Are There No ‘Real’ Dating Sites Left? – by Bonnie Albo
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
** Here’s the thing: there are, literally, hundreds of companies providing similar services to DatingSiteBuilder.com. Anyone can buy a template dating site or dating site script. All it takes is some money (ranging from $20-several thousand, depending), a URL, and somewhere to host the site if the fee doesn’t already cover web hosting space. That isn’t to say that *all* dating sites use this tactic; most of the bigger players don’t, i.e. PlentyOfFish, Match.com, OkCupid, eHarmony, etc.
To confuse matters even more, many of the larger dating sites buy up smaller sites, or start new dating sites that look different, but share the same database of singles or members. Case in point: an email from a reader earlier this week, who wanted to tell me that Fling.com, Adult Friend Finder and Friend Finder all share the same member list. How did she find out? She paid for one of the more adult dating sites and unknowingly emailed Friend Finder subscribers, who had no idea their profiles were being shown on the casual sex sister-sites. **
Bonny suggests that her article might be a tad confusing. Yep! It is. But I didn’t come away from it convinced of the argument she seemed, at one point anyway, to be trying to make, namely that there are ‘real’ dating sites out there. Or maybe she just opted for a particular definition of ‘real’. I wish she had been less confusing, rather than confuse us and apologize for it.
What do I see? Yes, I’ve looked at quite a few dating sites. I find them all to be scammy, including the one I like best and use, namely Plenty Of Fish. There are, then, real sites out there. They just happen to range between being utterly scammy and concerned mainly with making money but useable.
My online response to Bonny’s article follows:
** It’s all about trust. If you look like you’re hiding things, for obvious money-making reasons, that puts me off. You are either principled or you’re not. If you’re willing to do little (’legal’, which doesn’t necessarily mean not morally criminal) things in order to make money, Where does it end?
Is there no way to make money in this world that doesn’t involved mere marketing (lying) or manipulation or outright deception or using muscle in some way (a site that you get into and is so hard to get out of that you just give up, for example [True])? How about giving people something ‘they’ might want and/or need? Of course, That would require investing rather than cost cutting and shortcut taking, something today’s brand of capitalists are loathe to do. **