Online Dating Draws Inspiration From Online Auctions

Online Dating Draws Inspiration From Online Auctions
Bob Preston
CYBERSPACE — New eBay-style ratings and feedback on a mainstream dating site point toward a possible future trajectory for online dating in the adult industry as well.

DowntoEarth.com offers free dating services to singles everywhere, with all of the usual bells and whistles: profiles, private messaging and other features.

But the site's most notable innovation is a rating system that the site-runners are calling RealRatings. A longtime complaint of online dating sites center around the difficulty of confirming what someone actually looks like.

Tech analyst Mark Brooks of the blog Online Personals Watch tried out this new rating system and liked it.

"Users who post inaccurate photographs and profiles of themselves are ratted out by other users who have been on a date with them," he said. "Users can grade the accuracy of profiles on a scale of 1 star to 5 stars once they’ve been on a face to face date. 1 star means 'not even close' and 5 stars mean 'true to life.' Could this be the end of white lies on dating profiles?"

Online guru Brandon "Fight The Patent" has had some experience with online dating sites in the past, and he suggested that such safeguards may come in handy for mainstream and adult dating sites for a different reason.

"Dating sites are under fire on the underage angle, so they are starting to put in more measures to verify age," he told XBIZ. He later added, "All [dating sites] have problems with underage people being on there, but I'm not sure how big of an issue it really is. There are always those 16-17-year-old girls who want to date older men, but I don't think it's rampant."

For more information, visit DownToEarth.com.

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