Been thinking about online dating

No, not doing it. Just thinking about what it means. (jumping to conclusions can get you in big trouble, buddy).

In the last twenty-four hours, I’ve read about the big services launching huge ad campaigns, I’ve seen stickers on store windows and heard about people using services like Must be a trend.

If you haven’t taken a look, it’s worth a glance. We’re talking about women with Harvard MBAs or residencies at major New York hospitals. Men who are running non-profits or training for the Olympics (at least they say they are).

What’s this all about? And why should we care?

Well, if we add to this phenomenon the huge growth of (and the death of the newspaper classifieds) its seems as if personal marketing is now officially important.

You market yourself to get a job (not wait to find a classified for a job you’re qualified for and actually want.) You market yourself to find a mate (not wait until someone finds you in a singles bar or adores your cute little dog in the park). What used to be the exclusive province of Coca Cola or Amway is now at the heart of just about everyone’s life.

Marketing, after all, is about putting a product out there and finding an audience for it.


When you market yourself, are you boring? Invisible? Easy to pass up?

Just as companies have no choice but to depend on the Purple Cow, on remarkable products and on word of mouth, I think the lesson of all this personal advertising is NOT that you can advertise yourself to a happy home and job, but that it’s ultimately word of mouth that’s going to make it work. It’s word of mouth that points people to your singles page or word of mouth that forwards your resume to the right guy. The difference now is that this digital word of mouth (call it an ideavirus if you want) is aided by a personal web site with your religion and desires on it, or a hotjobs website with your Linux skills outlined.

Used to be we could count on the “marketing department” to take care of our company’s stuff. Of course, that’s not true anymore. The only way to make a Purple Cow is for everyone in the company to contribute. With online dating, the same is true.

It’s no longer good enough to be good enough. With 100,000 singles out there, and 10 million resumes, the only people getting what they want are the ones exceptional enough to stand out.