Radio Interview with Dating DNA’s CEO Kevin Carmony

September 7, 2008

I was interviewed about Dating DNA on the Computer Outlook radio program on September 5, 2008.  You can hear my interview from their archives at www.computeroutlook.com.

I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts about this blog, and hope you’ll discuss it with me and other users on the Chat Walls here.

Thanks,

Kevin Carmony
Founder, Dating DNA
DNA# 123-456-789
(I intentionally keep my Threshold set at 1, so feel free to
add me to your strand and shoot me an email anytime.)

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Using Browse: “Yes, No, Maybe So” (Find and Filter—Part II)

August 21, 2008

A few weeks ago I did a blog entitled “Find and Filter” — The Heart of Online Dating.  In that blog I explained the process of every online dating site, and their two major goals:  1) FIND–have the largest database possible of potential dating partners, and 2) FILTER–have a system to sort through that large database to find the best matches for you.

Below is the graph that I used in that blog.  The part in blue is what a dating sites helps you with, and then you take over by actually meeting, dating, and then selecting who to enter into a relationship with.

In today’s blog, I want to explain in more detail the blue area, and how Dating DNA works to help you find and filter potential dating partners.  So, let’s start by looking a little more closely at that blue area and see what the find and filter process looks like at Dating DNA:

Dating DNA starts by using compatibility scores to filter out most users, and then presenting you with possible matches in your Browse results.  This is where you step in and have to help with the evaluation process.

Using Browse Results – “Yes, No, Maybe So”

One at a time, look at the individuals in your Browse results and ask yourself if you have interest in that person.

YES — If the answer is Yes, then you should add this person to your DNA Strand. When you do this, several things happen.  1) The user is removed from your Browse results and placed into your DNA Strand, so you can quickly find those individuals you’re most interested in.  2) The system automatically adds you to that person’s DNA Strand as well, and 3) An email is sent to the other user, letting them know you have added them to your strand.  This is the very first step in the “getting to know you” process.  You’re basically saying to that person, “Hi!  I have some interest in getting to know you better.” Once in your strand, you can send them emails and start communicating with them directly.

NO — If, however, you know this is someone you’re not interested in, you can click the Remove button and they will be removed from future Browses.  This is a great feature of Dating DNA that you don’t find on most other sites.  This has two big advantages:  1) You don’t have to keep reviewing the same people over and over again that you know you’re not interested in, and 2) not only does the system remove that person from your Browse results, BUT it also REMOVES YOU from THEIR Browse results. The logic here is if you’re not interested in someone, then there is no point in having the other person be bothered with wondering if they are interested in you.  So, when you remove people from your Browse results, not only does it save YOU time, but it saves time for the person you remove as well.

MAYBE SO — If you’re not quite sure yet if you’re interested or not, then you can simply leave the person in your Browse results for the time being.  For example, perhaps they haven’t uploaded a photo yet so you don’t want to rule them out, but you don’t want to add them to your strand either.

So, that’s the simple process of filtering users from your Browse results.  You can then start communicating with those in your DNA Strand.  In a future blog I’ll talk more about the DNA Strand and how to further use that as a tool in the filtering process.

I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts about this blog, and hope you’ll discuss it with me and other users on the Chat Walls here.

Thanks,

Kevin Carmony
Founder, Dating DNA
DNA# 123-456-789
(I intentionally keep my Threshold set at 1, so feel free to
add me to your strand and shoot me an email anytime.)


9 Tips for “Newbies” at Dating DNA

August 13, 2008

I received the following email from one of our users:

Hey Kevin,

I happened to notice that you are instrumental in this site being here. I was wondering, what advice do you have for someone who is new to this like me? What ways can someone make their profile stand out? Thank you in advance for taking your time out to read this message!

-Mandi 🙂

Rather than just answer Mandi’s question to her, I thought it was good enough to answer it in our blog so everyone could perhaps benefit.

First off, it’s important to note that all of Dating DNA’s users are pretty “new,” since the site is quite new.  This is our biggest challenge, as it would be for any “dating” site or service—to get enough users in the database to create critical mass with lots of people using the system.  The more people with Dating DNA Numbers, the greater chance of finding people you’re compatible with, so spread the word!

That being said, here are nine “tips” for new users wishing to get more responses:

1. Have a Photo!

This is a MUST if you want other compatible users on the site to find and contact you.  Users with at least one photo in their profile are TEN TIMES MORE LIKELY TO GET RESPONSES than those who do not have a photo. If you’re only using the site to create Compatibility Scores with others from your social network pages, this will be less important, BUT if you want to be contacted by other compatible Dating DNA users from the site, the more photos you have, the more responses you can expect.  Use photos that are clear and show a good representation of yourself.

2. Post Your DNA Number Everywhere.

Visit the “Tell Others” page to see how to add our widgets, buttons and applications to your postings and pages on other sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, Craigslist, etc.  Not only is this a great way for you to find more matches, but it helps the site grow (thanks!).

3. Login Regularly.

Browse results are usually sorted by the date people last logged in.  We do this in order to push those who rarely log in to the back of the line.  Therefore, the more often you visit the site, the higher up you will appear in Browse results.

4. Check Your Browse Often.

Why wait to be contacted?  Why not use Browse to find those you’re compatible with and contacted them?  Browse will show you everyone for whom you match their Compatibility Threshold.  Because new users sign up daily, you should check your Browse results on a regular basis to see who’s new to the site.  As pointed out, new and recently logged in users will appear at the top of your Browse results, so it’s easy to spot new users.

5. “Yes, No, Maybe So” — Understand how Browse and your DNA Strand Work.

The best way to think of other users on the Dating DNA site is in terms of 1) Yes–you are interested, 2) No–You’re Not Interested, or 3) You’re not sure yet.  The way to do this is by looking at your Browse results and if you are interested in someone (“Yes”), add them to your DNA Strand, or better yet, send them an email as well.  If you know you’re NOT interested (“No”), you should remove them from your Browse results, so you don’t need to keep passing over them time and time again.  This also removes you from the other person’s Browse results, saving them time since the system now knows you’re not interested.  If you’re not sure yet (“Maybe So”), then you can leave them in Browse until you decide if you want to add or remove them.

6. Post on the Chat Walls.

When others are viewing the Chat Walls, they will see not only your photo, name, what you posted, etc., but also their compatibility score with you.  This can be a good way to stumble upon someone you’re compatible with, or to have them stumble upon you.  The more active you are on the Chat Walls, the higher chance someone will spot you there.

7. Review Your Answers to the Questionnaire.

As you know, it can take a little time to answer all of the questionnaire to get a Dating DNA Number.  Sometimes people will rush through that process, anxious to get their number.  Now that you’re a little more comfortable with the system, how the questionnaire works, etc., it can be a good idea to go back and review your answers.  The more finely tuned your answers are, the more accurate your compatibility score and matches will be.

8.  Adjust your Threshold.

Remember, the higher your Compatibility Threshold is, the fewer people you will be shown to in other’s Browse results.  If you want to get more responses, we’d suggest setting your Threshold no higher than 6.0.

9. Make Sure Your Preferences Are Set Properly

To make sure you’re appearing in other’s Browse results, login and click on the “Your Account” tab along the top of the page.  Then click on the “Preferences” button in the Account Control Panel.  Make sure the second question is set to “Yes, but ONLY if the user meets my Compatibility Threshold.”

If you have other ideas, I hope you’ll share them with us and other users on the Chat Walls.

Thanks,

Kevin Carmony
Founder, Dating DNA
DNA# 123-456-789
(I intentionally keep my Threshold set at 1, so feel free to
add me to your strand and shoot me an email anytime.)


Revolutionizing Chat Rooms and Forums

July 24, 2008

Dating DNA introduces “Chat Walls” as first steps in revolutionizing online forums and chat rooms.

With our exclusive and patented “drive-by” compatibility scoring, Dating DNA is in a unique position to completely rethink how online forums and chat rooms could work, especially for singles.  Today, we’re taking our first steps in that direction with the introduction of “Chat Walls.”  (NOTE:  If you don’t have a Dating DNA Number, you can view a screenshot of a Chat Wall here.)

In this blog I’ll talk about chat rooms, but you’ll see how all the same concepts of “drive-by” compatibility scoring can apply to forums as well.

As you know, Dating DNA is all about social networking and meeting people in a more natural way than with traditional dating sites.  You would think that chat rooms would be ideal for this, as they can be a fun way to socialize over the Internet and provide real-time communication with others.  However, chat rooms have three BIG problems:

1) Parking not Chatting. Since you have to be “in” a chat room to see what is going on, people will often “park” in a room so they can go back later and scroll through the conversation, or perhaps in hopes someone will stumble upon their profile and email them.  The problem is, you end up in a room with everyone parking and no one chatting!

2) Inconsistent Profiles. When deciding who to strike up a conversation with, all you have to go by are the screen names in the room directory and MAYBE some half-baked profiles.  Screen names like “FunnyOne,” “2Hot4U,” and “Zozo33412b” don’t provide much help, so you have to start clicking on everyone’s profile (each can take a long time to load) only to find out they have nothing in their profile, or if they do, you learn they are of the wrong gender, live on the other side of the world, and so on.

3) Bots & Frauds. When you finally DO get someone to chat or Instant Message you, you find out it’s a computerized “bot” trying to get you to wire your life savings to Ghana.

…sigh…

This is a typical scenario:

1. John goes into a chat room.
2. He looks down the list of user names in the room and tries to figure out which screen names are male or female.
3. He then starts opening up profiles, and hopes there will be some indication as to the person’s gender, age, location, photos, etc.  It’s a long, tedious process and is hit and miss, so…
4. John says to the chat room, “A/S/L?”  (Age, Sex, Location?)
5. Since so many people in the room are “parking,” only a very small percentage answer John, so…
6. John starts to indiscriminately private message everyone in the chat room with “A/S/L?”

And so it goes…it can take John forever to find someone who meets even the three most basic criteria of age, sex and location.  So, eventually he gives up and logs off, as do most “real” people, leaving the room full of parkers and bots.

Now comes the future of chat with Dating DNA’s new Chat Walls.

Today, Dating DNA is introducing “Chat Walls,” which address all three of the problems found in chat rooms.

Because Dating DNA has encapsulated over 300 pieces of information about you into your 9-digit Dating DNA Number, we can let you know who you’re compatible with THE INSTANT you go into a chat room.

See compatibility scores instantly for all posters.

See compatibility scores instantly for all posters.

Here is a typical situation for John now:

1. John selects a Chat Wall.
2. John scans the last several posts, and next to each post is the person’s photo, first name, and John’s compatibility score with that person!
3. Within seconds, John is contacting and posting to someone who scored an 8.3 with him (out of 10) .  They are not only the right A/S/L for him, but dozens of other things as well (smoking, religion, hobbies, etc.).

The key thing here is that the Compatibility Scores displayed (6.8, 8.7, 5.7, etc.), will be different for everyone looking at a Chat Wall, because the score is based on YOUR compatibility with each person.  The numbers shown will be different for you vs anyone else.  You simply go to a Chat Wall, look for high scores, and zoom in on those people to chat with.

Because you can read and post to our Chat Walls at anytime, there’s no need to park in a “room,” and since we execute frauds and spammers at Dating DNA, you know everyone is real.  So you see, our Chat Walls solve all three of the big problems with chat rooms.

Dating DNA’s Chat Walls are quite revolutionary, and I believe will be yet another unique feature you’ll find only at Dating DNA. There is a lot more I could say about Chat Walls, but I will save that for a future blog.  For now, suffice it to say that we have big plans for our Chat Walls, and we will be adding a lot more features to them in the coming days.

I hope you’ll take a look at our new Chat Walls and make a post and say hi.  Come join the conversation!

Thanks,

Kevin Carmony
Founder, Dating DNA
DNA# 123-456-789
(I intentionally keep my Threshold set at 1, so feel free to
add me to your strand and shoot me an email anytime.)


Meet Jodi—Dating DNA’s New Video Guide

July 18, 2008

I’d like to introduce you to Jodi, Dating DNA’s new video guide.  Jodi will help users learn the site and will explain new features as we roll them out.  If you’re like me, you hate reading instructions and big chunks of text on websites, so a quick, few-second video can be very helpful.

Jodi--Dating DNA's Video Guide

Jodi--Dating DNA's Video Guide

Currently, you can find Jodi on the Home Page (when you’re not logged in), and helping walk new users through the questionnaire.  To see an example of Jodi in action, click here.

The way Jodi works, is she will pop up automatically one time, but after that, so as to not wear out her welcome, she will appear in the bottom left-hand corner as a small “Play Video” button.

Jodi's Play Video Button

Click to open Jodi

You can click through the different sections of the survey to see how Jodi works.  (Because you’ll be editing your survey, and not taking it for the first time, she won’t automatically pop up, but you can see what she has to say by clicking the Play Video button.)

If you hover over the bottom half of Jodi with your mouse, you’ll see a control box appear that allows you to stop the video at anytime.

Hover over Jodi for controls to stop video

Hover over Jodi for controls to stop video

Look for Jodi to start appearing in more places on the site, to help you fully utilize the many features of Dating DNA.

Let me know what you think of this new addition to the site.  Do you like it?  Hate it?  Have some suggestions for how we can best use Jodi?  I’d love to hear from you, so either post to this thread or email me.

Thanks,

Kevin Carmony
Founder, Dating DNA
DNA# 123-456-789
(I intentionally keep my Threshold set at 1, so feel free to
add me to your strand and shoot me an email anytime.)


“Find & Filter” — The Heart of Online Dating

July 10, 2008

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.”

1. Find

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?

2. Filter

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.

Kevin Carmony
Founder, Dating DNA
DNA# 123-456-789
(I intentionally keep my Threshold set at 1, so feel free to
add me to your strand and shoot me an email anytime.)


Zero Tolerance for Perverts, Fibbers, Fakes, Spammers, and Scammers

June 28, 2008

I am always amazed at how many people try to use the anonymity of the Internet as a means of deceit.  On a dating site, these “frauds” will send out 100 emails for every 1 sent out by a “real” user.  This means, that if even only 1% of a dating site’s users are frauds, 1 out of every 2 emails you get will be junk!  If not kept in check, these frauds will overrun a dating site, quickly rendering it completely unusable by real users.

For this reason, here at Dating DNA, we have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for Perverts, Fibbers, Fakes, Spammers, and Scammers.

What are each of these groups?

Perverts – These are individuals who aren’t really here to meet anyone compatible for dating or relationships, but rather to get their thrills with casual “hook ups,” nude or suggestive photos and/or obscene messages to others.  There are already a million sites like this on the Internet.  Dating DNA is NOT for this group.

Fibbers – These are individuals who embellish their profiles so you’ll be interested in them, in the hope that one day they can meet you in person, and THEN convince you what they lied about doesn’t really matter.  Typical examples of this are lying about one’s: marital status, age, weight, profession, income, living situation, and so on.  At Dating DNA we believe there is someone out there for everyone, and if you’re simply honest about your situation, you’ll find your compatible match.

Fakes – These are sociopaths who create completely fake profiles to engage others in some Internet-only fantasy creation of theirs, with no intention of ever meeting you in person.  This is the 50-year old man who pretends to be the 21-year old woman.  It’s a strange phenomena that only a psychologist could truly understand, but I’m always amazed at how many of these sociopaths there are on the Internet.

Spammers – These are those who just join to “mine” for your personal email address so they can flood your inbox with junk mail for Viagra and home mortgages, or worse, viruses to infect your computer.

Scammers – The most dangerous of the lot, this group is after your personal information to drain your bank account, steal your identity, and use your credit cards.  They may do this by trying to plant spy ware on your computer, or more elaborate schemes to win your confidence over until you start providing the necessary personal information for them to take advantage of you financially.  Scammers may also ask you to send them money (maybe for a flight ticket to come visit you, etc.), or facilitate in the transfer of money or products.

Wow, sounds scary!  Maybe I shouldn’t meet people online?

It’s only scary if you and the site you’re on aren’t careful.  However, if we work together, these frauds will go away and find a home elsewhere.

What does Dating DNA do to keep the frauds off the site?

As I mentioned, here at Dating DNA, we have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for Perverts, Fibbers, Fakes, Spammers, and Scammers.  We loathe and despise them, and work hard to keep them far, far away from our site.  This can be particularly challenging because we are a free site, so it costs the frauds nothing to use our site for their deceitful acts.  The good news, however, is because our site is free, this also allows us to hit the delete key on an account without a second’s thought.  If we suspect someone of inappropriate behavior on our site, their account is immediately closed. Paid sites have to do all sorts of “investigations,” since they took your money.  Not us.  If you cross the line here, we delete your account.  Period.  We don’t want the 1% of frauds to ruin it for the 99% of honest singles using the site.  If we suspect there is financial fraud involved, we also report them to the appropriate government and policing agencies. So, Perverts, Fibbers, Fakes, Spammers, and Scammers should be put on notice:  Dating DNA is NOT fertile ground for your practices. You will simply waste a lot of time creating a profile and sending out emails, just to have your profile and emails deleted.

Dating DNA has a very sophisticated system of early detection for frauds.  Most won’t get even a few emails out before their account is closed.  We’re constantly improving our system, and you can help…

What can you do to protect yourself?

As good as our system is, you could still get one of the few emails that sneaks through from a fraud.  There are six things you can do to help protect yourself, and help us keep the site fraud-clean:

1. Don’t give out your personal email address to anyone on the site until after you are very confident they are legit. Most frauds will give you their email address very early in the process, and encourage you to contact them there.  They do this because if you email them, they now have your email address and can start contacting you directly.  Dating DNA has a very good messaging system that protects your privacy, is easy to use, keeps a great history of your conversations, etc., so there is no reason to give someone your email address early on.

2. NEVER give out personal information to someone that could be used to gain access to your financial accounts (passwords, social security numbers, home address, date of birth, etc.).

3. NEVER send money to anyone. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to fall pray to the fake photo of a beautiful person who wants to fly to come visit you, but they say they need you to just help them pay for the ticket.  There is absolutely NO good reason to ever send money or goods to someone you don’t know.

4. Report anyone you even remotely suspect of being a fibber, fake, spammer, or scammer. There is a “Report” button just above new messages you receive.  If you get a message that sounds a little fishy, click the Report button and let us know.  We’ll investigate and remove the user if necessary.  Your help in reporting frauds will help keep the site clean of these annoying accounts.

5. Trust your instincts.  If someone seems too good to be true, they probably are. If you’re a 50 year old man, and a gorgeous 20 year old girl living thousands of miles away is falling all over you, telling you how special you are, it just might be an overseas male scammer looking to take advantage of you.

6. Look for evidence that the person is for real. Does their profile have links to MySpace, Facebook, or other social networking pages with lots of their photos, friends, etc.?  Have they posted videos of themselves?  Will they let you have a live video chat with them?  A video call is a great way to verify that people are in fact who they say they are.  Skype and other free video call services are easy to install and use.

In conclusion…

The Internet is a great place to find an apartment, buy a car, find a job, sell your house…it SHOULD be just as great of a place to meet someone to date, and it can be, if we work together to keep the frauds off our site!

Thanks,

Kevin Carmony
Founder, Dating DNA
DNA# 123-456-789
(I intentionally keep my Threshold set at 1, so feel free to
add me to your strand and shoot me an email anytime.)