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July 12, 2007
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Online Dating Goes Geek (Again)

I’ve always held that online dating jumped the shark somewhere around 2002 — you know, when it went from being the province of socially awkward weirdos, techsavvy geeks, and bleeding edge hipsters to being, well, mainstream. The pool of arty hip kids over at Nerve Personals was diluted by scores of ads from users who were neither arty nor hip (and not even geeky!): and suddenly, online dating went from being an endless buffet of awesome to a stack of needles hiding a single strand of hay.

Oh, and somehow everyone ended up getting a lot uglier. Yeah, Internet dating was a lot cooler when it was the realm of the geeks. And I’m apparently not the only one who feels this way, as evidenced by the launch of Sweet On Geeks, a personals site for geeks and the people who love them (geek chasers? geekophiles?).

The site itself is pretty cute and geeky (embedded Sudoku? Geeky links? Hot!), but it kinda goes downhill from there, with profiles akin to a combination of MySpace and Match.com (so many questions to answer! Customizable (and thus ugly) layouts!). But they’re trying, right? Right?

Questionable site design aside (oh, how we long for the halcyon days of Nerve), it’s nice to see someone shifting back towards the idea that, in the world of online dating, quality matters more than quantity. I mean, seriously: who cares if a site has 15 million users if every last one of them is ugly and a jerk?

[Comic by xkcd]

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