When you think about it, every single online dating system boils down to providing two main functions, and the extent to which it fulfills these two tasks will determine how useful the site is.
I like to call these two functions “find and filter.”
The Internet is a big place and has millions of people on it, but where do you find those who are looking to “date?” Many people using the Internet are already in committed relationships and not interested in dating, so the first main function of a dating site is to provide a central location where you can “find” others looking to date. The more people the site has for you to choose from, the higher the likelihood you will find a compatible match. In a way, the people who belong to any particular dating site are that site’s “inventory.”
For example, suppose you went shopping for a new pair of shoes, and had heard about two different shoe stores at your local mall. The first store was a super warehouse and had thousands of pairs of shoes in stock, while the second store was a small shop and only had about a hundred pairs in stock. Which of these two shops would you want to visit? Which would have the higher likelihood of having the style, color and size you were looking for?
The second function all online dating sites provide is some way to filter through their “inventory” to find possible matches. Ironically, the better a site does at the first function (finding), the more critical it is to do a great job at filtering.
Back to our shoe store example–suppose the smaller shop didn’t have a very good system to display their shoes, it just put them all out on tables in no apparent order. It wouldn’t matter really, since their inventory is so small you could quickly scan through all their shoes in minutes. However, with the super shoe warehouse, they would need a very good system to help you find the exact color, style and size you wanted, as it would be very time consuming to sift through their thousands of boxes of shoes.
A good example of “Find and Filter” on the Internet in a non-dating area is Google. 1) Google includes EVERY page on the Internet (Find) and then 2) helps you quickly search for the most relevant pages for you (Filter). Google must do BOTH of these well, or it wouldn’t be as effective. Could you imagine if Google only had half of the pages on the Internet in their database, or if their search results were poor, and returned pages with little relevance to you? Google is successful because it does BOTH Find and Filter very well. The better an online dating site performs these same two functions, the more useful it will be.
Here is a graphic I put together that shows the process of filtering through the millions of people on the Internet to find that one ideal partner for a relationship.
Every online dating site has their own method for the “find & filter” section (shown in blue in the above pyramid). Dating DNA is quite unique in both finding and filtering.
Because Dating DNA is designed to be used across the Internet’s entire social graph, at sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, Craigslist, etc., it has the potential to one day have the largest “inventory” of any dating site. Dating DNA isn’t so much a “dating site” as it is a tool to be used all throughout the Internet. Dating DNA was designed to become the Internet’s central nervous system for online dating. Of course, our site is quite new, so our user base and “inventory” is still relatively small, but it’s growing rapidly. (More on our plans for this growth, and how you can help, in a future blog.)
As for filtering, Dating DNA is very unique here as well. Most sites have you create “searches” to sort through all the users. Dating DNA’s approach is much simpler and “embeds” your criteria for who you’d like to date right in your 9-digit Dating DNA Number. This means that as people meet you on other sites, such as Facebook or MySpace, YOUR criteria is ALREADY built into your DNA Number.
In a future blog, I’m going to dig more into the details of Dating DNA’s “find and filter” system, explaining more specifically how to use our tools, such as Browse and your DNA Strand, to help you successfully find and filter compatible dating partners.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please post a reply, or add me to your DNA Strand and send me a message.