Kathryn's Blog

JDate Woes

Here’s an article about Jewish dating sites, particularly JDate, which gets some bad press here.  I’ve put in bold a paragraph that is also true of many other dating sites, the problem with paid vs. unpaid members.  Here’s a blurb about my article that addresses it, and how to order:

Internet Dating’s Dirty Little Secret: The Single Biggest Reason They Don’t Answer Your Emails

If you are like most of my single clients looking for love, one of your very first questions to me will be “Why don’t they answer my emails?” Much as the dating sites may try to convince you that it’s because of something you are doing – or not doing – at least 90% of unanswered emails don’t have anything to do with you at all.  I figured it out, and now you can know too.  Get the answer to “Why don’t they answer my emails?” right here, right now.

Sex, Romance Fades At JDate As World Of Jewish Fine Tunes Dating

Reported revenue for Jdate in the second quarter of 2007 was
$7 million. But how many members can actually make contact?

By Carole Rubinstein
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem ----August 17 ....... Talk about sex appeal, then talk about the World of Jewish. Talk about boredom and tired formulas, then talk JDate.

There was a time when Jewish singles looking for a match through the Internet went straight to JDate, the largest Internet based Jewish dating service. The idea was simple, fill in a short questionnaire based on your dating preferences and the JDate search engine would return a listing of all those of the opposite sex that answer to your criteria. If you saw someone in the listing, you paid JDate a good sum of money to be in touch by email with your potential match.

For a yearly fee approaching a couple of hundred dollars, you could search JDate’s listings and be in touch with whomever you desired. Now, when you think of it, a couple of hundred of dollars a year may not sound like so much, especially with this virtual smorgasbord of potential Jewish dating mates at your fingertips. It is a lot cheaper than going on a string of blind dates. So, people paid; well, not all people – only those that could afford it. Still, business was good – JDate has made millions of dollars every year from Jewish singles encompassing the Internet Jewish dating scene.

In seducing the Jewish dating market, Jdate is not honest. JDate featured ads of porn models from Europe posing as Jdate members. According to an article in the Israel daily Haaretz newspaper, JDate banner ads featured photos of porn models. For example, the Jdate Jewish dating ad banner showed a girl who was supposedly 22 and single and Jewish, but she is actually Kari Gold, an 18 year old porn model. The ad shows blonde-haired, 22-year-old Hila from Tel Aviv who’s “looking for a single Jewish guy.” Another shows 26-year-old Sharon who’s looking for a Jewish husband.

But as it turns out, there is no Hila from Tel Aviv. The woman in the Jewish dating picture is actually Hungarian porn star Kari Gold. She has told the media that she has a boyfriend and is not in fact looking for “a Jewish husband from a good family.” And Sharon? She’s really Devon Sweet, a bisexual model from the United States. Neither Kari Gold nor Devon Sweet are affiliated in any way with JDate. Their pictures were just randomly collected on the Internet. I guess this is another shocking reminder that advertisers sometimes bend (or completely disregard) the truth. Talk about deceptive advertising!

Is Kari Gold a Jdate member looking for a nice Jewish boy or in reality an European porn star looking for ...
We cropped the above photo of Kari, you can imagine the rest of the photograph or perform a Google Image search for Kari.

But the story thickens. Try performing a search now on Google for “Jdate Ads Haaretz”. What you will find is that Haaretz has partly removed the story from the Net and replaced it with Jdate ads and Jdate advertising revenue. Can money now buy censorship at Haaretz?

Current JDate rules that only allow paying members to reply to messages, if you buy a membership on JDate, only 3.5% of the people you send messages to will be able to reply or acknowledge your message in any way. See, JDate gives you no indication whether or not a profile you are interested in belongs to a paying member capable of replying. That kind of sucks. Imagine sending out 100 messages to 100 “active” members and only 3 (and a half) of them are capable of replying, let alone willing to reply!

Then, like mushrooms after a forest rain, all kind of JDate Jewish dating wannabes sprouted up – many of them also becoming quite lucrative. Jewish singles from Israel, the United States and Canada all know Blind-Date, Frumster, JMatch, Jewish Cafe’ and a host of other sites that offer basically the exact same thing as JDate, a monolithic wish list that costs money a good amount of money. Frumster, 2become1 and DosiDate offer their services to the more religiously inclined rather than to the general Jewish populace, but in none of these services is there really a significant difference between what they offer and what JDate offers, which is the opportunity for sex and maybe partnership – all for those that pay their dues.

The model that these Jewish dating services offer is quite problematic. First of all, not every Jewish single can afford full membership in these sites. But beyond the economic constraints, there exist moral problems as well. Many people tend to lie about the particulars they list on their personal profiles. Perhaps they are not really 38, but rather 44. Maybe they do not really have a six figure income currently, although they hope they some day will; further, if they do not send in their pictures for others to see, can it really be believed that they have such an outstandingly athletic figure as they say they do?

And even if they do send in their pictures, are these the Jewish guys you will meet in real life on that hoped for date?

Perhaps most disturbing, are they really single and looking to get married, or just married guys looking out for an evening of, well, whatever.

“For us, Jewish dating is important as is Jewish sex, something which can be openly discussed at the World of Jewish, but the stress here is to find companionship that does not lead to hurt”

- Social networking professional David Trombka

Numerous Internet blogs, such as JDaters anonymous, have sprung up over time with thousands of negative stories about the JDate experience. It is a kind of cultural joke, part of the Jewish singles ritual; but in reality the great majority of the Jewish dating site users remain, with or without the hilarious anecdotes or even the frequent horror story, decidedly single and fully departed from hundreds of dollars in registration fees.

Enter the fearless Davids that, with time, will eliminate the Goliaths.
JDate, JMatch, Jkarma and the whole host of univalent Jewish dating sites, while not yet being a thing of the past, are on their way out. There is a new generation of Jewish sites out there in virtual land for Jewish singles, consisting of lean and serious players like Shmooze, Koolanoo and perhaps the most interesting of them all, the World of Jewish.

These Jewish social networking sites have sex appeal, depth, purpose and punch, something lacking in the older but still mighty Goliaths of the earlier generation. Jewish dating will never be the same and can never go back to the JDate paradigm. It is simply a thing of the boring and expensive past.

What makes these new sites ‘sexier’ than the traditional dating sites? There are many features, especially the fact that they are free Jewish dating sites; these new players understand well the changing face of the Internet and they know that today the users rule, not like the time a little over a decade ago when start ups like Cupid and JDate pretty much held the user in their custody.

Most importantly, these new guys on the Jewish dating block are networking sites, multivalent offspring of the single minded dating sites. These sites offer their users the ability to find friends, not just partners, according to interest. Their search engines take into account the intricacies of Jewish life in a way that JDate or the other dating sites are just not equipped to deal with.

The World of Jewish leads the pack of newcomers with its almost total, creative coverage of the Jewish experience. It is for sure sexier, but in the sense of being kosher and sexier. Beyond the real time news and Kabala broadcasts, the World of Jewish offers its users employment jobs opportunity searches, a Jewish Yellow Pages, real estate ads, a Jewish travel section and a host of other innovative features that leave JDate and their other Jewish dating cronies light years behind.
“On Jdate only 3.5% of the people you send messages to will be able to reply or acknowledge your message in any way.”

While newcomer Koolanoo has made quite a splash with its expensive, creative and humorous viral marketing video advertisements on YouTube, it has many critics that see these broadcasts as cheapening Judaism and the Jewish experience. And now that Koolanoo is about to spend millions in the China social networking market, many believe that the Jewish site was nothing more than a turn key project for investors in China. The World of Jewish, on the other hand, aims at the highest common denominator and regards bagel and lox Judaism as a trend that is on its way out.

World of Jewish creator and founder, David Trombka, states: “People are looking for substance, not only in dating, but in their entire world outlook. Our site allows people to find others interested in Jewish education, or Jewish politics or philosophy, or a host of other interests, according to specific issues.
A woman may find a guy on the site that is interested not only in dating, but also in Jewish cuisine or Jewish mysticism and their relationship may start by exchanging recipes or thoughts about Kabala. It is really a far safer place than the single issue dating sites. In those sites, people can lie about their personal status, but it is much harder to lie about common interests as well, such as American Jewish literature or what they think about the role of Jewish tradition in their relationships.”

Trombka adds: “Our site and the other Jewish networking dating sites explore the fuller person and allow for a more truthful presentation to the other users. Jewish singles now have a home for expressing themselves in ways that never existed before – and all for free. Our site even has a women only section for women to discuss between themselves issues that affect their daily lives. With all due respect to JDate, it is passe’. The trend in the Internet industry in general is to restore to the users their rights without shaking down their wallets. The World of Jewish allows the users to be exactly who they really are, without putting a hole in their bank accounts and without the sometimes awkward sexual tensions that are practically automatic on JDate or the other sites because of their single issue orientation. This gives the users a far greater chance of finding true companionship, or even just like minded friends in a more relaxed and honest atmosphere.”

“For us, Jewish dating is important as is Jewish sex, something which can be openly discussed at the World of Jewish, but the stress here is to find companionship that does not lead to hurt,” says Trombka.

“I have it on inside information that the other sites know fully well that they are about selling sex and little more. They may put on a Jewish fac,ade, but that is not really their strong point. We are not against sex, not in the least. After all, our tradition considers sex a holy thing. We just don’t want that to be the sole focus. We believe that proper sensuality means not jumping straight to the bottom line, but rather taking a little more time to get to know the potential partner. I remember my roommate at college told me that the only way really to enjoy life is to make sure you do not hurt others. Sex and companionship are great litmus tests for that theory. We hope to push things in the proper direction.”

Of course, it will take some time before the entire Jewish singles dating reality switches in mass from the pay for use single dimensionally of JDate to the free for use multiple uses of such sites as World of Jewish. But word is getting out that Goliath does not stand a chance; at least, not if people are looking for honest and kosher sex.



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