The theme was mostly mobile at the summer iDate 2009 – the Internet Dating Conference, the business conference for the online dating industry. It was combined once again with the Social Networking Conference and was held at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Highlights and comments include:
- Mobile dating is the new plastic
- Social networking and online dating are now a killer combination as social dating
- Social networking sites are becoming people’s identity on the web
- Instant Messaging is still an important feature
- Virtual Gifts are on the rise: Facebook reported $60 million in sales
Here’s my detailed report.
The online dating industry, which is now estimated to be at a billion dollars a year, is filled with challenges in today’s economy. It’s a business that loses its members when they are either successful in finding love online or they cancel their subscription due to dissatisfaction. The group estimated that 1-2 out of every ten dates were considered successful by its members.
The first day of the conference focused on the mobile dating models led by industry leader Mark Brooks, Publisher of Online Personals Watch. We were treated to a presentation on trends by Google’s John Ploumitsakos, Head of Classifieds & Local Advertising: Online Sales and Operations, and there was a special session on Television & the Dating Industry from Patti Stanger, Millionaire Matchmaker and CEO of the Millionaire’s Club. Patti and I are almost related. It turns out that her cousin married my cousin. It’s a small world, indeed!
I enjoyed the session, “To IM or Not to IM” which reviewed all of the available services suited for Internet dating sites.The evening ended with the MaxPayments cocktail party at the Stone Rose Lounge, graciously hosted by Moss Networks, a Marketing/PR/Events firm. You know this company is filled with creativity as they had special drinks of the evening, including the Moss Martini, the MaxPayment Tini, the iDate Flirtini, the MaxPayments Manhattan, and the Moss Mai Tai.
Day two of the event featured a social networking presentation by Alex Mehr, CEO of Zoosk. Zoosk is the largest social dating app on the net now and was featured in the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show on Valentine’s Day. You can check out their service on Facebook, Hi-5, Bebo, and MySpace. They have over 11 million users now!
The highlight of the two day event is always the Final Panel Debate about the state of the industry. The group was challenged to figure out how to become a 5 billion dollar business by the year 2012, instead of the 1.9 billion dollar estimate from a Jupiter Communication’s research study. On hand were Ploumitsakos from Google, Ted Veroni from Jumbuck, Mehr from Zoosk, Marina Glogovac-former CEO of Lavalife, Liz Wasserman from Mate1, and Josh Meyers from People Media-who has 27 niche online dating sites, including the successful BlackPeopleMeet.com.
Some new services included Chemistry-Matching: a user-friendly home test that determines your physical attraction, personality match based on social-psychological compatibility, chemistry match based on a biological compatibility, and an overall match combining personality and chemistry. Also, there is a new service called LetsCallMe.com where you receive calls via web link to prevent revealing your phone number or the number of your cyber-date. The purpose is not to share your phone identity until you have had the chance to meet. The question remains, will online dating users pay for these additional services?
Congratulations to Mark Brooks and Mark Lesnick for once again producing a terrific event for the online dating industry.
Julie Spira is an author, entrepreneur, and cyber-dating expert. She is the author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit her at www.CyberDatingExpert.com.
Both Britney and Keyten are from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Britney decided to try SpeedDate.com and met Keyton. After their successful “speed date”, they continued to communicate on the site. They moved over to talking on AIM for about a month before they actually met.
During that first month, the two had generated a lot of feelings for each other. Their official first date was at the movies where they saw Kung Fu Panda and it was a perfect first date. Britney and Keyton are now happily dating for 9 months and are hoping to spend the rest of their lives together.
Congratulations to Britney and Keyton, our Cyber Love Story of the Week from your friends at CyberDatingExpert.com.
For consideration in the Cyber Love Story of the Week, send your story to us at SUBMIT STORY.
Is the famous fashion designer Giorgio Armani officially in the film business? Well, not exactly, but it felt that way last week when I stopped by the Giorgio Armani Beauty Boutique at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills for the premiere of their EYES TO KILL volumizing mascara special event.
Along with a friend of mine, I was enticed to check out the new makeup line, where we were given the chance to win either the travel size of their new mascara, a pair of sunglasses, or a watch. We both won the mascara and found ourselves sitting in the chairs with professional makeup artists getting a touch-up before going out for the evening.
EYES TO KILL dresses the eye with powerful, plush, voluminous lashes. Fine fluid Mircofil ™ technology creates intensely captivating lash texture. Micro-waxes combined with a “fitness agent” allows for smooth and easy application, revealing weightless volume. Their unique brush defines each lash for extreme fullness.
The EYES TO KILL mascara comes in four colors: Killer Black, Gun Metal, Copper Brown, and Red Iron and is priced at $28.00. The armed Armani eye…ready to disarm by Giogio Armani. My eyes will never look the same again.
Join me on Saturday, June 27, 2009 where the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association will be presenting Extraordinary BookWoman Day in Marina del Rey, CA.
I will be featured in the celebrity author spotlight at the event sharing my story of how I turned “lemons into lemonade” by writing and publishing my first book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.
If you have a story to tell and are thinking of writing a book, this is the place for you to come to learn from other best-selling authors, agents, publishers, film/tv producers and more.
To register for this event, go to www.wnba-books.org/la
I look forward to seeing you there!
Just in Time for SUMMER!
Online Dating Book: A Great Summer Read
The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online
“Hilariously Funny! Singles of all ages need to read this book.”
~ Joan Rivers, Comedienne and Best Selling Author
“Julie Spira tells a compelling story, shares intimate moments, and transforms her experience into means of larger good.”
~ Veronica De Laurentiis, Best-selling Author of Rivoglio La Mia Vita
June 22, 2009 Los Angeles, CA Cyber-dating expert, author and radio host, JULIE SPIRA, is available to discuss her recent release, THE PERILS OF CYBER-DATING: CONFESSIONS OF A HOPEFUL ROMANTIC LOOKING FOR LOVE ONLINE (Morgan James Publishing)
Julie Spira will share her stories, lessons, and expertise from her witty tell-all memoir to help your audience find their dream date. It’s wedding season. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride? Not for long if you follow Spira’s expert advice!
ONLINE DATING IS A HOT TOPIC
Over 40 million singles are now dating online. How do you stand out in the crowded playing field and date SAFELY online?
· There are over 90 million singles in the U.S.
· Almost half of the singles in the US have tried online dating
· Online dating is the third largest industry on the web
· Over 2500 online dating sites and the numbers are growing daily
· The desire to couple up has increased with the down turn in the economy
Cyber-Dating Expert, Julie Spira helps singles navigate the web with her Top Ten Rules of Netiquette for online daters in her book.
Learn how she turned her heartbreak into a successful online dating life with over 250 dates and four marriage proposals.
She will reveal:
· How to date SAFELY online
· How to help singles create an IRRESISTIBLE online dating profile
· How to see the RED FLAGS and spot the bad boys.
· The signs of an unavailable man or serial dater
· Her profile definitions on what an online dating profile really means
· How to communicate effectively with the opposite sex
· How to find a date in 30 days or less
Spira has appeared in/on Crain’s New York Business, Fox News Strategy Room, CosmoGirl Radio, BBC Radio, Glamour.com and numerous media outlets as an expert in the field of Online Dating.
To book an interview, please contact Julie@cyberdatingexpert.com 310-433-7786
For more information, visit www.CyberDatingExpert.com
PRAISE FOR THE PERILS OF CYBER-DATING
“It’s like Sex and The City in a Web 2.0 World.”
~ E. Jean Carroll, Columnist, “Ask E. Jean” Elle Magazine
“This book is a must for this generation of singles, both male and female, who are into cyber-dating. It is possible to find someone if you know the rules.”
~ Dane Robert Swanson, Santa Monica Daily Press
“The Perils of Cyber-Dating gives hope to singles everywhere with an email address that they can successfully meet someone online.”
~ Dr. Pat Allen, Author of the best-seller of Getting to “I Do”
“I’ve seen too many women put in jeopardy by unscrupulous Internet dating contacts. That’s why this book is your must-have navigation guide to help you safely travel through the perilous landscape of cyber-dating. Plus, Spira’s personal stories are a hoot and a half!”
~ Diane Dimond, Journalist and Author
“Online dating memberships should come with a handbook and many doses of humor. Julie Spira provides both. A wonderful companion for singles looking for love online.”
~ Julie Ferman, Founder, Cupid’s Coach
It never ceases to amaze me how many incredible women are in this town supporting each other in a very gracious and giving way. Earlier this month, I attended Step Up Women’s Network’s 6th annual Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
One of this year’s honorees was Lisa Ling, journalist and former co-host of The View. Lisa,who was introduced by Larry King had recently been interviewed on his program about the painful story of her sister, Laura who was kidnapped by the North Koreans three months ago. Laura, also a journalist, was recently sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in a Korean Labor camp for allegedly crossing into North Korea. It’s a very sad story, and I applaud Lisa for appearing at the event during this difficult time for her family.
Other honorees included Lauren Zalaznick, President of NBC-Universal’s Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks,who was introduced by a pencil thin and darling Tori Spelling, and actress Marcia Cross, best known for her role as Bree Van De Kamp in Desperate Housewives. Marcia is absolutely stunning and was introduced by swimming champion, Diana Nyad. Also, long time Step Up supporter, The Container Store was honored for their dedication to the organization.
Guests enjoyed a fashion show from ARCADE by Rochelle Gores in support of Cervical Cancer Awareness and there was a silent auction of designer purses prior to the event. Teen girls from the Step Up Class of 2009 got on stage and shared their stories of what Step Up meant to them as well the excitement of sharing what college they will now be attending because of the support from Step Up.
I am so proud to be associated with this wonderful organization that makes a difference in the lives of women. Don’t forget a portion of my book proceeds from sales of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online benefits Step Up. For more information go to http://suwn.org.
I was joined at the event by friends, Amy Swift of SMARTY and Gina Ratliffe of Esther Experience photographed above.
Listen to the Father’s Day Edition of Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show with our featured online dating site, SingleParentMatch.com.
I was joined by Steve Kasper who described some of the features of the niche Internet dating site, including verification of photos and age, Single Parent blogs and forums, and the large support of dating advice and tips.
We talked about when to introduce the children in the dating process and the challenges of being a single parent while online dating.
Listen to Words Cause Radio with Dean and Jared, where I gave Jared some online dating tips to get him started in his quest to find the woman of his dreams on Match.com® Official Site.
Jared will be making some changes to his online dating profile including a new profile picture to be taken by a professional photographer, shortening his profile photo gallery from 14 pictures to a smaller amount, and shortening the profile a bit. Jared made a promise to me that he will start writing to women before his business trip to China.
It was a fun and entertaining show and the bottom line is, Jared is a great catch! He’s a serial monogamist who is looking to get married and have children. Women will love to hear this. I look forward to a “date update” from Jared in the near future. Perhaps he will end up as the Cyber Love Story of the Week someday.
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Quite often you hear stories of single women lining up with casseroles when a man becomes newly single. Perhaps there is some truth to this, as there is a huge following for the “Love Potions” recipes on the CyberDatingExpert site.
However, as hungry as a man may be, what happens to his manners in the matters of the heart? I heard a story recently about a woman who was going on a cyber-date with a man she met in an online dating site. He graciously offered to meet her for dinner and he suggested the restaurant.
The woman arrived right on time, only to find her Internet dating partner at the table, halfway through his entree. At first, she was confused. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding about the time of the reservation? She asked him if she was late for their date, and he replied with, “No, you are right on time.” Naturally, she found his behavior on the rude side, and walked out of the restaurant.
Seriously, if you are going to invite someone for lunch or dinner, don’t you think you should wait until your guest arrives to order your meal? It was time for her to say “next.”
For consideration for The Peril of the Week, please send your entries to info@CyberDatingExpert.com.