Tuesday, December 19, 2006

the video dating revolution

First, you have to pick a dating service. Once you do so, you have to write about yourself, or create what's commonly called a "profile".

Overview TheDateZone.com

The most important:

1) Make sure you correctly indicate whether you are married or single, and whether or not you have children or want children. Ideally you should be single and say you want to meet someone for marriage and children. If you don't check these things off, you won't meet anyone. Make sure you also check off a profession, and list a body type (slender and/or athletic if possible, never "average") and height.



2) The Intro paragraph. After your photo, this is the most important thing, your main paragraph where you write something about yourself. The key to remember is that people aren't usually selected because of their intro paragraph, but they are often rejected because of it. That's why the strategy of writing the same bland generic things that most other people are writing "I am happy nice and friendly and good with my family" is usually best. If you're a man, women will probably only look at your photo, your height, body type, and profession in deciding whether to contact you. If you're a woman, men will probably only look at your photo, your body type, and maybe your profession in deciding whether to contact you. Your intro paragraph can help, but only slightly, and really only has a potential to hurt you if you write something that potential dates don't like (your politics... your hobbies... your attitudes....). If you have the same general interests as everyone else (eating, drinking, movies), I strongly recommend you go with the bland intro paragraph--write about vague general interests that couldn't possibly offend anyone else and what a nice person you are. You won't stand out, but more importantly you won't offend.

Although I've just recommended going with the bland intro paragraph, there's an exception to this rule: if you don't have the same general interests as everyone else, the bland profile won't work for you. Most people like eating, drinking, museums, and movies. If these aren't your top interests, if these bore you to tears, you're going to have to be honest about your real interests. If you don't, you're only going to attract people who will want to do what you consider to be boring things, and you'll have nothing in common to talk about. A common falsehood is that people with totally unrelated interests can be attracted to each other--well, perhaps this is true of people trapped together on desert islands for months at a time. But people attempting to start a conversation with total strangers need at least something in common. So if you really don't like the typical interests (excessive eating, drinking, drowsy movies, etc.) of most people, you'll need to list your real interests--they will cut down on the responses you receive, but the responses will be more relevant.

I remember I once had a generic profile ("I am nice and like to be nice to the nice"), and I attracted a lot of women and had a lot of dates--most of which were totally incompatible, and it became very frustrating to go on one bad date after another. Then I retooled my profile to specifically list my interests (mine were unusual--excessive eating and boozing were not on the very top of the list), and found the matches I attracted, though fewer in number, were a little more compatible.

The most important thing about your intro paragraph is that you sound friendly and upbeat! No one wants to date someone who is bitter or a sad sack. Make sure you spike your profile in at least 2 places with the stock phrases how nice you are and how you like to laugh. It will sound somewhat insincere to the sophisticated few but at the same time most people will think you friendly, which is important, especially to women.

Also, don't say negative things. "Not looking for someone with an attitude" "I am very picky!" "Not looking to play games" "Don't want anyone who lives near anyone who voted for Bush" are some of the common ones I've seen. Even if you don't want to meet these kinds of people, you shouldn't write it. Writing such thing make you sound cranky, and bitter. Don't list your don'ts. You'll have to do your filtering yourself, in choosing whom to respond to.

In addition to the intro essay your dating service may request other essays (such as your idea of a first date, your interests, most recent books read, etc.) but as long as you don't say anything offensive, it doesn't really matter what you write--the less the better, actually, as the more you write, the more you have the potential to offend. You never know what can offend people or what people will think of your attitudes or interests. What may seem normal to you (such as race car driving or skiing from a helicopter) may seem redneckish or reckless to others. After the intro paragraph, say as little as possible and say what you say in generalities. Think like a politician.



The unimportant:

1) When filling out your profile, there are things that are more important, and less important. The checkbox options where you check off your hobbies and interests are the least important--most people check off a lot of them, and no one tends to pay any attention to them, so don't worry about what you check, as long as you check a few, to make yourself look "well rounded". I don't know how many women had checked "hiking" In their profile when the longest hike they went on was to their local supermarket.

There's also often a section where you're asked to list your income. Don't answer this one. Too low and you'll drive women away; too high and you'll only attract gold diggers. If they only want you for money, you're not going to have a lasting relationship

Thursday, November 09, 2006

video conferencing dating

Overview TheDateZone.com

Video and Audio dating is becoming more and more popular these days. More singles are logging on, building profiles and finding dates through the Internet than ever before. Video conferencing is just one of the many growing additions to the world of online matchmaking. Conferencing consultants can assist with the development of your own video conferencing system if you are interested in becoming involved in the world of online video conferencing matchmaking.

No matter who you are it is easy to see the advantages of video conferencing for online matchmaking. Whether you are seeking to build your own matchmaking business or just want to know how to get in on the video conferencing revolution video conferencing consultants can help you. Conferencing consultants are educated, skilled individuals who know what they are doing when it comes to the world of video conferencing. No wonder video conferencing consultants are such sought after individuals these days.

Two specific benefits videoconferencing technology provides you the ability to connect directly with potential online matches in real time both through audio and visual means. One - videoconferencing provides participants a sharper focus and gives the discussion much greater impact. Two - the use of this technology accelerates the establishment of confidence and trust between potential matches.

But the truth is you won't need to hire expert conferencing consultants but you still won't have to worry about the details. Many online matchmaking companies offer great and easy to use software developed by their own conferencing consultants so you can get in on the fun quickly and easily.

If you are thinking about joining up with a system online that utilizes videoconferencing for their online dating services, you might be interested to learn just what sort of processes go through in developing these systems. Here are four critical skills that the conferencing consultants are able to provide when working for an online matchmaking company:

Highly competent video conferencing consultants must at the minimum possess 5 years extensive experiences in audio visual, videoconferencing, and networking, customizing these designs, implementing, configuring networks, software engineering, and physical construction. In practical terms, this just means that your conferencing consultants can create a plan in deploying video conferencing facilities in your company headquarters and the homes of your key personnel as needed.

Highly competent conferencing consultants have the ability to create customer specific applications using your company's available network resources. They should have the ability to determine what are the appropriate installations and configurations for your company considering such issues as ISDN, IP protocols, gateways, DNS or firewall ports options.

Highly competent video conferencing consultants have the ability to create a customized set of training programs tailored to your staff's needs. All with the aim of making them knowledgeable and comfortable in using these technologies.

Finally, your conferencing consultants should have the ability to install and fully test the systems so that the organization can immediately begin to receive the benefits of video conferencing. That is a whole lot of work going on in order to find the best videoconferencing consultants available! These companies only hire the best of the best, that is for sure.

That means you won't have anything to worry about when you first sign on to an online dating service that utilizes the newest in video conferencing technologies. The trend of the utilization of data, voice and video technologies is changing the way today's singles communicate to each other.

It has quickly been realized that being able to talk to people you meet online in real time is a great way to get to know each other before heading out on the all important first date. When you get to that point you won't need video conferencing consultants: it is all up to you.

The divorce rate today is close to 60% of all first time marriages

Overview TheDateZone.com

Internet dating has never been bigger. There is a multitude of sites.
Target demographics run the gamut encompassing virtually every walk of life, age groups, religions and nationalities.
It has become a very accepted means in society today of dating, finding friends and potential life’s partners

It has also become a multimillion dollar annual business and only looks to grow especially in light of the massive divorce rate and its continuation
Ancillary businesses such as live singles parties/events owned and promoted by the singles sites have also blossomed into big revenues.

Background

The divorce rate today is close to 60% of all first time marriages
Second marriages have a divorce rate over 85%
Yet, our number one quest still remains finding a mate.
Divorce no longer carries a stigma.
What divorce has caused is a much more difficult means of finding someone new.
People coming back into the “singles scene” are very new to it and somewhat intimidated by it.
They have been out of it for sometime.
Most no longer have single friends. Most do not want to hang out at bars, let alone, know where to hang out.
Most now have children. A high percentage now live in the suburbs which is not “single friendly”

Non Internet Dating services (fixing people up) still exist but have been heavily replaced by internet dating.
Aside from the high cost, dating services are very intimidating as they are basically a succession of blind dates.

Internet dating is not solely for divorced people. There are a host of single and never married consumers that utilize it for a myriad of reasons; time constraints, new to an area, shyness etc
It has also become a means for specific lifestyles/subsets to easily find and relate to one another i.e.; Gay, Black, Hispanic to name a few

The positives of internet dating

Initial safety: A consumer can “shop” for a friend/mate from the comfort of their own home
Information: They can choose from a host of profiles to try and “match” with their objectives, desires and criteria.
They can also eliminate those that do not fit their criteria
They can also hide behind a computer as most people are shy or intimidated by dating/meeting new people.
On the surface, it’s pretty easy. In theory, they can see and meet someone before investing a large amount of time

The negatives of internet dating

One dimensional/believability: Currently all sites pretty much operate in the same fashion.
Consumers post pictures and write profiles.
Who is to say these pictures and/or profiles are true

Arduous: Once a potential “match” is made by a consumer, one must now almost be blessed with creativity.
For contact with the person behind the picture and profile must now be made, personality/wit demonstrated, all the while still relying on the truthfulness of both the picture and profile.
The response must be accepted and responded to also demonstrating personality/wit etc.
This can go back and forth for some time

Should the two of them get through this stage, usually, they will now agree to take the next step and actually converse by phone.

Should that take place (agreeing to actually divulge a phone number) this step too must go flawlessly and once again causes intimidation.

Should this phase be successful (and usually only after multiple conversations) an actual live “date” is arranged

In essence, this is still a blind date and has taken much just get to this stage.
And, truth be known, one still cannot be sure who actually resides on the opposite end of that phone and now someone you don’t really know has your phone number (this could be a future problem)
And, the hardest part is still to come…

The Date

Are they going to actually look like their picture? Are they really who their profile professes they are?
Where should we meet?
What am I going to wear? What if they aren’t who they professed to be? How do I get away if I want to?
Where will I find the time?
What should I say?
And one of the biggest concerns, especially for women… is it safe?
Many other obstacles and concerns radiate as well.
And we’ve only just begun

The Big Opportunity

All of the negatives, fears and concerns currently inherent in internet dating are all big opportunities, and almost exclusive opportunities, for The Date Zone.com

The Date Zone.Com

“Seeing is believing”!
“Meet the person behind the face…in the comfort and security of your own place”
Honesty: No one can hide behind a picture when you’re “live” and in person
No one can “doctor/forge” a video profile
The Date Zone just eliminated most of the concerns and intimidating steps in internet dating;
Is that really them? What do I need to creatively write to get a response? How do I get to the phone conversation phase? How do I make a date? I have to go on a blind date! What if it’s not who they professed to be? What do I wear? What if I want to leave? What if I’m trapped? I have to invest time, maybe money.
The list goes on
But the number one problem The Date Zone reduces or eliminates is the safety issue!
I don’t have to leave my home to date and get to know them!

It will revolutionize internet dating and more…

Marketing of the Date Zone.Com

Marketing and advertising today is in a virtual tailspin.
The traditional means of building brands and making sales has dramatically changed
Traditional means of marketing and sales (Television, newspaper, sweepstakes etc) are pretty much over and done-actually allowing for the Date Zone infomercial to take advantage of cheaper media rates and more frequency)
National marketing has almost no place in today’s society
Today it is about community, localization and about me.
Reaching and motivating “me” today is about my lifestyle, the internet and interacting with me
“Shaking hands with me, getting in front of me, understanding me and helping me”
Our target consumers are vast and range from divorced, never married, religions, nationalities, multiple lifestyles etc.

The Marketing Plan, the Execution

We will make The Date Zone the authority or “go to” place for singles of all lifestyles
For information, tips, our own programming
We will create Date Zone TV (DZTV) and proprietary programming on the internet
We will create our own radio programming
We will use our infomercial in local markets and on national cable
We will bring The Date Zone to “life” in local markets
We will become an intricate part of their lifestyles
We will tour The Date Zone…live
We will create local proprietary events highly targeted that will have a built in means to drive them to our website (and a source of revenue to us) e.g.; The Dating Game
We will create our own seminars
We will become a part of highly targeted local market established events
We will partner with local established media and celebrities
We will be at the major sporting events, concerts, beaches and highly attended events
We will become very PR newsworthy
We will publish for our audience
We will sponsor and be at high profile events, concerts and “happenings”
We will create our own “celebrities”
We will leverage existing celebrities
We will partner and be at local “hot” spots
We will partner with fraternities/sororities and college campuses
We will partner with big singles organizations
We will revenue share with other organizations tapped into our target markets

The Date Zone.com will be to our target markets what “girls gone wild” achieved to their target
Markets… and then some

We will initially target those markets with a high percentage of single consumers/high divorce rates
We will methodically “take over” markets on a one and two basis

Additionally

A simultaneous sub business exists that we will also promote and sell: Video conferencing

Marketed to a wide array of businesses but including service businesses (e.g.; Advertising agencies) that thrive on personal relationships
They supply their clients with our technology and now an impersonal phone call becomes a face to face call on their computers/laptops!
Complete with show and tell
As a means for any size business to have video conferencing capabilities

Budgets

To properly launch The Date Zone.com as described above, $3.0-4.0 million should be raised

The majority of the money will go into marketing/ creating and bring The Date Zone live and toured into local markets

From creating and owning live events, execution, media partners, celebrities, PR, staff and crews to creating partnerships, sponsorships, programming, Date Zone TV and its programming/infomercials
To all of the marketing strategies outlined above


Summary

The market is huge, virtually “pre-sold” and only growing!
The Date Zone is beyond the “better mouse trap”

Local market community lifestyle marketing is simply what works today and we’ll do it better than anyone can

No known dating service is properly utilizing it
And no “live” video dating service is utilizing it

We have advanced technology
We have advanced marketing

We have ancillary “icing on the cake” synergistic businesses
We have a huge market(s)

And best of all….

A huge consumer need!

Video the next Generation

That's why people need the TheDateZone.com TheDateZone.com

When you join an online dating service, you will find that a lot of women have misleading photos. Generally, they tend to use a photo that is 5 years old.

A lot of men and women too also lie about their age. Most men are looking for a longer term relationship with a girl that you can like, and you could even come to fall in love. Most girls are looking for a guy that She can like or even love. What you aren't looking for is a girl who would like your best friend or your idea of what the perfect guy looks like or talks like or thinks like.

So, in order to find the right girl for you, and she Is out there, you need to be completely honest with yourself about yourself when writing the online profile, during the dating process and beyond.

Sooner or later the girl will find out you have lied about your age or other lies. This destroys trust in the relationship. Close relationships develop over time and they are based on no lies at all.

If you aren't 6'0" with a good six-pack, don't claim to be. If you are a cleaner, don't claim to be a lawyer with a six figure income. If you are 40 going on 50, don't pretend to be 33 something.

The best way to begin writing your profile is to carefully analyze the results from that profile. Did it get a good response or a poor response. Was it like most others men's profile or a bit unusual. What was right about it and what was wrong?

Next, ask a few women friends to take a look at your profile and get some feedback. Most men's profiles are just plain boring. It is good not to be needy or desperate in your profile. Humor is a great way to put your profile above the average. Women love a man with humor.

Also it is good to look at your past relationships and learn from them. What things really made you like the last girl? Which didn't? Don't assume that just because you hated that your last girl was so totally self-involved that she couldn't see anything else, you'll be able to overlook that quality this time. You won't.

Remember, the idea here is to find a girl who will like you exactly like you are. If you have lied in your profile, the first face-to-face meeting will remove all her doubt that you are a liar and probably a cheat, as well.

Lastly, once you have found a girl that you believe can be the one for you, for goodness sakes, cancel your membership to the online dating service. After all, you know and she knows that online dating services are intended for those who are looking, not those who have found or been found.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Internet video Dating Conference

TheDateZone.com
Guest Editorial: The Biggest Online Dating Challenge - Converting Guests into Members
by Michael Jones, President of Userplane

(April, 2004) Returning from the recent Internet Dating Conference in Miami, one thing is clear: aside from gaining overall site traffic, the majority of online dating sites feel that their primary challenge is perfecting the art of conversion -- taking a free membership granted to a guest, and converting that guest membership to an actual paying subscriber.

Judging online dating sites isn’t all that different from sizing up potential partners at any social event. Visitors to online dating sites typically assess the prospective website by the images displayed on the first few pages of their membership query. While this has become the standard approach for the dating website homepage, it’s unfortunate. This tendency doesn’t enable users to determine the site’s real value and utility. Just as in online dating itself, first impressions (the “look and feel” of those members displayed during that all-important initial search) trump the actual experience. And just as with people, website appeal shouldn’t be skin deep.

There are exceptions, of course. eHarmony, for one, boasts a superior personality-based matching system and does not place an inventory search on its homepage. Along with other personality-based dating sites, eHarmony attempts to put more emphasis on the functionality and actual success rate of individual matches than on the physical characteristics of its members.

In order to combat this “hot or not” impulse, many sites require users to register or at minimum sign up for a free guest membership prior to allowing an in-depth search of the member base. Alternatively, some permit an in-depth search but restrict actual member contact until the visitor subscribes. While this can be successful, it does require the visitor to actually find a relevant match within a few simple clicks – an unlikely prospect for many. The byproduct of these approaches is a large number of free visitor-memberships, but a small percentage of conversions from guests to paying members.

Fortunately, a new breed of dating website is emerging, taking more progressive steps toward a solution to the problem. Among the methods these sites use to support guest-to-member conversion are these:

Give away more free lifetime memberships to women.
The same principle of a good nightclub now applies to online dating websites; if women are present in abundance, men will join. Sites such as Verona Street have realized that typical online dating websites have a 70/30 ratio of males to females and that with a larger female user base and a more female-friendly environment, they can more easily attract male subscribers. Although this is hardly a new concept offline, I regard it as a new trend online.

Support real value through features and experiences, not restrictions.
In general, most online dating sites go to great lengths to prevent users from revealing their offline information (blocking the display of email addresses and phone numbers, etc.). The theory holds that the more control a dating site can exercise over member and guest contact, the more dependent the member or guest becomes on the dating site. A better approach to online dating will not use the website as a method of controlling contact but as a platform/environment to provide users with a more intimate and safe online setting.

The concept of providing unique online real-time methods of communication such as audio and video chatting, online dating games and more advanced chat rooms enables online dating site users to obtain value from actual experiences, rather than simply paying for contact restriction. Those websites that embrace this approach will be providing members with tools that enhance and extend the value of paid membership.

Catch me when I’m engaged.
A growing number of new online dating sites have realized the tangible benefits of offering live communication tools and rich media experiences such as instant messaging, video profiles and chat rooms. One specific benefit – easy to implement and certain to pay dividends in the form of increased conversions -- is to enable guest users time-limited access to these live communication tools. There is no better “taste test” than allowing a guest to participate in a instant messaging session, watch a live video profile, or engage in a chat room conversation for a specified amount of time, then redirecting the user to a membership conversion page.

Using this method, a dating website can convert a visitor who is actively engaged in a live experience that only that site can provide into a paid, sustaining member – you just have to ask. Although dating websites have traditionally been wary of providing guests with access to these live chat services for cost reasons, the live communities available through online chat and instant messaging are often the most compelling reasons to join. Without actively participating in these experiences, prospective members are left with the limited exposure of that first query and thus miss out on sampling the personality and flair of the active online user base.

The online dating industry remains in its infancy. Searching the web reveals a handful of new dating sites being launched every day. With the new competition and more niche-focused environments, there is something (and someone) out there for everyone.

My sincere hope is that in the near future, dating sites will be judged not by a few pretty faces, but by their ability to provide unique, interactive online experiences – experiences unmatched by any alternative medium, online or off.

A dating coach

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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > A Better You > 22


A Better You
by Jo Ann Fore

Constructive Criticism
“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
~ Winston Churchill

How do you respond to criticism? Do you fear it, rise up in defense, or avoid it at all costs? Do you recognize its value, seek it out, and respond to it? The answer for most would likely depend on the intent of the criticism. Is it healthy, constructive criticism; or the unfavorable opinion of a negative onlooker? It’s important to differentiate between the two.

Constructive criticism can be a powerful tool. Criticism is productive when used with the intent of helping, improvement, or offering solutions. It’s helpful when someone – in a friendly manner – offers an honest opinion about you that fosters improvement. Hostile criticism, however, often evolves from a wrong motive. Many who are quick to criticize you negatively do so in an attempt to divert from their own shortcomings. Most comments of negative criticism are merely personal opinion – and usually not true.


Regardless, it is difficult not to become defensive when criticized. But you really do need criticism in your life. Just remember: There could be something to what you’re hearing. To foster your personal growth, listen carefully the next time someone offers up some advice. First, be discerning about the intent, and then act accordingly. When you learn to actively seek positive input from others – constructive criticism – you can learn from it.

If you’re like most people, you don’t like being criticized. I understand: It’s a blow to the ego. Everyone wants to be received in the best light possible. And if others discover a flaw, you feel they’ll think less of you. Detach from your ego for a moment, and drop your guard. You may uncover a blind spot that needs your attention. When you listen, and address the shortcoming, you become a better person.

Receiving Criticism
As you mature, the benefits of constructive criticism become more apparent. However, you need to be prepared to receive it. Emotional preparation is the key. You need to know in advance, you will hear some things you don’t want to. Bear in mind, your ultimate goal is improvement, and this is a great step towards that goal.

Gregg Walker, Dept. of Speech Communication, Oregon State University, offers the following advice for dealing with criticism:

1. Recognize the value of constructive criticism. Such criticism can improve relationships and productivity.

2. Engage in perspective taking or role reversal. Try to understand the perspective of the person offering criticism.

3. Acknowledge criticism that focuses on your behavior. Attempt to transform criticism that seems directed at your "person" to specific behavioral issues.

4. Listen actively. Even though criticism may hurt, seek to understand accurately the criticism being presented.
a. Paraphrase what the other is saying.
b. Ask questions to increase understanding.
c. Check out nonverbal displays (check your perceptions).

5. Work hard to avoid becoming defensive. Resist any tendency to want to dismiss criticism or retaliate.

6. Welcome criticism; use the criticism appropriate to improve.

7. Maintain your interpersonal power and authority to make your own decisions. Criticism, when directed at one's "person," may weaken one's resolve. Focus the other's criticism on your actions. Seek ownership of solutions.

8. Seek constructive changes to the behavior that prompted the criticism.

9. Insist on valid criticism. Valid criticism:
a. addresses behaviors.
b. is timely.
c. is specific.

10. Communicate clearly how you feel and think about the criticism and receiving criticism. Use "I" messages.

Where to Find Healthy Criticism
Is there an area in your life where you could benefit from constructive criticism? Do you repeatedly fail at some things; financial management, relationships, or even weight control? These are prime areas where insight from others helps.

While you might be ready to admit that criticism is a necessary evil, you may not be willing to risk your closest friendship to obtain it. Don’t worry, there are alternatives. When seeking input from others, consider the following resources:

Fashion Consultants
My husband is a great example of putting constructive criticism to use. My husband dresses fashionably. But it wasn’t always that way. Apparently before I met him, his oldest daughter had some straightforward advice for him in the fashion arena. “Oh Dad!” she cried. “Surely you aren’t going out looking like that.” She shared fashion tips with him that he still draws from today.

If you don’t have an older child who is a wealth of fashion trends – consider going to an upscale, trendy clothing shop. Ask for their top salesperson. Unashamedly admit your lack of fashion sense, and ask for help. They will be more than willing to accommodate you.

Image Consultants
Each time I walk into my doctor’s office, I am greeted by a young woman. A pretty young woman, with way too much makeup. So much makeup she looks like a clown. I’m not kidding. There are about ten other people that work in that office with her, but apparently no one has been willing to risk vulnerability with her to share the truth. It’s a shame. She could be a pretty girl, but the way it is now, she’s actually very hard to look at.

If you’re concerned with your appearance, walk into one of the major department stores and sit down at the cosmetics counter. These people make a living making people look good. And they give free makeovers and advice. You can pick up some great tips.

Financial Consultants
I have a young friend who recently turned 18. Burning for independence, she isn’t open to receiving constructive criticism right now. Yet, her finances are a disaster. The other day, she admitted she was overdrawn at the bank – several hundred dollars. She doesn’t record her financial transactions in her check book, and tries to keep up with it in her head. It isn’t working. Once she matures and is receptive to insight, there’s a wealth of information available to her in this area.

Many local banks are great about sitting with first time bankers, and explaining the mechanics of maintaining an account. Again, just ask. And for more mature individuals who need help with financial management, investments, and more, there are financial consultants who will sit and review your financial standing and help you set goals. A great book for anyone who is struggling with maintaining a financial budget is Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.

In most any area there is someone available, with an unbiased opinion, who can offer the perspective you need to help you improve. Be open to criticism, it is necessary. You can achieve greater personal growth if you remember to focus on the constructive elements of it. Even though criticism is painful, it pays great dividends.

Friday, October 27, 2006

1. A fabulous photo of yourself
We all have that photo: The one where your smile, hair, and (let’s be honest) bod all come together in one sexy little package, whether it’s that snapshot from your hike in the Grand Canyon or that cocktail party photo where you’re dressed to kill. Post that sucker at eye level on your fridge so your male guest can’t help but notice it as he checks out if you have beer (see item #5). What he says: “Is that you?” What he means: “Daa-aamn, girl, you’re hotter than I realized!” Keep a digital version handy so you can email it to online suitors or blind dates who want a glimpse of the goods beforehand. And never, ever throw it away—when you’re 80-something it’ll serve as an instant reminder that back in the day, you were a total dish!

2. A pretty pair of heels
Admit it. You feel like Maria from West Side Story (You feel pretty, oh so pretty…) when you slip on a pair of nice heels. The good news is that these days, you can transform virtually any outfit to make it on-the-town ready by adding heels to a skirt, jeans, cropped khakis, whatever. And no, they don’t have to be towering stilettos, even a pair of one-inch kitten heels will make you stride a little more confidently. (Added bonus: The taller you are, the more cute men you’ll be able to see around the room.)

3. An Eminem CD
What’s one of the first places a guy peruses when he walks into a woman’s home? Her music collection. Good for you if you have an extensive one. But if all he sees is a stack of girl bands (say, the Indigo Girls, the Go-Go’s, Joni Mitchell and the Bridget Jones’ Diary soundtrack), he’s going to panic. Balance out your collection with one CD, any CD, by Eminem and you have no idea how relieved he’ll be. It shows you have an open mind and aren’t easily offended—and that’s music to any man’s ears.

4. A great pickup line... and a way to blow ‘em off
In this post-chivalrous period, we can’t always depend on guys to initiate contact, so prepare thyself with one simple, non-cheesy icebreaker to lay on that cutie who’s making his way to your area of the bar. Our favorite: “Hi. Having fun?” (Though a friend of mine has recently taken to asking well-dressed men, “Hetero, homo or metro?”) And in cases when a guy initiates contact and you’re not interested, better have a better blow-off than “Ummmm, no...” Our suggestion: “Sorry, I don’t think the guy I’m seeing would appreciate it.” Sure, it’s a lie, but it’ll let him down easy—without destroying his ego or making him think you’re a jerk.

5. A six-pack of good bottled beer
A prepared single girl is ready to host and toast at any time. If you want to make a guy-guest feel at home and your girlfriends feel special, skip the mass-produced swill and go for microbrews like the exotically-named Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from Portsmouth, New Hampshire or the grandfather of microbrews, Sam Adams Boston Lager.

6. Bathroom reading
What man doesn’t appreciate finding interesting reading in his sweetie’s bathroom? So instead of tossing out your magazines when you’re done reading them, toss them into a basket by the toilet. No need to go overboard with a stack of Sports Illustrated (if you don’t follow sports, that would just be weird), but consider Newsweek or even Cosmopolitan (hey, this may be the only time he’s a captive audience and can learn a few things). Or, just buy a book that’s made for the bathroom, like Schott’s Original Miscellany by Ben Schott ($10.17 at amazon.com) so he can learn a few things about shoelace lengths and sign language while he passes the, uh, time.

7. A business card
After the age of 18, it’s no longer cute to scrawl your first name and phone number on a napkin and hand it to a man who wants to call you. So if your job doesn’t provide a card or you’d prefer one with your personal email address and phone number on it, then have some made at your local Kinko’s. The very budget-bound can get 250 full-color business cards for free from vistaprint.com if you don’t mind the company’s logo on the backside of the card. Hey, it’s better than nothing. A napkin he can lose. A card he’ll file and keep.

8. Earplugs
Ah, there’s nothing sweeter than a man who wants to cuddle up with you in bed for a long night’s sleep. Unless — SNZZGGHGHRRJJZZZ! — he snores so loudly you can’t get any sleep. Prepare thyself for surprise snorers with a pair of earplugs stashed in your nightstand. (2 pairs of Mack’s brand self-described “snore-proof” plugs sell for $2.79 at cvs.com.)

9. A straight male friend on your speed-dial
Every girl knows she needs a gay male friend she can go to for fashion advice (a personal Queer Eye for Your Closet). But when it comes to relationship advice, you need another source. While your female friends may have good intentions, if you really want to know if you should call that guy, save the guesswork and go to someone who’s been there, done that.

10. A condom
Hey ladies, you know the drill by now. If you want to be able to have spontaneous fun of the bodily kind, you have to prepare for it yourself. You can’t always count on him to have something in his back pocket—or a 24-hour drugstore on the route home. (Your new mantra: If you don’t want it to break, you buy it.)

Amy Spencer writes relationship and lifestyle stories for Glamour, Maxim, Real Simple and other publications. She would like to thank her straight male friend for advising her on some of the essential items she was missing. To read the other side of the story, click here.

Karma and the Art of Being Thoughtful

Karma and the Art of Being Thoughtful by TheDateZone.com

Thoughtfulness is one of the most amazing virtues that a person can possess and if you are lucky enough in life to find someone who has this trait, you'll find it it to be equivalent of winning the lottery. Hold on to that ticket!

A person who is thoughtful is consistently thinking about the comfort of the people around him/her. Simply possessing and practicing this trait vastly increases a person's attractiveness and appreciation from others.

Publicly, thoughtful people have been known to:

1) Let you merge in front of them on the freeway.

2) Let you in front of them in the grocery line when you have fewer items.

3) Pay for your bus fare when you were short.

4) Put money in your parking meter when they see it has reached zero and you may be ticketed.

5) Take a picture of you and your family for you when you're on vacation.

A person who does random acts of kindness, in a thoughtful and non-rewarding way, has developed his/her karma to the point of being a "great catch" in the dating world. Take the following scenario:

I once knew a couple (we'll call them Ann and Robert) or were both very thoughtful people and it showed in their relationship:

- When he'd go on a long trip, by car, Ann would pack him little gifts and he'd have to unwrap one at each gas stop (making the trip much more enjoyable).

- When they'd go to a movie theater, Robert would put his hand between her arm and the hard armrest so that she was more comfortable.

- Ann would create a list of all the things she loved about him and randomly email those to him.

- When she had a headache, Robert would rub her head without being asked.

Constantly this couple was doing things for each other to increase the other's comfort level and happiness. And that's exactly what thoughtfulness is: "showing heed for the well-being or happiness of others and a propensity for anticipating their needs or wishes" (American Heritage Dictionary).

This best thing about thoughtfulness is that it is a virtue that can be learned. Not many people possess it, but those who do are true "diamonds in the rough". You can be one of these diamonds. Here's how:

Learn About Karma
Karma is the belief and reality that the amount of joy you bring others in life equates to the amount of joy you will receive in life. It's like "cause and effect" - when you cause someone else to be unhappy, the effect is that you will be unhappy in life. When you cause someone happiness, the effect is that more happiness will find its way into your life. So by doing random acts of kindness towards others, your Karma level increases, and your life is much more balanced and happy as a result.

Recite the Golden Rule Before Taking Action
The golden rule states that you should "do unto others as you'd have them do unto you." Keep this at the forefront of your mind at all times. When you're constantly thinking about others happiness and doing random acts of kindness, you'll find your happiness increasing along with the amount of random acts of kindness that are returned to you. Realize, understand, accept, and appreciate that you are doing these random acts of kindness out of a genuine desire to make the world around you better and not because you want things in return.

Start with a Karma List
Because being thoughtful is a learned trait, it's important to track your progress until you get to a point of doing thoughtful things all the time without having to think about it. Do this by creating a "Karma List". Specifically list three things you are going to do every day to help someone else and leave items #4 and #5 blank to fill in at the end of the day from "on the spot" acts of kindness you did. Here's an example:

Monday"s Karma List:

____ 1) Mail an "I love you" card to my girlfriend's home address.

____ 2) Go to lunch at Taco Bell and at the Drive-Thru, pay for the person's meal in the car behind me.

____ 3) Send an email to my coworker, Mike, letting him know what a great job he did on the report.

____ 4)

____ 5)

Note that with item #1, you are doing something for someone you love for no reason other than to express that love. Your partner won't be expecting to receive something in the mail from you (particularly if you live together or close by) and her week will be much brighter and full of cheer when she receives your act of kindness in the mail. Item #2 is an act of kindness you are doing for a stranger; this is vital to improving who you are. Item #3 expresses appreciation to someone else; in this case a coworker, going out of your way to say kind words of appreciation for something the person did. Items #4 and #5 are intentionally blank, because during the course of the day I need to do at least two unscripted random acts of kindness and fill them in at the end of the day.

Follow this plan strictly for 30 days and you'll find that being kind to others has become a habit that no longer needs to be scripted. You'll be 500% more happy with your life and others will be more attracted to you as a person who always puts the needs of others above yourself.

Part of learning to be thoughtful is having great humility (humbleness). Never flaunt what you do or seek attention for it. Be quick to give credit to others. Build other people up and they will build you up. The most important lesson you will learn through being thoughtful is that you have truly made this world a better place because of your presence in it. And a life of meaning is the single greatest reward that can be bestowed upon anyone

while watching T.V

The other night, while watching T.V., I came across a show called “How to Get the Guy.” As the name implies, the show’s objective is to give single women who are otherwise savvy, tips on how to land the right man.

In this particular episode, the concept of volume dating was discussed as a strategy for snagging a partner. According to the love coaches on the program, dating success is a numbers game! The more you date, the more likely you are to increase the odds of hooking up with the hunk of your dreams.


Theoretically it would make sense. But as many single women can attest, the pickings can be a bit slim. To give an example, here’s what often permeates the dating scene for women regardless of race, religion, creed, or education.

Characters You've Probably Met:

Beer Belly Bob — Bob is a man with uncompromising taste. He likes his women to have “trophy” status (36-24-36). He feels that a fella’ has a right to like what he likes, and sees nothing wrong in seeking out the best. The problem? Bob is balding, 50 lbs. overweight and hasn’t been able to touch his toes in over a decade!

Cheap Chester — Chester wants to give his girl the world! As long as there’s a coupon for it, or a two for one deal. He counts every penny he spends, although he has a good job with all the successful trappings. Chester views romance as a potential investment and keeps a running tally in his head of every dollar, everyday. If a girl is lucky, and he’s really into her, she may get to “super size” her meal at his favorite eatery, McDonald’s.

Paul the Player — Paul is gorgeous to look at and fun to be with. He’s tall, handsome and exciting. Knows how to make a woman feel special. The downside is that he’s usually making too many women feel special simultaneously. Seeing love as a game, he strings women along and devastates lives. Here today, gone tomorrow!

Lionel the Liar — He’s the master of deception; full of lies and alibis. Keeping up with all the details of his fables can be exhausting. He insults the intelligence and erodes the respect factor.

Deadbeat Don — Don likes to keep things “smooth and easy”. After all, he’s a free spirit. Don refuses to date women with kids, feeling it will cramp his style. He’s a mover and shaker and can often be found wherever the “happenings” are. Unfortunately, he sees nothing wrong with his having offspring from Ohio to Alaska! And rarely supports them.

“Finding Himself" Fred — Fred doesn’t have a job or a clue. At thirty, he still occupies his momma’s basement as he ponders life’s complexities, and considers the question “to be or not to be?”

Married Michael — This Casanova fails to reveal his true marital status until he has landed a woman hook, line, and sinker. And when he does, he promises he’ll leave his wife as soon as she recovers from her illness, or as soon as the kids grow up, or as soon as he can afford the divorce, or as soon as his mother can handle it, or sooner or later!


Volume Dating Advantages
Still, if you’re brave and optimistic, (and I hope you are), volume dating offers the following advantages:

» Dating multiple parties offers variety and affords the possibility of all your mental, social, spiritual and emotional needs being met. As long as there is no deception involved and no multiple sex partners.

» It speeds the process of trial and error.

» It offers freedom of choice.

» It helps develop your social skills and skills of discernment.

» It can broaden your knowledge of men.

» Some of the men may end up as future friends, if there is a lot found in common, yet more of a platonic than romantic connection.

» It helps you to answer the age-old question… which is better, quality or quantity?

Jen Recommends:

Date Like A Man: TheDateZone.com
What Men Know About Dating and Are Afraid You'll Find Out

Smart Women/Foolish Choices:
Finding the Right Men Avoiding the Wrong Ones

Successfully Dating WHAT THEY SAY

Successfully Dating WHAT THEY SAY: Join Successfully Dating Personals to contact other members, join the live 1 on 1 chat, upload and watch video messages, and more. Post your profile and you'll receive a 3 day full access free trial!

TheDateZone.com

WHAT WE FOUND: Successfully Dating is an easy to use site that offers plenty of dating fun along with your membership. We like the profile form, it allows you plenty of room to describe yourself and what you'd like in a match, but we didn't like all the profile simple answers to the regular search-type questions. Be sure to use the open text areas by describing yourself more that can be seen through the preset questions. You'll have fun, once your profile is verified, by using the fast searches and the chat system. You can send members 'smiles' to show your interest, we like that easy introduction feature. The search methods are well throughout including simple and advanced searches as well as instant matching based on your preferences and searching for members that are online when you are, which can lead to meeting in the chat room. The video messaging is easy to use and fun.

WHAT YOU'LL FIND: Free trial includes access to all features for 3 days. Messaging, video messages and live chat are fun things to do at this site. Lots of advice articles and movie and book reviews.

CHANGES WE'D LIKE TO SEE: (Suggested October 2004) Video profiles first in search results and saving different searches by category would be helpful.

RELATED CATEGORIES: America - Canada - International - Free Trial - Video




Pal Talk Video Chat WHAT THEY SAY: Paltalk x-Treme is the next wave in Internet chat. Chat with pals from AOL, Yahoo!, MSN and ICQ Messengers! Over 4000 live chat rooms. Start your no charge free trial now.
WHAT WE FOUND: Paltalk is the best chat/messenger system we've tried so far to connect all your friends together and to make new friends easily in any chat room that fits your mood, hobbies and lifestyle. The chat interface was easy to download and install and the connection and configuration to a webcam worked seamlessly. We really liked that you weren't limited to just one video window, so you can chat, and watch, anyone and everyone at the same time. The hardest part we found, as a new member, was which chat rooms to hang out at regularly and which categories to roam through.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Chat rooms for people using any of the main messenger programs, including video. 14 day free trial requires credit card which won't be charged if you cancel before the trial membership ends. Connects easily with your own webcam.

RELATED CATEGORIES: Chat - Free Trial - Video




LoveAccess.com WHAT THEY SAY: You're one click away from the easiest and safest way to your perfect match. Sign up for FREE to view profiles on all our members. LoveAccess offers customized search features, email, chat and instant messaging. If you're curious try the Quick Search as our guest. Join LoveAccess Now. We'll make your heart go click, click ... click, click ... click, click ..

WHAT WE FOUND: Our LoveAccess initial visit began with looking at the chatting members first, available from the home page, and we saw a few hundred members that had their LoveAccess Instant Messenger active and ready to chat. Membership signup is the next step, 3 pages of an easy to complete basic profile that includes two essay areas for describing yourself and the type of person you want to meet. Your essay answers should be well thought out so that your profile stands out when someone looks you up. Be sure to include your picture and a video message so your profile stands out above other members. The free membership allows you to complete your profile and use most of the main features including replying to IM, reading messages sent to you by other members, sending “I’m Interested” notes and access to the lobby of the chat area, but you’ll need to upgrade to be able to send unlimited messages, have unlimited Instant Messenger use, reply to messages and be able to use LoveAccess.com to the best potential of meeting people. Searches were fast and in the areas we searched there were always plenty of members which looks good for anyone joining in the main service areas, America, Canada and Britain. Other international areas may not have as much success, but that does depend on your actual search. We like the features of the ‘Dating Dashboard’ that lets you see who has looked at your profile, and who is interested in you. LoveAccess passed our review with flying colors. Easy to use, lots of features for free members that include talking with others and upgrade members have full freedom of the service that includes initiating contact. You can add pictures to your profile, add a video message and the IM feature includes webcam chat.

WHAT YOU'LL FIND: Free membership offers complete profile access including adding pictures and video to your profile, sending messages to others and includes use of the Instant Messenger that includes your webcam. Upgraded members have unlimited use of LoveAccess including starting conversations. Lots of members in all areas, an easy to follow navigation system and fun features. Straight and same sex profiles available.

RELATED CATEGORIES: America - Britain - Canada - International - Video




H2H Personals WHAT THEY SAY: Whether you're looking for a date, looking to meet new friends, or searching for your soul mate, Heart2Heart Personals is the best way to meet other eligible singles in your area. Free & Easy to create your profile! Add a picture, video greeting & voice greeting too. We have more ways to make contact safely & anonymously– including our instant text and video chat messenger.

WHAT WE FOUND: We started our visit with the tour at Heart2Heart Personals and liked what we saw. This is a full featured online service that provides interactive features that can have you meeting local singles within minutes of your joining. Free to join and complete your online profile in full includes adding a picture to your profile, uploading a video and a voice greeting. H2H Personals is also integrated with many local newspapers. You can upgrade your membership and have your online ad included in an available local newspapers and telephone personal ad systems. We like the easy navigation and understandable member profile area that makes H2H Personals fun to use. Chat areas are busiest at night, so be prepared to login and hang out in the evenings. Free members can send ‘winks’ to other members as well as reply to mail messages including replying to instant messages and video messages. Become a full member to use all of the 5 features that include the telepersonals and local newspaper personal ad options and starting contact with other members. You can even have messages sent to your cell phone (SMS) when another member is trying to contact you. If you’re looking for a dating service that really helps you meet others, using all available features at H2H is the way to start.

WHAT YOU'LL FIND: Free to join and post a descriptive profile including picture, video and voice messages. Reply to all messages you receive. Your upgraded membership includes local options including telepersonals and local newspaper personal ads in available areas. Personal ads include straight and same sex profiles.

RELATED CATEGORIES: America - Canada - Free Services - Phone - Video - Wireless




iFriends WHAT THEY SAY: Why iFriends? Because a live picture -- with sound -- is worth more than a thousand words. And what's more fun than Live VideoChat?

WHAT WE FOUND: The iFriends webcam community offers free webcam voyeurism for any subject you can imagine, going well beyond the usual sex channels to offer one on one interactions in such subjects as Health and Wellness, Personal Finance, Car Maintenance and hundreds of other subjects. You can even become an iFriends chathost and offer your advice/expertise to other members. Membership is free and allows you access to chathost’s that do not charge for their webcam show, but a credit card is required if you want access to all areas (including adult areas) for age verification. No credit card for mainstream only area membership provided the chathost does not charge for admission. Whichever membership you select, the video archives of previous shows are free, when available. You pay no fees unless you expressly enter a room that charges for admission, mostly adult rooms. More than 3 million members and an opportunity to earn money as a chathost of your own chat show.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Free membership, hundreds of subjects and chathosts. Paid memberships for adult areas and some video chat rooms.




CupidCams WHAT THEY SAY: Post your unique profile and photos completely free. Browse the profiles of thousands of singles for free. Video chat live with your favorite singles. Get to know them before you meet them!

WHAT WE FOUND: CupidCams is the online place to start meeting face to face before you start dating. We really like the ease of use the service has, the fun features that include an easy to complete profile, local searches and video chat possibilities with every member. You’ll need a webcam and microphone to participate fully, signup is free and includes a free trial membership so you can try out CupidCams. We like the one on one chat’s that are available, being able to search for matches and setup future webcam chat sessions with other members using the easy messaging feature.

WHAT YOU'LL FIND: Different categories for meeting friends and looking for dates help to make CupidCams a fun place to login. Straight and same sex profiles available.

CHANGES WE'D LIKE TO SEE: (Suggested July 2004) A tour that allows for a preview of the features, for now you have to sign up and use the free trial offer.

RELATED CATEGORIES: America - Canada - International - Chat - Video Dating




DateCam WHAT THEY SAY: Don’t just meet your match. See them too. This premier online dating site offers the ability to connect with other site members via live video by means of special interest and lifestyle channels. DateCam's website allows users to seek out and meet potential matches in a casual environment with the benefit of real-time live video and chat.

WHAT WE FOUND: DateCam is a very unique online dating service. Never before have we reviewed an online service that has minimum computer requirements that you have to meet before you can join. But here it is: Internet Explorer or Netscape versions 4+; 400 mhz; 64 megs RAM; Flash Player 6. You’ll also want to have a web camera and a microphone hooked up. You will be using the chat and live video features quite a bit, either in one of the many chat rooms, or while watching/broadcasting video streams of other members and the minimum requirements are suggestions to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone involved. (No one wants your computer locking up, do they?) Begin your visit by signing up for the free trial, since you really can’t do much more that check out a random cam or look at the newest members (Fresh Faces) and checking that you have the correct version of Flash Player installed (it’s a free viewing program that will install automatically if you don’t have it yet). Free membership allows you to post your profile, text and video, and join in at the chat rooms as well as broadcast live video to other members. If you want to have private video rooms, private chats or send and reply to messages, you’ll need to become a premium member. You need to have a webcam to make the most of DateCam, and since you have a camera (or can get one here) your profile requires you to also include a picture of yourself. Up to 8 pictures and one 30 second video can be included in your profile and you will have many questions to answer about yourself that will allow others to effectively search for you and get to know you by what information you have revealed. They will also be able to view your profile through links in the chat rooms, so be sure that you do complete the profile questions. Through the use of Flash MX, you are very easily broadcasting to any of the general chat rooms (we were broadcasting and chatting within 5 seconds of entering one of the chat rooms), the drawback here is that chatting is typing chats, audio is not yet available due to bandwidth concerns. As a paid premium member you will have 15 hours per month of video watching time to allow you to meet other members and view their posted video profile. Features include plenty of chat rooms that include video streams and hosted (moderated) chat themes on a regular basis, E-Notes (how you communicate with other members), DateMail (how you receive messages), your DateBook (where you can keep notes on other members, who’s profile you’ve visited, who has visited yours, etc.). People that have high speed internet connections will find this service easy to use, although with the use of Flash MX anyone using at least a 56K modem should have no problems getting full use of the DateCam service.

WHAT YOU'LL FIND: Free to join, post your profile with picture and video, and join the live chats. Become a premium member to send and reply to messages and watch other member’s video profiles. Straight and same sex personal ads available.

RELATED CATEGORIES: America - International - Chat - Free Trial




Match
In-depth Review
WHAT THEY SAY: With over 10 years of experience in online dating and relationships, Match.com is the worldwide leader in online dating and relationships. Where else can you find millions of singles looking for love, just like you? We don't offer just online personals, we are personal in our offerings - to help you find a date, a relationship, a marriage. Join now for your 3 day full access free trial.

WHAT WE FOUND: Match.com has become one of the 'must join' online dating destinations. Your visit begin with an invite to post your profile, add a picture or two, upload a video and even browse the personals from your wireless phone. There is a free trial, credit card required, that gives you 3 days full access. Take advantage of the offer and you'll be sending messages to other members almost immediately. We found one of the most comprehensive questionnaires for the members ever right here. If you are a "serious single" this is the place for you. Even a quick search will reveal to you plenty of single men and women in your area, events (when listed) and a great on-site singles magazine "MatchScene". Realistic advice by Coco and Ron is always fun and informative to read. There is a really good reason why this is a top service for Internet Dating, it's because of Match.com's success rate in bringing people together, higher than most other services. Start with placing your own personal ad online and be sure to complete all areas of the profile questionnaire. Membership required to reply to messages. The wireless service, Match Mobile, provides dating and matching for AT&T Wireless customers via their mobile phones. Special features include a free guide “How to meet your match in 90 days” and “Who’s looked at you” option for subscribers that let’s you see who’s seen your profile and exclusive “Dr. Phil’s MindFindBind” insights and strategies presented in online videos and workbook activities for finding and maintaining the relationships that mean the most to you.

WHAT YOU'LL FIND: 3 day full access free trial. Picture ads, advice columns and help, e-mail ad match service, free E-zine, this is a serious singles and a causal dating, dating service. Available in 18 languages, straight and same sex personals.

RELATED CATEGORIES: America - Canada - International - Biggest - Free Trial




Great Expectations WHAT THEY SAY: Great Expectations members are intelligent, attractive professionals in search of meaningful relationships. And unlike many on-line dating services, Great Expectations members are pre-screened and qualified, so you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable dating experience. For almost three decades, Great Expectations has helped thousands of singles all over the country meet that someone special and they'd like to help you find that relationship too.

WHAT WE FOUND: Great Expectations Merges the online and offline dating worlds into a very successful place to begin your serious search for a compatible girlfriend or boyfriend, future husband or wife. The website offers you a starting point for becoming a member. Complete the free profile review and you'll soon be contacted and have an appointment with a professional at Great Expectations to discuss your options for meeting other eligible and compatible singles. The face-to-face approach will help you really understand your needs in a relationship and offers full profile selection of professional members that have been pre-screened for compatibility to you.

WHAT YOU'LL FIND: Complete the Great Expectations online confidential profile and you'll soon be contacted to discuss your matchmaking options. Once you become a member you'll provide a more complete profile, have at least one interview with a relationship counselor and make a video recording profile. Currently available in the USA only, in these cities: Atlanta GA, Baltimore MD, Birmingham AL, Boston MA, Cherry Hill NJ, Chicago IL, Chicago Suburbs IL, Cincinnati OH, Cleveland OH, Columbus OH, Dallas TX, DC VA, Denver CO, Detroit MI, Englewood NJ, Fort Myers FL, Ft Worth TX, Ft. Laud/Palm Beach FL, Grand Rapids MI, Hartford CT, Houston TX, Indianapolis IN, Irvine CA, Jacksonville FL, Kansas City KS, Las Vegas NV, Long Island NY, Los Angeles CA, Manhattan NY, Miami FL, Milwaukee WI, Minneapolis MN, Nashville TN, Omaha NE, Orlando FL, Palo Alto CA, Philadelphia PA, Phoenix AZ, Pittsburgh PA, Portland OR, Providence RI, Richmond VA, Sacramento CA, San Diego CA, San Francisco CA, Sarasota FL, Seattle WA, St. Louis MO, Stamford CT, Stuart/Treasure Coast FL, Tampa FL, Upland CA, Virginia Beach VA, Walnut Creek CA, Wichita KS. Visit the website to see any new areas that Great Expectations has opened a new office.

CHANGES WE'D LIKE TO SEE: (Suggested August 2004) More information about the online component that is available to members.

RELATED CATEGORIES: America - Professionals - Straight - Video Dating




Lemontonic WHAT THEY SAY: Ready for a fresh approach to online dating? Powered by Microsoft® Instant Messenger, lemontonic is the most realistic, exciting and enjoyable way to meet new people online! Lemontonic is revolutionizing online dating by making it completely free. Communicate, exchange ideas and share information freely with hundreds of thousands of other members right now, without ever having to pay. With Lemontonic you can build meaningful relationships with real people online for FREE right away!

WHAT WE FOUND: Lemontonic is a dating service who's time has finally arrived. Using technology to the advantage of the single person, you'll love the integrated features this service offers. Built using Microsoft's Passport and Instant Messenger technology as the ground floor, Lemontonic brings together the best of the online world's fun activities using video, audio, webcam chat tied with an impressive match technology and a layout that allows you full control over who contacts you. We are very impressed with the way the service is designed. Once you are a member, which takes a Passport sign-in (info) and the latest Microsoft Instant Messenger (info), you must complete the profile and optionally, add pictures, video messages and audio messages. When you are contacting someone, you can send them a text message, and after contact has been agreed on, you can send audio and video messages. You will be notified of matches to your profile using your selected choices as the match criteria. Searches are fast and can be set for an area around your zip/postal code (for American and Canadian members). Using IM technology helps to keep the file sizes of audio and video messages low so there is rarely any slowness of the system or bandwidth issues even for members on a dialup connection. The outstanding feature of this service is that as long as your Microsoft Instant Messenger is running, you are able to be contacted by another member of Lemontonic that you have previously agreed to contact you. We suggest you edit the information on your IM so that you don't reveal any personal information or alternatively, signing up for a second Passport and Instant Messenger sign in to be used with Lemontonic.

WHAT YOU'LL FIND: Free to join, post your profile, add pictures and video and audio messages. Effective December 12 2005 all memberships are free including full use of the service. No limitations. No fees, no credit cards needed to join. 100% free. Unknown at this time how long the offer will last, but it should be a long time, the service tells us 'never'! Straight and same sex personals available.

RELATED CATEGORIES: America - Canada - International - Chat - Video - Free Services




AmorMatch WHAT THEY SAY: Amormatch offers the highest quality online dating, matchmaking and personal ads services. Post your own free photo & Video profile, free live chat, free instant messaging and much more!

WHAT WE FOUND: Amormatch offers a great way to date online. We like the easy signup, the profile form is quite complete and the navigation is very easy to use, you’ll never get lost or confused about how to get to a feature at this site. When you sign up as a free member you can add photos to your profile, add a video message using your webcam, have use of Instant Messaging between members that are online and join in or open chat rooms to talk with other members. Contact between members requires contact tokens or a subscription membership to be purchased at very reasonable rates. We like the easy to find navigation links, the fast search feature and the match system works well in the test searches we conducted. There are lots of members in many locations so you’ll have fun here introducing yourself to other members.

WHAT YOU'LL FIND: Plenty of free features including Instant Messaging, chat rooms, browsing and searching the profiles and an email notification service that lets you know of matches to your profile as new members sign up. Full and private contact between members requires contact tokens or subscription membership to be purchased.

CHANGES WE'D LIKE TO SEE: (Suggested August 2004) The Who’s Online feature requires you to search for a male or female within an age range and area to see if anyone is online, we’d like to see a link that shows all members that are currently logged inl. The sidebar text should be usable links. The top navigation graphic spelling error should be corrected.

RELATED CATEGORIES: International - Video Dating




LetsMeetUp WHAT THEY SAY: Join LetsMeetUp to meet singles for flirting and dating online! Use the latest video streaming technology to watch video profiles of other members and record your own profile instantly using a web cam. LetsMeetUp is the first matchmaking service of its kind, with fantastic competitions and features in The Lounge.

WHAT WE FOUND: LetsMeetUp is an online video community that is great for people that own a webcam and want to meet other singles through video profiles and for people that want to see more than just a picture. Currently LetsMeetUp is free to join, post your profile and contact other members, so join now because soon it will be changed to a paid membership. (No date is available for this change.) The profile form is basic and will only take a minute to complete, the real fun here is the video profiles that are available. Be sure you have a webcam ready to place your own video ad or join the competitions to win one. Creating your video profile is easy but does require a software download (automatically installed, don’t worry about being a technical person). “The Lounge” is an online magazine that has plenty of fun articles, advice, contests and things to do. Searches are fast and browsing the profiles is easy to do and quick to find the type of profiles you’re interested in. They really made a site worth hanging out at when they decided on the features to be made available at LetsMeetUp. (Note: Internet Explorer is required to access the features of this service, other browsers are not currently supported.)

WHAT YOU'LL FIND: Currently free to join (may change soon to paid memberships), post your profile and contact other members. Chat room and online magazine. Be sure to have a webcam ready to create your video profile.

RELATED CATEGORIES: Britain - Canada - Free Dating - Video Dating

REGULAR SERVICES


LIvVe.com WHAT THEY SAY: Welcome to the future of Internet communication and entertainment. At LIvVE.com, people from all corners of the world meet online, but not in the usual fashion. Through LIvVE's audio and video features, you can actually SEE and HEAR the people you are communicating with. Experience the fun and excitement of Internet technology's next step today!

WHAT WE FOUND: Begin by joining for the free trial and installing the free download of LIvVe's software and you are ready for the regular text chat as well as voice and video chat, instant buddy list messaging, exchanging files with other members and a lot more. LIvVe bills itself as an exclusive interactive community and it really is. Most areas are rated suitable for general audiences but some areas do allow adult images and language. Be sure to check out the events guide and find chat rooms to join that have common themes, contests, music events and more.

SPECIAL FEATURES: 30 day free trial. Download of software required. Regularly interactive events posted. Credit card required for verification of age. Please read the terms of use for this service carefully and enjoy yourself.




Video Date USA WHAT THEY SAY: This is the web site where you can view video personal ads of men and women who are looking to meet someone for dating, romance, and a lasting relationship. Video Date USA features "Video Streaming" Personal Ads". You can click on video personal ads and immediately see and hear what that person is all about for dating! (There is no waiting time) We welcome everyone to enter their FREE personal ad online, so the available selections will grow and offer the most dating variety on the net! Improve your dating odds, send a video or photo for your personal ad by e-mail. All areas of this Personal Ad site are FREE to view, so click on the buttons below and have fun dating!

WHAT WE FOUND: This is the site that will work well with all your computer has to offer. Should not be missed.

WHAT YOU'LL FIND: Free personal ads, can include picture and video, chat room, meet a celebrity, this is a featured WebTV site, paid members can respond to ads.

RELATED CATEGORIES: North America




Yahoo Personals WHAT THEY SAY: Yahoo! Personals gives Yahoo! users a way to find and interact with other people who may share their interests and goals. Just like a real community, different people may have different opinions and personalities in Yahoo! Personals

WHAT WE FOUND: The Yahoo Personals service is only for people that live in America or Canada (currently) although we do expect international versions to come out soon. To post an ad you’ll need to be a Yahoo member so you’ll be prompted to do that first before you join to post your profile. There are 7 steps to posting your profile but they don’t take very long to complete. Begin with the type of ad you want to post, or not post. What this means is that you can keep your profile private so it is not included in the general search results, but if you answer an ad that person can read it. Next give yourself a name for your ad. We recommend that you do not use your Yahoo username, but use something else for your ad. This will keep your privacy intact in that people won’t be able to easily guess your Yahoo email address. The next steps will allow you to post information about yourself, about the type of person you are looking for and the type of relationship you are interested in beginning as well as upload pictures and become a subscribing member. Posting your profile is free but to be able to send and reply to messages you must be a subscribed member. Once your profile is approved, this takes about 24 hours, you can also add a voice message and a video message to your profile. The search system is fast and easily customizable using zip codes, city names and “Importance Levels”, so you can narrow down your search and find the singles that you really want to meet. You can also “Be a matchmaker” and search for a match for a friend. The friend will then have to become a member, but it’s a start to not being single anymore. The “Mutual Match” system allows you to easily be matched with people that have the same likes and dislikes as you and will automatically alert you so you can send them a message (once you’re subscribed to send messages). And don’t forget about the Yahoo Instant Messenger chat program: once you have subscribed you can instantly chat with other subscribed members when they are showing as being online. With Yahoo being one of the largest web destinations, you should become a member to see all of the profiles of people that are in your area. You’ll be surprised there are so many singles so close to where you live.

WHAT YOU'LL FIND: You’ll need to be a member of Yahoo to join and it’s free to post your profile. Add voice and video messages to your profile. Chat using Yahoo IM. Add up to 5 pictures with your profile. Become a subscribing member to send and reply to messages. Straight and same sex personals available.

RELATED CATEGORIES: America - Canada - Free Services

See what else Match.com Lies

See what else Match.com has to offer:

The game is an online interactive game, so once he engages in projects with his team-mates, he is stuck playing for hours. Sometimes he doesn't even take a break to sit and have dinner with me. Bottom line, I am a new live-in girlfriend, and I never imagined domestic life to be like this right in the beginning! He doesn't pay attention to me anymore. I tried talking to him about it; I tried arguing with him about it. Nothing seems to work. Every day I am getting angrier. I don't know what to do anymore. Can you help?
-Tired of Playing Games

Dear Tired of Playing Games,
Though I am more a member of the Space Invaders generation, I know how impossible it can seem to step away from those games. And, I mean, Space Invaders kind of stank, but I still couldn’t tear myself away. So I can only imagine how absorbing and engrossing a multi-player interactive game would be. It’s like, “No, I can’t come home for dinner, I’m in Norrath!”

That said, this situation absolutely cannot go on. Given his predilection, it’s unclear, honestly, why he wanted you to move in in the first place. Or maybe it went this way: When you moved in, the commitment freaked him out. Result: He escapes into EverQuest. Whatever the case, it’s clear that — right now, anyway — he’s better at bonding with avatars than with actual humans.

I know you’ve already talked — and argued — with him, but let’s give it one more shot. I think you need to look him the eye and ask him to explain, calmly but firmly, exactly what part of this arrangement seems OK to him. (He’ll probably say, in effect, “The part where I get to play my video game all night while someone else does the cooking”—so be it. You’re making a rhetorical point here.)

Then tell him what you need. Such as: “Can the two of us agree on some sort of flexible yet binding schedule, as in, you’ve got your game on Monday and Wednesday, but your girlfriend — or hello, your friends, family, other hobbies? — on the other days?” See what happens. If he’s at all amenable, that’s good, but he should still know he’s on probation. And even if he does quit the game — or play significantly less — you’ll still have some issues to deal with, such as, “What was he thinking?!” You’ll have to be the judge as to whether, even without gaming, he’s ready to handle a real relationship.

I have to admit, from what you’ve told me — and from the fact that he has been honing his virtual sword-fighting rather than his relationship skills — I’m guessing you won’t get far. And that suggests to me that this — his “addiction,” his need to escape, his frankly asocial behavior — is a bigger problem than you alone can solve with schedules or ultimatums. So don’t blame yourself if you can’t “make” him change. Instead, start packing. There’s a guy out there who, when he flies off to faraway places, will take you with him.

TheDateZone.com

Queen's University researchers have discovered that seeking out the most attractive mate may be unhealthy for any offspring.

TheDateZone.com
Queen's biologist, Adam Chippindale has discovered that seeking out the most attractive mate may be unhealthy for your offspring. (Credit: Stephen Wild, Queen's Gazette)Ads by Google Advertise on this site

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Using a "virtual fruit fly dating game", Biology professor Adam Chippindale and graduate student Alison Pischedda have found that mating with a "fit" partner actually leads to dramatically lower rates of reproductive success in the next generation.

The research also raises questions about how masculine and feminine traits may be expressed through genes.

The findings, published in the November edition of PLoS Biology, suggest quite a twist on evolutionary thinking: On average, the lowest quality couple produced the best offspring while the highest quality pair produced the worst offspring.

The Queen's research team measured the inheritance of "fitness" (quality and number of offspring) using samples of low-and-high-fitness males and a separate set of low-and-high-fitness females to uncover what occurs as a result of sexual selection, the Darwinian process by which organisms compete for, and choose, their mates. In some traditional models, sexual selection is the search to provide offspring with 'good genes' to increase their reproductive success.

But Chippindale's group suspected that things were not so simple, at least in their flies. If sexually antagonistic genes, or genes that benefit one sex while harming the other, are prevalent then "...females who seek out high-fitness males will find that they produce high quality sons, but this will have detrimental effects on their daughters," says Dr. Chippindale, a Canada Research Chair in evolutionary genetics.

The researchers findings supports the notion that sexually antagonistic genes exert powerful effects and mostly inhabit the X chromosome, which only females pass onto sons. So when females choose successful mates they will see no benefits to sons and will only incur the cost of less-fit daughters, says Dr. Chippindale. "Sexually antagonistic genes, may be harmful or compromise fitness by reducing fertility of the opposite sex."

Dr. Chippindale suggests that this phenomenon may operate in far more organisms than the fruit fly. "If there are genes which have effects that feminize or masculinize each individual, then the expression of a wide variety of such genes will produce a continuum of gender. People wonder why there is so much gender identity diversity in the human populations -- this kind of mechanism may help us get a handle on that."

Video dating Is the real thing

TheDateZone.com
Video dating is the high-tech, mod way of dating via the Internet. Just as it sounds, video dating involves dating another person primarily through the use of vide. There are two distinct ways of video dating: real-time and time-delayed. Through the use of real-time video dating mechanisms, individuals are allowed to interact via the Internet in the same time that they would interact in person.

Using real-time technology, individuals can see one another and respond as if they were face to face. However, time-delay technology involves sending videos to one another via the Internet (and sometimes the mail.) These videos cannot elicit an immediate response. And it does not stimulate a real-time conversation.

If you are interested or already involved in video dating, here are some tips to help make your videos more appealing and fun for your partner. After all, creativity is one of the most effective methods of showing your partner that you value your relationship and are interested in going out of your way to amuse. Here are some tips to help you improve the quality and creativity of your video:

1. Use good lighting. Lighting is an essential element towards creating a high quality and aesthetically appealing video. In fact, lighting is so important that entire departments are dedicated towards assuring that lighting is good when big-budget silver-screen movies are made. In general, follow a three-point lighting scheme. Place one light on either side of you and one light behind you, but out of the camera screen. The side lights will help to illuminate you from the front while the back-light, when placed low on the ground, will help to accentuate your outline. Lighting is essential for assuring that you are able to be seen and that you come across as aesthetically-pleasing as possible.

2. Use good sound. There is nothing worse that making a high-quality video, but having poor sound. If you have bad sounds and are not able to get your message across because of it, your viewer will feel as if it is more of a struggle to watch your video than a pleasure. Even if you do not have high-end recording equipment, it is important that you speak loudly enough so that your viewer does not have to strain to hear you. The clearer your sound, the better the overall reaction to your video.

3. Move around. While it may seem appealing in the beginning to sit in front of a camera and talk, the days of the talking heads have long since disappeared. In fact, even the most “dry” and straightforward newscasts have frequent clips and jumps that break up the talking head. Instead of placing yourself in front of the camera, take the camera with you to different rooms of your house. Change the orientation of the camera so that you are recorded from different angles and experiment with being in front of and behind the camera. The more you are able to move around and show off various aspects of your personality, the more insight and interest you will convey to your viewer.

Video dating is fun and allows for a great deal of creativity. Keep in mind that varying your shots and your text is an essential element in creating a video that you dater will actually want to watch. Spend some time trying different angles and “scripts” before settling on just one. After all, especially if this is not a real-time video, you have time to make your presentation well rehearsed, thought-out and high quality. Get out there and have some fun!
Paul Geannopulos.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Online Video dating is becoming more and more popular these days. More singles are logging on, building profiles and finding dates through the Internet than ever before. Video conferencing is just one of the many growing additions to the world of online matchmaking. Conferencing consultants can assist with the development of your own video conferencing system if you are interested in becoming involved in the world of online video conferencing matchmaking.

No matter who you are it is easy to see the advantages of video conferencing for online matchmaking. Whether you are seeking to build your own matchmaking business or just want to know how to get in on the video conferencing revolution video conferencing consultants can help you. Conferencing consultants are educated, skilled individuals who know what they are doing when it comes to the world of video conferencing. No wonder video conferencing consultants are such sought after individuals these days.

Two specific benefits videoconferencing technology provides you the ability to connect directly with potential online matches in real time both through audio and visual means. One - videoconferencing provides participants a sharper focus and gives the discussion much greater impact. Two - the use of this technology accelerates the establishment of confidence and trust between potential matches.

But the truth is you won't need to hire expert conferencing consultants but you still won't have to worry about the details. Many online matchmaking companies offer great and easy to use software developed by their own conferencing consultants so you can get in on the fun quickly and easily.

If you are thinking about joining up with a system online that utilizes videoconferencing for their online dating services, you might be interested to learn just what sort of processes go through in developing these systems. Here are four critical skills that the conferencing consultants are able to provide when working for an online matchmaking company:

Highly competent video conferencing consultants must at the minimum possess 5 years extensive experiences in audio visual, videoconferencing, and networking, customizing these designs, implementing, configuring networks, software engineering, and physical construction. In practical terms, this just means that your conferencing consultants can create a plan in deploying video conferencing facilities in your company headquarters and the homes of your key personnel as needed.

Highly competent conferencing consultants have the ability to create customer specific applications using your company's available network resources. They should have the ability to determine what are the appropriate installations and configurations for your company considering such issues as ISDN, IP protocols, gateways, DNS or firewall ports options.

Highly competent video conferencing consultants have the ability to create a customized set of training programs tailored to your staff's needs. All with the aim of making them knowledgeable and comfortable in using these technologies.

Finally, your conferencing consultants should have the ability to install and fully test the systems so that the organization can immediately begin to receive the benefits of video conferencing. That is a whole lot of work going on in order to find the best videoconferencing consultants available! These companies only hire the best of the best, that is for sure.

That means you won't have anything to worry about when you first sign on to an online dating service that utilizes the newest in video conferencing technologies. The trend of the utilization of data, voice and video technologies is changing the way today's singles communicate to each other.

It has quickly been realized that being able to talk to people you meet online in real time is a great way to get to know each other before heading out on the all important first date. When you get to that point you won't need video conferencing consultants: it is all up to you.
Paul Geannopulos.

One of the most important steps to safer dating is preparation: Being excited and optimistic about your first date is a good thing — but you're not being a cynic if you take steps to protect yourself. We've put together a checklist of items you should always have with you on a first date.

In your purse

If you have a cell phone it could be your No. 1 item to rely on. Be sure
to program in both the number of a taxi company serving the area and
a friend who you know will be at home (preferably the same friend
to whom you gave the name and number of your date). On most cell phones, you can dial 911 even if your keypad is locked. Make sure your battery is fully charged and carry a charger in your car. If you don't have a cell phone, take a calling card or change for a pay phone and be sure to carry a list of emergency phone numbers with you.
If the date takes an uncomfortable turn and you are concerned about your safety, never leave in your own car. You want to make sure your date doesn't follow you home or track you down through your plate numbers. Always carry extra cash in your wallet for cab fare or have a friend on stand-by to come get you.
Carrying a pack of gum or mints can be very handy on a first date. People tend to busy themselves when they are nervous, and if you have a drink in your hand, this can mean drinking more than you should. If you feel yourself nervously lifting your glass to your mouth, have a mint or piece of gum to occupy yourself.
In your car

If you are traveling to an area you are not fully familiar with, be sure to carry a city map in your car.
Carry your insurance's roadside assistance card in your glove box as well. This card should include both the number to call for assistance and your policy number. Don't hesitate to call, even if you think the problem is small.
As always, if you are traveling at night, be sure to have a flashlight.
Remember that the safest first date is a virtual date in a TRUE private chat room. Once you feel comfortable enough to meet in public, being prepared leaves you more relaxed and able to enjoy yourself. Stay alert, positive and smiling, and have a great date!

Have questions about safer dating? Our security expert, Paul Geannopulos, is happy to answer. Send him your question >> Paul Geannopulos.
if you suspect that a member is not complying with the member code of ethics or if you have other security concerns or questions. To find out more about what TRUE is doing to make online dating safer, visit TheDateZone.com.