Cupidcast Interview: Engage.com

newnoteable.pngThe latest Cupidcast show is up on iTunes. Last night we talked with Suneet Wadhwa and Trish McDermot of Engage.com. Much of the conversation focused on the hot new “social dating” trend, a great topic for singles as well as dating industry executives. Please show us some love and subscribe to CupidCast in iTunes.

Next week our scheduled guest will be Dan Abelon, CEO of SpeedDate. I’m trying to get Francesca Salcido on the show. Francesca is a 26 year-old student from San Jose State, who pledged to date for 24 hours on Thursday, February 14, going on as many online speed dates as possible.

Because it’s Friday afternoon, enjoy a fun YouTube video of various female tech personalities going on speed dates.

Engage.com on CupidCast Radio

It’s Thursday, which means we’re taping another episode of Cupidcast.

Tonight the CEO Series continues with Suneet Wadhwa, founder and CEO of Engage. Darwin and I sit down with Suneet to talk about online dating, Engage’s approach and what advantages daters have mixing it up on Engage.

I’m excited to announce that Trish McDermott, VP of Love, Engage.com, is going to join the conversation. Trish started working for Match.com in 1994, where she was the VP of Romance at Match for a decade.

You can learn more about the show by reading the Cupidcast.tv launch announcement.

Show starts at 7pm EST, details about listening in and how to participate at CupidCast.tv.

Maybe I’ll turn on my webcam tonight and give people a glimpse at Online Dating Post World Headquarters.

Cupidcast Internet Radio Launches

SD_CupidCast200.gifSeveral weeks ago I was approached by a gentleman named Darwin Stephenson to participate in a new Internet radio show about dating.

Today I’m proud to announce the launch of CupidCast, the Internet Radio & Podcast Dating Show. CupidCast is part of the STUDIO [darwin] radio network.

CupidCast is a weekly Internet Radio Talk-Show and Podcast covering the latest dating trends, online dating companies and dating experiences around the world. We’ll be getting up close an personal with the movers and shakers that are driving the online dating marketplace.

A primary goal of the show is to investigate new and exciting dating strategies being introduced by entrepreneurs. “The online dating space is red hot right now and we’ll be bringing our listeners a behind the scene’s look at how these companies are helping people find love.

Each week Darwin and I will interview celebrity and entrepreneurial guests on what’s new and innovative. The show’s one-hour lineup will include special segments including “Fix My Profile” and “My Online Dating Disaster” where an ever changing panel of diverse experts will help consumers improve and turn around their online dating experiences.

CupidCast is recorded live on Thursdays at 4:00 pm PST / 7:00 pm EST and is available as a downloadable podcast through Apple Computer’s iTunes service.

For more information, visit the CupidCast.tv website at www.cupidcast.tv. Read the Cupidcast launch press release for more information.

My prerequisites for hosting a radio show about dating are that I know a lot about the online dating industry and I had a radio show back in the day. Other than that, I can think of 100 other people more qualified for the job and I’m honored that Darwin, clearly lacking better judgement, decided I would be a good co-host.

Last week was the inaugural show. Darwin and I talked for the entire hour. It turns out I forgot everything I learned at MIT’s WMBR (“First on your FM dial”) when my last show, ElectricSpace, was on the air in 1993.

Knowing that nobody besides my mom would want to listen to me talk for an hour straight, for this week’s show we invited Sam Yagan, CEO of OKCupid, to be our first guest. Sam was scheduled for 30 minutes but thankfully he was nice enough to stick around for the entire show. Sam does a great job comparing free and paid dating, dating sites and social networks, and provides useful advice for entrepreneurs starting dating sites.

You can listen to the show with this player, which can be easily embedded in blogs and web pages.


There are many voices and perspectives in the dating industry that deserve to be heard and we look forward to the conversation and we’re having a great time assembling a list of guests and panel discussions. Let us know if you have a particular question or topic and we’ll do our best to answer them on the air.

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Chemistry.com Launches The Great Mate Debate

The Great Mate Debate Logo Hot on the heels of the Eharmony Labs launching the Hot Science Blog, today Chemisty.com launched The Great Mate Debate. Each week, Chemistry will ask experts their opinions about relationships in America. Why does Chemistry use the phrase “relationships in America?” I guess Canadians and 190 other countries do not apply.

Whereas eHarmony doesn’t seem to link to the blog from anywhere that I could find, Chemistry redid their entire home page to promote The Great Mate Debate. Tying in blogs with primary entry points and marketing initiatives is incredibly important, otherwise the blog appears like the cousin that nobody ever pays attention to.

Is it me or does the eHarmony home page look like someone bought a template on TemplateMonster for $99?

I’m Late to the Match.com CEO Blog Party

I just found out that Jim Safka, CEO of Match.com, has a blog. I can’t believe no one tipped me off about it until yesterday. Jim hardly ever posted to it, but there was enough openness that it seemed like he was writing it, not the PR department. Although you never know, the PR people are getting savvier about corporate blogs, except when they get caught starting them and posing as consumers, which happens all the time now with embarrassing frequency, amateurs.

Now that Jim has left,  new Match CEO Thomas Enraght-Moony would be smart to ask Jim for his passoword and send out a “Hello World” post. Maybe he could shed some light on Match Platinum while he’s at it.

Blog: Dating Facts

I’ve just emailed back and forth with Eric, who write Datingfacts, a blog about the dating industry in the Netherlands.  Eric tells me that in the Netherlands there are already more than 300 dating websites. For just 16 million people and only 2.4 million singles.

GoFish Launches Branded Dating Show

Video sharing site GoFish is promoting it’s online reality contest, American Dream Date, by posting footage on other video sharing sites. Jet Set energy drinks are the sponsor of the show, which is using social networking to build it’s brand.

Listen to the podcast (1m34s, 2.2 MB). Read more at ClickZ.

Technorati Tags: gofish,

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Layers of Identity Podcast

Aldo Castañeda posted our podcast discussing the marketing implications and emerging surfaces of identity and attention systems. The talk primarily covers the layers of the identity stack, with particular focus on data providers and aggregators leading up to my thoughts on how our digital self will be represented in the future.

The podcast is located at http://storyofdigid.wordpress.com/2006/05/30/episode-29/.

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Lavalife World Chat

Lavalife has integrated Skype into what they are calling Lavalife World Chat, which is in beta. This is the first large dating site to integrate VOIP and starts a trend we can only hope continues to grow.

From Skype Blog:

The idea is this — you call in and record a short profile about yourself. You then listen to other people’s profiles and send them voice messages. Three times per day, they open the Lavalife World Chat room which is a virtual voice lounge where you can go and send instant voice messages to other people that are online. You can even speak to someone directly. And you can do all of this anonymously, without revealing your Skype Name to anyone, so that your safety and security are protected.

Play the audio clip to hear the first part of the call or better yet, dial up +9907LAVALIFE on Skype and give it a try. The service is free while it’s in beta. And it’s available to callers 18 years of age or older.

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Skype Will Own Part Of Click-To-Call Market

Listening to Bill Gates, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Niklas Zennstrom, CEO of Skype and Cisco CEO John Chambers and moderator Geoffry Moore (Crossing the Chasm) in Davos at the World Economic Forum.

The podcast is a rich vein of deep thinking, too much to get into here but I will say the first thing that jumped out at me in regards to the dating industry was when Zennstrom said that Skype would be all about click-to-call form the web to initiate discussion between buyers and sellers. Aside from Google is getting into this space as well with Adwords, this got me thinking about what dating sites have in place to keep daters from using their Yahoo, AOL and IM chat clients for anonymous calling? Almost all chat clients have some sort of VOIP feature and there is inherent value to anonymous calling but what is the economic model that supports paying for it when you can get it for free?

“Membername is superflyguy, same on Skype/AOL/MSN.” the net-savvy men and women do this presently, but not at a large enough scale that sites take the time to effectively filter out the external reference. If members can do this, why would agree to use an integrated chat client?

Userplane has owned the chat side of the dating space for quite some time and new entrants like Vivox and some of the click-to-call vendors are poking around taking the temperature of the industry. I’m wondering if their reception will be as cold as it was for the background check providers, who could offer an immediate new revenue stream whereas the chat side of things is more of a stickieness factor.

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