Community Round Up

Community Round Up

Brigette Kidd

This weekend I was chatting with a friend. She and I have known each other for over 35 years and shared tears of joy at each other’s weddings as well as celebrated with laughter and drinks when our divorces were final!

My friend is single and wants to find a male companion that she can talk to, attend a play or go out to dinner with. She is not alone in her request, as I have heard the same words from both my male and female friends consistently for the past three years. It has been difficult for everyone to navigate through the dating arena especially if you have been married.

As I was listening to her I started thinking about my blogging homework assignment. I decided to take a look at the online dating industry. It helped that she mentioned that a mutual friend of ours had just joined eharmony.com. Also our friend Lisa was still excited about reconnecting with a high school sweetheart on Facebook the day before.

Most social networking sites initially have difficulty generating revenue; take Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. In fact they were started with venture capital funds with the hopes of selling the site for millions later. This business strategy worked for MySpace and both Facebook and Twitter are exploring different revenue models with ads and technology sharing.

The social networking of online dating is a billion dollar business. Some common online dating sites are; Match.com, eharmony.com, Blacksingles.com, Spark.com and Christianmingle.com.

Why is online dating a billion dollar industry? Simple, people want and need other people. People are willing to pay to meet someone. Whether the user is looking for companionship, marriage, dating or just sex, online makes it easier to connect. Setting up profile and loading a photo is easy and it can be done from the comfort of a person’s home. To search and browse profiles on these sites are often free, but users then have to pay to make a connection. Many sites offer coupons and discounted annual memberships, but on the average membership fees range from $25 to $60 per month.

One of my favorite songs is “People” by Barbara Streisand.  The meaning of the song is basically that people who do not cut themselves off from society or the love of others are “the luckiest people in the world.” It is pretty clear that the millions of users of these online dating services want to get lucky!

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