Why Dating DNA Doesn’t Have Ads on Our Site like PlentyOfFish and Others

December 1, 2008

Dating DNA is not only 100% free to use, but we also don’t do any advertising on our site.  Because we’re run by volunteers and funded internally, we currently don’t need to charge or run ads.  I’m glad this is the case, and here’s a good example why.

I just took this screenshot from PlentyOfFish.com:

Screenshot from a User's Profile on PlentyOfFish.com

Screenshot of a user's profile page on PlentyOfFish.com

Now, look closely at this section…

Inappropriate ad displayed right next to user's profile photo on PlentyOfFish.com

Inappropriate ad displayed right next to user's photo on PlentyOfFish.com

The photo to the left is of a legitimate user on PlentyOfFish.com, but the text to the right is a Google Ad.  If you were a female on a dating or social networking site, would you want this text next to your profile photo?!?! “Meet Lonely Married Women–Housewives Looking for Fun and More–30% Of Wives Cheat.”

I hope our users enjoy the fact that not only is our site free from cost, it’s also free from these type of ads running next to their profile, or anywhere else on our site.

As always, I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts about this 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.)


Video Tutorials for Dating DNA

November 23, 2008

I put together a few short video tutorials to help uses quickly see how the site works. By investing just a few minutes, it will bring you right up to speed on the most important aspects of the site.

You can find the tutorials here.

Quickly Learn How Dating DNA Works with Video Tutorials

Quickly Learn How Dating DNA Works with Video Tutorials

You will find tutorials for the following five topics:

Basic Layout | Home Tab | Matches | Friends List | iPhone App

The iPhone App is being submitted to the App Store this week, and will be available soon, but you can take a sneak peek at it in these tutorials.  =)

As always, I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts about the new video feature 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.)



Adding Video to your Dating DNA Profile

October 10, 2008

When it comes to online dating, if a “picture is worth a thousand words,” then a video is worth a million.

Today, digital video cameras and web cams have made it extremely easy for anyone to quickly and easily create videos.  The phenomenal success of YouTube (currently the 3rd most popular website globally, behind only Yahoo! and Google) is evidence of the popularity of video in today’s culture.

For online dating, a video goes well beyond photographs in getting to know someone.  It can let you see someone’s personal style and demeanor and hear their voice.  Watching someone on video could save you a lot of uncomfortable hour-long coffee meetings with people who simply aren’t your cup of tea (pun intended ;-).

This week, Dating DNA started allowing you to quickly and easily attach videos to your profile.

Here is what watching a video of a Dating DNA user looks like on the site (click to play below video):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

There are three simple steps for adding video to your Dating DNA profile:

1. Make a video (if you don’t already have one).

There are lots of ways to capture your video, either with a digital camera or using a web cam with software or the “Quick Capture” feature of YouTube.  Just start recording and say hello.  The video doesn’t need to be long, just enough to give people a sense of what you’re like.  Maybe tell us about your hobbies, show us around your home, let us meet your dog, just anything that let’s us see and hear YOU!  (NOTE:  If you don’t have a video yet, but you still want to try attaching video to your profile, just use one of your favorite YouTube videos to give people a sense about you.  For example, I attached this video to my profile as it’s one of my favorite movies.)

2. Upload your video to YouTube or another video hosting site.

YouTube is free and is the most popular site for hosting videos.  It’s easy to use and has lots of features that work well with the Dating DNA site.  There are also lots of good tutorial videos on YouTube that show you how to create and upload videos to YouTube, like this one.

3. Attach your video to your Dating DNA profile.

Once you have a video you want to share, you then cut and paste the “embed” code from the video hosting site to your Dating DNA profile.  This video shows you exactly how to do that (click to play below video or click here to view larger version):

Vodpod videos no longer available.


POWER USER TIP: If you embed a YouTube video and want it to automatically start playing when someone clicks on the video link from your profile, simply add &autoplay=1 just inside the quotation mark before type=” as shown in this example:

Dating DNA should support embedding from most video sites, but if you can’t get it to work, you can simply save a link to the video instead of embedding it.

Next week I’ll be announcing a fun contest for users who add the best videos to their profile.  So, get those videos started!

As always, I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts about the new video feature 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.)


New Match Game—No DNA Number Required!

September 11, 2008

Now EVERYONE can experience Dating DNA

We wanted a fun way for everyone to experience the essence of Dating DNA without having to have a Dating DNA Number.  Up until now, to really understand what Dating DNA was, you had to create an account, complete the questionnaire, and have a Dating DNA Number.  This is no longer the case!

Today we launched a quick, fun little game called “Match Game.”  Match Game allows anyone to experience the fundamentals of Dating DNA without having an account.  Because we’re a no-cost, ad-free site, we don’t have much of a marketing budget so we rely heavily on our users to spread the word about Dating DNA.  It is our hope that this new game will become a helpful tool for users to tell their friends and family about Dating DNA.

I’ll explain more about the game below, but why not just give it a try? Here is the link to play the game with my Dating DNA profile:  http://datingdna.com/game/123-456-789

Click image to play game with my profile.

Click image to play game with my profile.

The concept is very straight forward and you can play an entire game in just a few minutes.  You simply try to match which of the four Dating DNA users on the right has the highest Compatibility Score with the user on the left. You get 10 points if you guess the most compatible user, 5 for the second most compatible, and 0 for the third, but watch out, you LOSE 5 points if you guess the LEAST compatible person!  You play ten rounds for a total of 100 possible points and can enter your name if you make it to the High Score chart.

Real People — Actual Dating DNA Users

What makes this game so interesting is that all of the people featured are real people and active users of Dating DNA.  Simply click the “Meet Me” link if you spot someone you’d like to get to know better and to see if you meet their Compatibility Threshold.

Random Play, Yourself or Friends

You can play the game with either a random man or woman, OR for a lot more fun, you can play it using your own profile or that of a friend.

Use YOUR Match Game Link to Tell Your Friends about Dating DNA

The main reason we invested the time to build this game was to provide our users with a fun and non-obtrusive way to invite their friends to take a look at Dating DNA.  Rather than emailing your friends to join Dating DNA (not that there is anything wrong with that =), you can now simply email them your Match Game Link for the game.  This will allow your friends, without logging into anything, to play the game with YOUR profile.  Your Match Game Link is simply:  http://datingdna.com/game/YOUR-DNA-NUMBER.  For example, my Match Game Link is http://datingdna.com/game/123-456-789.  You can also use the “Send to a Friend” button to forward your link to others.  I hope you’ll email everyone you know and see which of your friends scores the highest with your profile.

Your Privacy

The Dating DNA users shown on the right side of the game have opted in to this and other promotions. Your photo or profile will NOT be used in the right side of the game unless you opt in. As you know, one of the great things about Dating DNA is that your photos and profile are kept hidden from the general public and are only shown to those who are compatible with the rules YOU set.  (Click here and scroll down to the last question to adjust your promotion settings.)

I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts about this new game and hope you’ll discuss it with me and other users on the Chat Walls here.  Let us know what you think as well as how high you scored with my profile!

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.)


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.)


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.)