Seeding and Weeding – How Some Online Dating Sites Encourage New Membership

Online dating is more popular than ever, primarily because of the enormous profits that can be attained by owning a popular online dating site. New dating sites pop up every day, but it is extremely difficult for these sites to compete with the likes of Match.com, Yahoo Personals, and eHarmony. The main reason is because new dating or personals sites simply do not have the budget of the ‘Big 3’ online dating sites and budget is important because it takes a lot of advertising dollars for a site to attract enough members to achieve critical mass.

For an online dating site, critical mass is when the site has become large enough (i.e. enough members have joined and now exist in the site’s database) to attract new members via the already-existing population of singles and the site has become popular enough to continue to grow in spite of member turnover. As you can imagine, new online dating sites face a huge hurdle and the result is usually one of two options. Either the site spend a large amount of advertising dollars, which is fine if the company that operates the site is a big conglomerate like the company that owns Match.com or ‘fake it’. That is, make it seem like there are a large number of current members in order to encourage new membership.

How does a new online dating site ‘fake it’? It’s simple, really. The site just creates fake profiles to ‘seed’ their database similar to how a gardener cultivates their garden in order to make it grow. A new dating site may create the profiles themselves or they may purchase profiles from an expired site, but in either case the member profiles in the database are very poor and certainly not current – even if they are real. However, if the new online dating site is able to gain new memberships as a result of their ‘seeding’ process, it can then gradually ‘weed’ out the fake or expired profile as new members join and the site grows. This process is known as ‘seeding and weeding’. 메이저사이트

You might wonder why a new site would take such a risk. It’s because there is a large amount of money to be made in the online dating niche and new sites don’t have much to lose. If the ‘seeding and weeding’ process works, the site can become successful and if it doesn’t the site owners probably didn’t have much invested in the site anyway.

So what can online daters do to ensure they don’t fall victim to such a charade? First and foremost be aware of how new an online dating site is. If you haven’t heard of the site before, it’s probably too new to join – unless joining is free. Secondly, stick to the major online dating sites. Sites like Match.com, eHarmony and Yahoo Personals already have thousands and probably hundreds of thousands of members so they do not need to seed their databases. The major sites also have members from many different areas making it more likely that many of their members are local to one another, thus making it more convenient to meet in person.

Not all new dating sites use the process of ‘seeding and weeding’ of course, but the competition between these sites is fierce and the temptation may be there for a new site just starting up. Potential members who are considering joining the site should just be aware of how young the site is and how the current member profiles appear. If all of the current ‘members’ appear too good to be true it’s possible that the site may be using some of the techniques described above to encourage new membership. As always, buyer beware – even when it comes to finding love online.

 

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