I was reading an article by Paul Graham, and he mentioned this…
“…dating sites currently suck far worse than search did before Google. They all use the same simple-minded model. They seem to have approached the problem by thinking about how to do database matches instead of how dating works in the real world. An undergrad could build something better as a class project. And yet there’s a lot of money at stake. Online dating is a valuable business now, and it might be worth a hundred times as much if it worked.”
I’m not sure I entirely agree with his statement. I’m sure it works for some, otherwise online dating wouldn’t have so many paying subscribers, right? In my circles, everyone is on JDate, and it’s very much known to be a success. But still, as with everything on the internet, there is room for improvement. So it got me thinking (fine, I was doing an hour of cardio and had nothing else to do 🙂 )… what about speed dating?
I’ve run speed dating events before in college. And while I have never participated in one, I have heard they are very successful. Why can’t you do it online? If you do a search for speed dating, you find that most of them are just web pages for meatspace speed dating, and others are lame implementations of the hot or not model. With everyone having high speed internet, and the low price/built-in webcams, a streaming video system would be pretty easy to implement.
You would sign on to the web site, where you would have a profile (standard profile). The system would do some **basic** compatibility checks, and organize speed-dating clusters with a whole bunch of people. You’d see two small youtube-sized video players, one with a live stream of you, and one with a live stream of the other person. Beneath it, there would be the other person’s profile, so you’d have some basic info and talking points. You’d talk/see each other for three minutes. After that, you’d have 30 seconds to write up some personal notes, and to rate the other person. And then you would go onto the next person, and so on and so on, until you say you’re done! Afterwards, it would match up the people who liked each other, notify both of them, and allow them, through the rest of the site, to message each other and have extended video chats.
I don’t really have time/interest to do this (I’m busy enough as it is 🙂 ), but if you like it and want to flesh it out more, e-mail me at skeevis AT skeevis DOT com, or leave a comment!
Update: After making this post, and searching a little bit more, I found http://15minutedate.com. They utilize a desktop client, which I was not too impressed with. I then, however, got an e-mail from Mike, who is working on SpeedEdate, which seems awesome. Best of luck to him!