Dating sites will do anything to attract new customers, promising true love, infinite happiness, and walls filled with fewer cat pictures.
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(It’s always a good sign when your nominal competitors are setting up profiles on your site to “check it out.”) While Nerve Dating costs $20 a month, users can respond to messages they receive for free, unlike many other sites.
The idea here is to encourage people to interact with each other, to socialize, and reach out, but initial messages are kept to a Twitter-length 141 characters, with the idea being that this takes the pressure off and is a little more casual.
(Neve Dating costs $20 a month.) And to that point, Nerve has made it their mission to monitor activity on the site, and the team keeps a close eye on suspicious activity, flagging users for abnormal behavior, and booting them if necessary.
In fact, Nerve recently flagged a user for setting up what looked to be a fake profile, and when they contacted the owner, they found that the profile was created by none other than Ok Cupid Co-founder Chris Coyne.
Today, the team is launching Nerve Dating in San Francisco, with plans to continue rolling out across the U. The main thrust of Nerve’s bi-costal dating service is to create a platform that “celebrates individual voices,” without the taxonomy inherent to dating websites that tends to lump people into categories so that matching technology can do the heavy lifting.
As Mills tells us, the challenge facing the users of online dating sites is not so much in figuring out whether you like someone (people are already pretty good at doing that on their own), but simply in starting the conversation.
The site also has a “Notice Him/Her” function, which is akin to “poking” someone on Facebook, a nonverbal expression of interest.
Building a profile on dating sites can be excruciating, and this is designed to make that process easier, as few people enjoy creating their own personal statements for dating websites. When I asked Mills if the team had plans to establish Facebook connect or allow users to pull in their other social profiles, he said that, interestingly, dating sites that implement Facebook Connect have seen a 50 percent drop in signups.
In 1997, Rufus Griscom and Genevieve Field launched a website and e Mag dedicated to sex, relationships, and culture called Nerve.
After spending eight years as president of everyone’s favorite satirical news source, The Onion, Sean Mills took over as the chief exec at Nerve, looking to bring the same brand loyalty and affinity people had for The Onion to Nerve’s community of sex-addicted readers.
Nerve also has a “Last Night” feature, which Mills says is a bit like a checkin, in that users are encouraged to write what they did the night before.