Scoop 4: Making Online Dating More Fun

Andrew Boon posted 5th of January 2011 in News. 19 comments.

How many dating sites do you think appear every day? Right, more than one. How many go beyond software installation and change of logo? Right, very few. Are there still opportunities in online dating? Should you look for even better dating software?


Well, to be honest software, per se, is only a tool. In hands of a creative craftsman it may shine... and often this craftsman can get away with even a basic (crappy) tool.


Opportunities are there, they always will be there, waiting for you, eager to fill your pockets. Markus Frind (plentyoffish) didn't think that FriendFinder and Match were an indestructible monopoly.  Sam Yagan (okcupid) also looks quite happy despite their site's "late" entry. "Friendster > MySpace > Facebook > (your site?)" succession taught us a lesson of "there's no such thing as Internet monopoly" and "anyone can cook" (Chef Gusteau, Ratatoulle).


... but what it takes to make a dating site popular in 2011?

more than a good dating software, apparently. Feel free to post your ideas in comments, and I will start with mine - the next super-star online dating site has to be fun. We have seen dating sites that work well, sites that are free, and sites that are very niche. What we are yet to see is an online dating site that puts smile on members' faces every time they log-in. Dating, by definition, should be an enjoyable experience, light-hearted and relaxed. Do you imagine a real date without jokes, smiles and laughter? As saying goes "make a lady laugh and she's yours", and so - make your site visitors smile and they're yours.


Easier to say than do, huh?


For starters, make 30 jumps, stop bitching about software, free your mind, and quickly think of something creative, simple, easy to do, and most importantly something that is to bring a lot of fun for others!


Online Personals Watch posted an interesting interview with Sunil Nagaraj (datebuzz) where he shares some "fun" bits that they do. I love the idea of collective tracking of dating quests of individual members. A little bit of homebrew reality show right there.

Sunil Nagaraj, Founder Of DateBuzz, Making Online Dating More Fun?


Add life and fun to your dating site and you got a winner! Is it true for a social networking site? You bet!

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Hello Andrew :-)

IMHO there are still two main problems with Dolphin to build a dating site...
First is the separation by gender/sexuality. For example men hetero have to see/attain only women hetero profiles, men gay only other men gay profiles, etc...
The second is that there is still no email addresses filter. Such addresses, as well as other contact information like phone numbers, still can be posted in many places.

Photos management, that is a main and quite basic feature, has to be see more improved/simplified too both for admin and users. It will be much more simple to use if this could be some icons under each photo thumbnail to edit/delete/move it to another album...
Agree with MS,

I see Dolphin as a bare CMS

1.No social connectivity in the core...
No FB, No FB likes, No tweets... not even a simple inviter

2.Template pack
There is no choice for the members to choose default templates for their profiles

say, i have two websites
how do i promote my site1 content on site2
API? missing

4.Banner system
Very basic

5.Mobile site?

6.3rd party see more modules
There are tonnes of innovative products which suites few websites.
but theres no window to listen to what the majority of webmasters want

7.Mass Mail
Cant send to particular gender, membership level, city, No queue monitoring :(

basically im out of "fun ideas" when im worried overtime about the corefeatures itself :(

Hope some miracles happen in trident/D8

i think it is high time to think on API's since this is where any website or social networking site clicks as of now.

since you have such a vast talent out there who can utilise the api's and make a living out of it as well as promote and grow Dolphin like other softwares or CMS.

Andrew you have not answered to my earlier reply to one of my blog postings regarding the licensing system.... i would appreciate if you would answer.

If dolphin could work great with lighttpd that will be great.... Now facing a lot of problem on vps that running dolphin... I would suggest boonex to work from inside out... because doesn't really easy to run dolphin without a buggy :( .
Japan as a country is missing on the country list in dolphin...has anyone double checked this? why should Japan be omitted? More reason I backed out here
Japan is in my countries list... If you don't have Japan in your list, you can add it from your Admin Panel -> Settings -> Predefined Values -> Country
Thanks, Admin Panel -> Settings -> Predefined Values -> Country got JP was but it was there with a wrong country as _Jersey and Jersey was repeated and now I changed it to it worked...thanks
Dolphin is great and I have to agree with Michel.
- Michels vision on Gebder/ sexuality should be something the members can chose in their privacy settings! (Many of my lesbian members would love that cos they ask me so many times)
- Couple Profiles should be made different its somehow anoying the way it is right now
- Membership levels visibility should be possible to add to profile description
- Member should be able if they search for other members that when they view a profile that there see more is a link like at photos and videos to go back and fort that they can straight go to the next profile.

Of course we all have our own opinion about what we want and how it should be :-)

A dating sites survival is l surely a huge issue all around, startiong from marketing, to design, layout, easyness of the site, money, SEO and more. Most of all though the love a person puts within his project. I see my sites as my and my gf's hobby and its actually a expensive hobby.

I wish everyone the best and we are all winners if we keep on learning :-)
Extra privacy settings by Modzzz:
Membership Badge by Modzzz:

Both are free ;-)
Firstly l gotta say thank you dolphin l think this is a great concept and its a great oppotunity for the little man to get involved in something big

I use dolphin for my dating site and me also have to definately agree with micheal most of my members have the same complaint that why do they have to view men if they are just looking for women

the photo uploading this making a album is just not the best way to go most dating sites make it very simple but this method l am constantly having see more to repost a reply email with full instructions and thats only to members who can be bothered to go through the process l have almost been tempted to make it avatar only but then that eliminates the folder for the avatar also

it would be a very good idea to look at that for the next upgrade and make it an option.

l have to clearly also agree with diddy as this is also my project and in the last few months we have become very popular with over 4000s members and growing more each day it would be a dream come true to see even just the gender split so guys can only see women on the front page and women only guys thats is one major factor on most date sites
In the mean time if any has a program or a mod that may do the gender split please contact me l would very interested in purchasing it

l wish everyone a very successful new yeatr and all you webmasters lets hope this is your year

I would say the success of a dating site depends on these two components:

a. Findability
b. Coolability

Of course neither of those are real words, but you get the point.

No matter how cool a site is, if nobody finds it then it's a bit like having a really awesome 1 800 number. Not a lot of people are going to dial that number by accident. You may say that a really cool site will naturally go viral, but in my opinion it takes a lot of daily visitors to get that ball rolling.

Here's see more one thing I would really love to see: Interactive Games! I know this was discussed many times before, but I really think that this could massively increase the "fun" quotient.
First and foremost let me apologize to Michael Swiss for voting you down (accidently I promise) :)

MichelSwiss (Premium)• 5 hours ago
-1 points • Extra privacy settings by Modzzz:
Membership Badge by Modzzz:

Both are free ;-)

Secondly, Being that I ahve perused many a dating site I always (and I mean always) got to the one that brings the best functional search see more and makes it easy as well.

Without being able to do a search, say on age,gender,location,(basics for a search) then I would not spend a ton of time on this site, last thing I want to do is peruse other men- I dont care how "cute" they might be lol, its a she I'd be after and looking at them would be wasting the time I already dont have! (which is exactly why I would go to the site in the first place, to save time)
No problem for negative vote ;-) Hope that Modzzz's mods will be useful to you :-)
One thing is for certain; if you want a more sophisticated site than Dolphin, start building your own. I can't think of anything more complexed than Dolphin, and that is more likely the issue with Dolphin (if there is any). I realised that many of my members walks away not knowing why. So I ordered a little module at unregister.php, where my members has to answer a question of why they are leaving. It turns out, that one third are leaving because they feel Dolphin is too complicated to use. Seen see more from a dating site point of view, and in my opinion, Dolphin needs to focus more on interaction between people i.e. modules connecting people and make them interested in each other. Place the hand on your heart now... Why are you joining a dating site? Because you want to meet new people, maybe that special one you saw at the bus stop the other day. I am not saying that blogs, articles, store and so on are worthless to my users, it's just secondary. The primary goal is to enable people to interact together. This is where Dolphin needs to be tuned, if you ask me.

More focus on interaction between members, enhanced search possibility and even more focus on the payment part. I am not sure if you need games on your site, it depends, but what we all need is 10.000 members to start with. Then it would have been easier :-)
Andrew Boon
Spot on. We have now significantly re-evaluated our priorities and decided to step out of adding new features, for the sake it, and now prepare a major update that should simplify and streamline Dolphin interface, but more importantly, we work on a proper social interaction and engagement. Good times are coming, and you see it right.
Sorry! I forgot to say; the Couple part of Dolphin makes no sense. Say, X creates a profile for himself and his girlfriend. X gets a profile and X' girlfriend gets a profile named X(index 2). Tell me why? It really makes no sense and this fact only contributes to make it all more confusing. Couples only needs one profile, one login, but different avatars displayed next to each other. really, really annoying. If you ask me.
Andrew Boon
see moreThis has always been an arguable subject. Some believe that a couples should be treated as one individual, while others suggest that if couple ever breaks up or for whatever reason one of them wants/needs to confine some of their data from another one - we need separate profiles, linked together as a couple (sort of like Facebook's "married to", but with ability to browse linked pairs). I, for one, favour the latter variant, for it's more universal and can be adapted for more situations.

In 2011 life has become fast and people cant waste time . . . In waiting for the pages/flash apps to load. . . . . And thats the main draw back here. . . . . . . The dolphin GUI is quite complex and it dont use the latest programing languages secondly the flash apps loads late and some times get stucked. . . They should be replaced quickly by HTML5 as you stated in your post we can't wait a year . .for that. . . . . . I know that needs the whole dolphin to get recoded . . But i would suggest see more to modify dolphin in chunks . . . . . .dont try to display the dolphin. . . On HTML5/java/silverlight etc. . At once as it would consume time. . . . .develop the dolphin in chunks . . . Better start with the community chat in flash apps and homepage in pages.
I use another off the shelf script for a single gender dating site. The script does not have as many features as dolphin but it has what I call 'stable' features that earn me money (approx $3000 a month) = and those are a) spot on location search (POSTCODE/ZIP/RADIUS) and c) upgrades to see adult moderated content added to the site. Sites need to make their creators money, hard money, and also keep on the right side of the law (moderating content which can be used as a tool to earn money)
Below is the legacy version of the Boonex site, maintained for Dolphin.Pro 7.x support.
The new Dolphin solution is powered by UNA Community Management System.