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Posts Tagged ‘Online dating’

Why ‘The Grade’ App Gets an ‘A’ in PR

the grade 2Remember when online dating was so taboo that bringing it up was akin to playing the theme to The Exorcist on a dark, windy night?

I should know. In 1999, I met my bride…online.

Think about that: before the turn of the century, when most of America thought computers were going to explode and the Great Lakes were going to turn into blood, spit, and venom.

There was no clutter in the dating market — no Tinder, Match, Chemistry, OkCupid (today, they’re all owned by the same company, IAC). Back then, it was just apprehension and fear of the unknown. Today, it’s much of the same because dating online is yesterday’s news.

Until “The Grade” showed up to class, using PR to knock out the competition.

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Match.com Mismatches Porn Star’s Image and Fake Profile

Melissa MidwestMeet Melissa Midwest

You guessed it. “Midwest” is not her surname; it’s a tribute to her obsession with geography. You see, Melissa Midwest neé Harrington is an aspiring film star, producer and model in porn.

And if you are single and looking to mingle, she may look familiar—by which I mean that her face has been all over dating website Match.com.

She didn’t authorize the use of her (clothed) image, so she recently joined a class-action lawsuit seeking $4.5 billion from Match.com.

In the suit, Harrington says that Match.com is “intentionally” using her image to boost profits and website traffic.

She says she’s gotten “thousands of complaints from American romance-scam victims over the past six-plus years” who were duped by her images, as well as complaints from “hundreds of victims who were defrauded out of millions of dollars.”

And in other news, Ms. Midwest was seen checking her latest porn star rankings thanks to this “terrible publicity.”

Match.com’s Rocky Relationship with the Public

We’ve all heard that there is no longer a stigma associated with online dating. Technology is increasingly bringing the human race together while also pulling us further apart, which means that each of us is closer than ever to people we’re never going to talk to–let alone date.

Still, the possibilities of online dating are almost limitless. We love that idea–and it draws thousands of paying customers to sites like Match.com. Unfortunately, as we all know, the Internet is not reality. In fact, at its worst, the Internet involves the most despicable parts of reality masquerading as rainbows and unicorns.

So when a woman recently brought a lawsuit against Match.com for connecting her with a man who ended up stabbing her 10 times, we immediately saw that this story, in addition to being a tragedy, also illustrates a future PR conundrum: to what degree are dating sites responsible for the behavior of their clients?

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Social Networking Sites Now Encourage Face-to-Face Meetings!

In the past, Craigslist killers and Match.com horror stories often led the public to view social networking sites with one eyebrow raised. Now the stink is finally lifting.

We get it–any platform that provides the opportunity to pose as someone other than yourself will attract a certain number of dubious characters.

Now, however, social networking sites have begun to leverage the power of people with nothing–or at least nothing felonious–to hide. In other words, it’s now okay to tell your grandmother that you met your new boyfriend online or to tell your boss that you’re joining some online friends for a social dinner. This element of our culture and reality has changed. Online networking is the “new normal.”

Our ironic society has no problem understanding how living in a big city can be a lonely existence, and sites like Meetup, Grubwithus and Grouper now thrive in metropolises because even independent city folk want things like friends and significant others (go figure). These sites encourage users to meet not only in virtual reality but in real life–the part of life that requires one to get a hair cut and feed the dog. In fact, real-life interests like these provide perfect starting points for bringing people together.

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