Friday, October 05, 2007

What you wish you knew before you started online dating

OnlineDatingTips.org is a free guide to Online Dating. The website claims to "... help you understand online dating better...". Online dating is very popular these days. If you've spent enough time online, chances are, you've create at least one profile on a dating site. If you are among the growing number of people turning to online dating sites to meet people, especially if you are one of those who are willing to pay for online dating services, it's a good idea to gather as much information as possible before making the big jump. There are websites that do just that, give you advice and tips about online dating in general while referring you to specific services in particular. "Online Dating Tips" is one of them.

OnlineDatingTips.org contains a collection of articles all related to dating and more specifically to online dating. It's a neatly designed website with very easy navigation. I like the simplicity of the look and the colors, mostly white and blue. Surprisingly from a site with that theme there aren't many ads for dating sites, only a few that are very well integrated into the site itself. Many of the articles contain practical advice, for instance, there's one about "Online Dating Safety". I recommend starting with that article, it's not a long read, it contains tips that you'd better use. They also have a list of dating services that they recommend.

While I do see the use of such a site, it doesn't seem to be a place where you would want to come regularly. Surely, you might want to bookmark a few articles for further reference but OnlineDatingTips.org is not a blog and there is no indication of when and how often new articles will be added. Since the site is essentially populated by articles and offers no other features, once you've read those that interest you there isn't much left for you to do there.


What I don't like
  • Who writes all this? They don't have an About Us page and none of their articles are signed. For all I know those articles could have been taken from somewhere else. For a site that contains only articles it lacks personality, you don't know from whom all those tips are coming from which does not encourage you to take them too seriously.
  • Still in Beta. The site seems to still be in its initial phase, some pages are missing like the About Us that I've mentioned above and others are incomplete like the FAQ page which contains no questions at all but rather a call to readers to send in their questions.
  • They don't deliver. Though they say that Online Dating tips is a place where "... singles can learn to ropes of dating online and seek out the best dating sites for free.", there aren't any reviews of dating sites or a place where readers can give their input about dating services that they've used in order for those services to be ranked. All they have is a list of a few recommended dating sites but nowhere is it said why those services are recommended instead of the many others available out there.

Recommendations
  • Encourage user participation. Overall it doesn't look like a lot of effort has been put in encouraging reader participation in the site. I believe if the readers felt a bit more like they were part of the site, that they could actively contribute in it, they would spend more time there.
  • Use user input to rank dating sites. They should provide a way for users to give their input on dating sites they've used, and that input could later be used to build a ranking of various dating sites. I'm sure a feature like that would be very popular.
  • Add a form to the Contact page. The Contact page should contain a contact form where people could submit their messages and queries directly an not just an email address to which messages should be sent. The easier the contacting process is, the more likely readers are to actually go through it. I'm sure that if a form was included directly the Contact page they would have had a few question submissions by now for their FAQ page.
  • Add a forum. A natural evolution of this site would be the addition of a forum where online daters and people interesting in trying out online dating could discuss, share their experience, and give tips and advice to each other.

Bottom line
OnlineDatingTips.org is a nice site to read but there's nothing to come back regularly for.

This post has been a sponsor post.

2 comments:

Katie said...

Just thought I'd leave you a comment to say NO! -- Your site does NOT stink :)

I think you have amazing content and an interesting concept going on here. The only thing I might be inclined to change is the design, but even then, simplicity is usually the best way to go.

Keep up the good work! I'll definitely be reading up.

And thanks for the info!

Marguerite Jasmin said...

Thank you Katie.