Love at first site
Speed dating goes online, with a number of German websites spreading the loveAfter hours of preparation and excitement over a blind date, there's nothing worse than meeting the guy and having to listen to him talk for hours about his bonsai trees.
Thanks to speed dating, singles can avoid such horror dates and get to know a lot of potential partners in a short time. This type of dating is now making headway on the internet. There are new websites where flirtatious people can give speed dating a try, and some of them use webcam, voice chat and texting technologies as they allow people to participate conveniently from the couch in their living room.
The speed dating principle is simple: Start with the same number of men and women. Every few minutes the participants must rotate so that everyone in the room meets everyone else face-to-face. This typically takes place in a bar or at a restaurant. On the internet it takes place at a website such as www.meetya.com, which is operated out of Hamburg. The site is less than a year old, having started in December, according to its own description.
There are no boring psychological or personality tests and participants don't have to fill out a long questionnaire. The site is based on the motto, "Simply meet people." Every evening there is a one hour session in which each user can communicate with other participants for seven minutes. Participants have to fill in a short registration at the site and then click on the speed dating link.
Participants who want to see the person they are chatting to can indicate in the settings that they only want to talk to people who have submitted a photo. As opposed to classic speed dating, internet speed dating is not limited to a certain number of participants.
"Our system checks who is online and connects people to their next conversation partner on the basis of the user's input," according to a meetya.com web blog in which the site's operators report the latest information about the site.
The date appears in the parties' address book under "My Contacts" only if both parties want to see each other again. Afterwards emails can be sent over meetya.com. Up to 10 photos can be submitted in addition to a profile photo. A participant's age, Zodiac sign and region also are provided. Additional information about the person appears under "About Me." Participation in meetya.com is still free, however, making the contacts and a premium membership in future will cost about seven euros per month, the operators of the website said.
Another site based in Hamburg is called www.kissnofrog.com. It lets participants use a webcam and microphone to facilitate speed dating.
"You see the person you are dealing with live and in colour," the website says. Thus, no one can submit fake photos. To chat, users must have a camera or at least a headset available.
After signing on, the user can get to know five new people per session, spending 10 minutes with each, using video or voice chat. The sessions take place under a certain motto, which participants can use to decide whether he would like to add the conversation partner to his list of friends. Also, at kissnofrog.com, contact can be established only if both parties agree. The service is still free, but the website explains that users will soon have to pay two euros for each new confirmed contact.
Meeting personally still makes the best impression. The website www.speeddating.de, operated out of Warstein, Germany, is a large organiser of live speed dating events in Germany with about 200,000 members in 30 cities. Users can search for a meeting by clicking on event links and typing in their zip code. For those who want something more exciting than an ordinary bar, there are speed dating events such as a Trabi safari.
Every event lists the number of slots available for women and for men. There's also a way to poke around for a dream partner by using the profile search function. This person can then be invited to the event which the person who did the search is attending. There's also a section of the site titled "New to Speed Dating" where a user can read everything worth knowing about the subjects of love and partnerships.
Expatica with DPA