Yesterday we looked at Tinder’s disruption of the online dating market, today we look at a new dating site promoting itself as a more respectful alternative to the app. Love our loathe Tinder no one can deny it has a reputation for being a less wholesome form of dating. Rather than being matched through similar interests or the calibre of one’s personality, superficially, it’s based on aesthetics in the form of the user’s best selection of Facebook pictures. Three young innovators are looking to change that, with their own matchmaking creation called Do Good Dating, which would see the mutually interested parties getting to know each other by undertaking community work together. And only three days after its launch, the site already has over 600 sign ups.
Noticing a gap in the market for both a chance to meet like-minded people in Auckland and for doing good in the community that’s not necessarily an ongoing commitment, Do Good Dating creators, Dish digital editor Alice Harbourne, Dish senior designer Fiona Kerr and Live More Awesome charity co-founder and not-for-profit entrepreneur Dan Drupsteen thought up the idea for the site in December last year.
Harbourne says she used to matchmake for Gather and Hunt, sending different readers out on blind dates in the city and came to the realisation that it was really popular and there was massive demand. “And then Tinder became really popular and then everyone got sick of Tinder quite quickly because A - people realised peoples’ motives are really questionable, and B - it’s not curated anymore.”
She says in the beginning it was probably easier to find more people that you like. “but now it’s such a massive group of people it’s like walking down the street and thinking you’ll bump into the love of your life.”
Herself and her co-creators thought the volunteer work would act as a filter to meet nice people, because they wanted to do something for the community, she says.
This is how it works: the interested party applies on the Do Good Dating website where they fill out a short questionnaire which includes questions on their age, gender, sexual orientation, the last film they watched and how they would spend a day off. Then those who have applied will be sent on a speed date with about 20 people called A Good Match. If two parties find they are mutually interested in each other at the speed-dating event, they will be sent off to do some volunteer work together.
The work will be organised through crowd sourcing via the Live More Awesome charity “to see if someone has a friend in need who needs a hand in the garden”. The volunteer work will include activities like beach clean-ups, sorting donations or collecting money for charity.
Harbourne says the three initially tried to go direct to charities but it was hard to volunteer on a sporadic basis. “So we are short cutting it by doing random acts of kindness in the local community.”
She says she came up with the idea of the speed dating events because it adds an extra level of curation “because you will get to meet who you are going on your date with before you have to go on a date.”
The speed dating events were initially going to be bi-monthly, she says, but after so much demand the trio might have to make the events weekly instead. The events cost $15 to attend which covers running costs of the venue and food and drink will be available. The first of these events will be next Thursday at Good One, but attendees must sign up first on the website.
Harbourne says the three didn’t launch the initiative for profit. “It was always started to get like-minded people together and doing good in the community, we have no goal to monetise it. Any money we do make will go to a charity,” she says.
Another issue the three wanted to address was the lack of options for the LGBT community. Harbourne says “In the past when I have run speed dating events we always made it open to all, but we found it hard to get enough of the LGBT community involved,” she says. “We are hoping in numbers we’ll be able to service that community as well, as in the past we think they have been quite under-serviced by speed dating.”
At this stage Harbourne says the creators haven’t made any big marketing plans and thus far have only promoted themselves through Facebook and a basic website co-creator Fiona Kerr designed. However, she says Kerr has designed heaps of posters and in the near future they hope to take a more “old school” approach by pasting some up around the city.