New Dating Website, TurtleDate.com, Targets People Fed Up With Dating Websites

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Announcing TurtleDate.com, a dating website for people discouraged by dubious dating website practices and disillusioned with the online dating game.

During the long, cold winter of 2004, Lynne Perry decided to take the plunge into the world of web dating. She quickly noticed two things:

1) Sites frequented by people she'd want to meet often engaged in shady bait-and-switch business tactics -- hiding limitations on trial accounts, limiting contact to only paid members, and so on -- all targeted at "up-selling" customers to progressively higher-priced membership levels.

2) Sites with up-front subscription models and honest policies tended to be geared toward younger or image-conscious crowds, or those more interested in libidinous trash-talk than in making real connections.

What started as a quest for companionship quickly became a business plan: What if she combined the best of both worlds? She was convinced honesty could sell. (Why not? It could sell to her.)

Targeting Real People

Perry determined that TurtleDate would never target a "lifestyle demographic" just to make money from rapid romantic turnovers. Instead, the goal would always be to give people the tools to make real connections and have fun, without a lot of "attitude" or high-risk behavior. With that in mind, Perry drew on friends who helped fund web hosting and software license fees, and they defined content policies that should give people freedom of expression without offending other members or making them uncomfortable. From friends and friends of friends -- the same kind of people they wanted to help -- a cadre of eager assistants and beta-testers was recruited, and Perry and her partners were off and running.

Dubious Practices

Many dating websites engage in some dubious practices, but TurtleDate seeks to move beyond the bait-and-switch tactics and offer a square deal, with clear terms.

  • While most dating websites allow anyone to join for free, many require you to have a paid membership before you can reply to people who contact you. Few make this known up front.

TurtleDate.com will always allow a non-paying member to reply to a paying member.

  • The "free trial" on many dating websites is missing some features, such as two-way contact.

TurtleDate.com's standard full 3-day trial allows you to try any feature available to paying members.

  • Most dating websites require a membership committment, and automatically renew without your permission.

TurtleDate.com offers term subscriptions that simply expire (unless deliberately renewed by the customer), and a "token"-based system where you buy a number of "tokens" to initiate contacts and they only expire when you close your account.

  • Many dating websites are loaded with heavy banner-ads that distract and slow you down.

TurtleDate has no ads -- it draws all of its revenue from membership fees.

Building Community

To ensure a strong community of members, TurtleDate.com will start with a focus on the Rochester New York region, and expand organically from there. And since strong relationships often develop from community interaction, TurtleDate plans to incorporate community-focused features. Some of the features under consideration include:

  • "Real Life" meet-ups.
  • On-line bulletin boards or discussion groups.
  • Email newsletters.
  • Community event calendars or bookmark lists.
  • Member polls.

About TurtleDate.com

To join TurtleDate, or for more information, go to http://TurtleDate.com. "TurtleDate" is copyright 2004 Lynne Perry; all rights reserved.

About Lynsys Software Services

LynSys Software Services, established 1986, is a DBA of Lynne Perry. LynSys provides database and web-application consulting services, especially in and around Rochester NY.

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Lynne Perry
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