Online dating, once viewed as taboo has now become mainstream, with the conversation turning from “I can’t believe you use an online dating site” to “Which dating sites do you use?” In the beginning, Online Dating 1.0, there were three types of services: the massive and free (OkCupid, Plenty of Fish), the targeted and narrow (JDate, ChristianSingles) and the scientific (Chemistry.com, eHarmony). These sites provided users with tools that helped people find each other, but there always seemed to be something missing, the human element that has helped people connect and form relationships for millenia.
Similar to the evolution of the web, online dating appears to be entering a new period, Online Dating 2.0, where the focus has shifted to providing tools to help people interact offline and actually go on dates. In a previous article about HowAboutWe, I discussed another site that was specifically focused on helping people go on dates.
Sparkology, an invite only site geared towards young professionals, is rethinking how online dating can help individuals connect and form fruitful relationships. Sparkology’s members come from friends inviting other friends to join, which provides a level of trust and community around the site. Additionally, all males are verified to ensure that they are grads of good universities. Users are encouraged to report on their dates and users who abuse the website can be kicked out. This helps create and maintain a culture of members who are seriously looking to meet other potential mates and weeds out those who are looking to abuse dating sites. Even the structure of payment encourages responsible messaging. Women pay a monthly rate, however men pay only when they engage in a conversation with a potential date.
Finally and what sets the site apart from others, Sparkology offers dating experts who can help users from building their profile page to planning that perfect date. For those who are busy or not sure what to do, what could be better than to pay a small fee to have your date planned out for you. This is one of those offerings that makes obvious sense and it is surprising that I have not heard of it before.
Click here for an exclusive link that gives women a 15 day trial period and men 3 additional sparks when they sign up.