartbreaking stories about the turbulence of approaching adult life. Alternatively, the network can serve as a meeting place for middle-aged moms, who love their fan-fiction with a spark of supernatural abs.

Five Success Stories to Get You Started (Up)

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

by Zima

Irony: The 'key' to success is right under the 'backspace'...

You know what’s really great about SkaDate Dating Software? No, it’s not the fact that the script is one of the best value/quality combinations out there, or its devotion to bringing fun back into dating. It’s not even our well-documented continuous love-hate relationship with Lady Gaga.

It is, in fact, the amazing flexibility the users get in building just the right matchmaking and/or social network. This, in turn, places any site owner on the perfect trajectory for success, shadowing the rises of the more prominent market players.

I kid you not, just look at our portfolio for just a few first-rate examples. As for the big guys – their success stories can give us all that extra nudge in inspiration. Here I’ve picked the five that really stand out.

5. Plenty of Fish and the Music Video Enthusiast

Plenty of Fish is one of those websites that became incredibly successful through the sheer determination of its founder. You would think that a company ranked 2 in the US market share standings would need a far bigger staff than just a dozen of employees. But in fact the road to initial success was paved by only one man - Markus Frind, a graduate of British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Frind ran the service single-handedly for three years until 2007, at which point he probably thought that it was no longer fun to swim alone in all those pools of cash. He also thought that a little music will not hurt his business and he was right. While the membership continued to explode, Plenty of Fish was featured in music videos of Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Flo Rida, Akon, Jason Derulo and Britney Spears.

4. eHarmony and a 76-year-old Scientist

One thing you need to know about eHarmony is that in 2009 it generated more than $1.0 billion in cumulative revenues. Fine, maybe it’s not the only thing you need to know about the company, but that number is damn impressive and inspiring. Just like the person who co-founded that company.

In fact, Neil Clark Warren was born to inspire others and actually made a mint doing so. What else can you expect from a 76-year-old professional inspirational speaker, who holds a PhD in clinical psychology? Quite a lot actually, including the creation of a web-service with a specific intent of building strong marriages. In the Industry that was first associated exclusively with quick hook-ups, the determination to give the world a real solution for building strong families is inspiring indeed.

3. Ashley Madison and a 40-year-old Lawyer

But if the idea of strong families does not excite you, what does? Infidelity? Well, let’s put an ironic twist on our narrative and continue with Ashley Madison – a highly profitable dating site and social network catering specifically to the needs of people who want to date outside their established relationships.

And the mastermind behind the service? The judge of the Miss Tiger Woods Mistress Pageant, former sports agent and former lawyer Noel Biderman. Still think there is little inspiring about the man? Consider that MSNBC compared Biderman to Hugh Hefner, while his path to success lied through largely uncharted territory of constantly fighting media wars, defending his right for a spot under the sun. Moral dilemmas aside, Biderman’s motto of ”Life is short. Have an affair” works. At least in the business-affair way.

The writer wanted a picture of a heart, but editors found this one more 'inspiring'.

2. OKCupid and a Bunch of Harvard Students

Like many cool things on the Internet, OKCupid is the creation of a bunch of Harvard grads. Unlike many cool things created by Harvard grads, said bunch remains consistently funny and creative in their exploits. Also, OKCupid has over 3.5 million active users. It’s pretty big.

The Harvard lads in question are Christian Rudder, Chris CoyneSam Yagan and Max Krohn. If these names don’t tell you anything, that doesn’t mean you haven’t heard of their projects. SparkNotes? Yep, it’s them.

In 1999 this group of friends came up with a idea to publish free online study guides on a variety of subjects. You know, the type of study guides that drive professors mad, because they believe students no longer read literature and just use SparkNotes’ summaries. The site’s offshoot The Spark was one of the funnier destinations on the Internet while Rudder was in charge, alas it is no longer active after the companies switched owners.

Still, anyone familiar with the guys’ next creation (OKCupid) can attest that the service still feels pretty fresh with all the fun questionnaires and matchmaking algorithms.  Plus it brought the founders a cool $50 million after the sale to the IAC. And Rudder? He plays in an Indie Folk band called Bishop Allen. How’s that for an inspiration?

1. Match.com and the Man Who Invented Sex.com

This one is the real monster in the bunch. Without even looking at the numbers, everyone recognizes Match.com as the true leader in the Online Dating Industry. Even people who are indifferent about Internet dating have likely heard about the company. But how did the site and people behind it got here?

Back in 1985 Gary Alan Kremen was already using the Internet, while the rest of us were busy wondering Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. Oh, and if you have to ask who’s Gary Kremen is, then you haven’t heard of little sites like housing.com, jobs.com and, yes, sex.com.  Kremen was the guy who registered said domains, so you already see that he knew what most people wanted from life. With sex, jobs, and housing covered, the next logical step was dating, thus, match.com followed soon.

Kremen launched the service in 1995, becoming the first person to introduce the Internet to the world of classified ads (or the other way around). Unfortunately he left the company a year later over the disputes with venture capitalists, thus missing all the fun of the site switching numerous hands over the next 15 years.

Today Kremen remains a respected businessman (currently chairing the Clean Power Finance, Inc.), an avid startuper, and a cult figure for anyone in the online dating industry. Oh, and he is millionaire of course, estimating his personal worth at $10 million.

* * *

So, what we can learn from all these stories is that with an entrepreneurial spark (which you obviously have since you’ve found this blog), right tools (which we obviously have here with SkaDate Dating Software), and a bit of inspiration (which the above post obviously gives plenty of) you are already on the right track to the top. Remember, the US Census Bureau says that there are 33 million singles online out there. Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s make them happy!

Online Dating July Roundup

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

by Zima

Fireworks and July go hand in hand.

Unlike June, which slowly rolled out the summer season, July moved at a breakneck pace to deliver a plethora of Online Dating news. These were both reflective of the growing awareness towards Internet risks, and reassuring of the industry’s continuing dominance. With this Roundup SkaDate brings you the main stories of the month that you might have missed.

  • BUSINESS
  • RISKS
  • IDEAS
  • TIPS
  • FUN
  • SKADATE JULY POSTS

As usual, Business first. Despite somewhat uncertain economic vibes coming from the Capitol Hill, the Online Dating Industry continued to thrive both domestically and internationally.

For instance, the rapidly growing Chinese and Indian markets have been recently joined by the CIS and Australia. The latter now serves as the market-share battleground for dating giants, which is a sure sign that smaller companies and startups will have plenty of leftovers to feast on.

Proving that global domination trends are not a fluke, businesses from much smaller countries also discovered success in July. For example Lithuanian-based Eskimi managed to find a sizable client base of several million users in Africa. So we have at least one clear example of looking-beyond-your-backyard strategy working effectively.

Back at home Match.com‘s operator IAC/InterActiveCorp. reported a substantial second-quarter revenue boost, as well as general increase in subscribers. At the same time UK’s Cupid, which also operates globally, still shows strong share price growth. AntipoDate explains the persistent boom by the general increase of the time the population now spends online – 50 hours per week in the UK alone, compared to only 20 hours three years ago.

Incredibly, despite the growing economic concerns, the army of of singles willing to look for love online continues to grow, while changing its very attitude towards virtual dating itself. Mercury News ran a story on the subject, explaining that nowadays “men and women are relaxing their standards on a potential mate’s job status“. Employment and income are no longer considered deal-breakers as was the case before.

This is good news for dating site owners, who can now breathe a sigh of relief. As usual, though, they have other things to worry about, since there were plenty of media reports on the potential risks of online dating.

These ranged from specific cases of reported scam to law enforcement warnings, to Guardian’s general expositions on the supposedly harmful nature of Online Dating as a concept. Luckily we don’t have to address this last questionable reasoning, because it was already done in a much better way in a blog post from Forbes (of all places).

But not all is lost, since one of the most talked-about online dating stories last month focused on a matchmaking site experience that actually helped catching an alleged murderer. The drama involving a Vermont woman, who confessed through a dating portal to purposefully causing a car crash that killed her husband, even made it to CBS News.

OMFG! They have monitors for heads!

This, however, was not the only online dating item on TV last month. An episode of the wonderful Parks and Recreations featured an amusing plot-line involving Amy Poehler meeting someone she already knows through the Internet. In other entertainment news, The Examiner ran a story about an entire musical about our favorite subject, called “OMFG! The Internet Dating Musical”.

If you think this is weird, wait until you learn about the emergence of new industry niches. We have already posted about WomenBehindBars, and now they have a perfect company in Inmate.com - a site full of, well, inmate classifieds.

Need more ideas on less tapped market segments? Than read the story in Adi-News to find out about networks catering exclusively to punk communities, or even pets. Also, Boston Herald sheds some light on a dating site for sports lovers, while the News Junky Journal runs a piece on the Post-Divorce Dating Club.

So yeah, it looks like we are fully covered now – people can meet each other through a regular SkaDate-powered website, get married, find a partner to cheat with through the Ashley Madison Agency, get divorced, and then join the Post-Divorce Dating Club. No matter what trials and tribulations are there, one thing everyone can be sure of – the dating needs will be satisfied every step of the way.

Of course, picking just the right niche is not enough to succeed, thus we’ll give you a few July tips on the ways to improve the online dating experience for network members.

This article, for instance, talks about bringing the support and advice of real-life dating coaches to the web. Users will definitely appreciate the professional expertise provided. Even more useful can be aid in managing every aspect of virtual dating – from proper profile creation to partner selection, to email composition. But if the startup does not have enough money to hire extra professional staff, the site can still satisfy all the customer needs by becoming an information hub on all things dating.

Oh, and if you do have the money, why not spend them creatively for promotion purposes. Ukrainian AnastasiaDate did just that and organized a Swimsuit Beauty Pageant in Odessa, which attracted the attention of related media outlets from across the world (in addition to the entire male population in the vicinity). Enjoy the video!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWblDxTc0hc&feature=player_embedded

Now, I hope that just put you in the right mood for August, which coincidentally is the Romance Awareness Month. That’s right, August is the new February, and it is the perfect opportunity to get started on a new dating site, while all the free publicity is still around. But where to look for inspiration you ask? Well, why not Hollywood? It was pretty successful with all the comic-book adaptations this year. So in closing, have some fun and look at 11 Superhero Online Dating Profiles courtesy of Next Movie. See you next month!

SkaDate July Blog Posts