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Hot on the Web

Time to revisit

This column originally ran in ComputorEdge on December 1, 2006
(Issue 2448, Internet Radio)

We spend a lot of time in this space visiting Web sites that are doing something different or new. But unless that Web site remains in the news (and most don't), we don't often come back to them to see how they're doing later. (Of course, many of the sites we write about – Google, Yahoo, MySpace – are so ubiquitous that most of you spend more time on them than I do, so you hardly need any comments from the Peanut Gallery anyway.)

But there have been several sites we've visited in the last year or two that are worth going back to.

Desperate dating services

When it first debuted, was positioned by its managers as a competitor to in the decidedly uncrowded "serious" dating field. In fact, True's calling card was that they didn't post any man's profile until they'd ran a criminal background check and a marriage records check. It was touted as a "safe" dating site for women – a place where women could trust that the men there were neither criminals nor married men trolling for a little side action. That, in fact, all the men's profiles were "true."

Which, so far as I can tell, they still do.

And when you get to True's home page, you are told that the site is endorsed by Psychology Today magazine and leads to "Safer, smarter, more satisfying relationships."

But if that's the case, then why is True using such cheesy ads on sites like MySpace? This cheesecake ad campaign is clearly aimed at men – young men, most likely, with the ads' "Naughty or Nice" theme.

And some of the "naughty" ads are nothing short of pin-up pictures.

Obviously, True is not the only company using sex to sell its product or service (you have to subscribe to contact other members you're interested in).

But True is telling women they should subscribe to True and not its competitors because it is a women-friendly environment.

Then why ads clearly designed to get men thinking with their gonads instead of their hearts or heads? Why a campaign that turns women into objects?

CatholicMatch grows out

Last year, I joined Not only did I hope to meet someone of my own faith to spend my life with, but I enjoyed being among mostly like-minded folks. The forums area was lively yet friendly, and I spent many a happy hour reading and even posting comments.

In fact, one of the recurring themes in the forums area was from CM members who'd met the man or woman of their dreams, but who wrote they wished there was another Catholic-themed online community like CM where they could continue to hang out.

Now there is.

CatholicMatch has announced it is merging its online dating service with, a larger online Catholic community. CatholicMatch will continue to provide its dating service for single Catholics, while other areas of will provide married (or at least happily coupled) Catholics a full range of online community: forums, a of events calendar, Catholic articles and even games.

While was still under wraps as this is written, it seems that the founders of CM are the same folks building – as long as they take what they've learned in running the quality CM site, 4Marks should do a great job of keeping all those married CM alumni happy in their online pursuits. muscles up

Those who listen to sports talk radio (guilty as charged, I'm afraid ...) will have heard's new ad campaign. The last time we did a survey of online dating services, Cupid was a small player. And they still might not be in the same league as industry leaders like or Yahoo's Personals, but they're definitely trying to grow the business and have a unique pitch.

Cupid's latest angle is finding local singles for its service by advertising on local radio stations.

And it seems to be working. There are definitely a lot more profiles coming up on a search of my ZIP code, and most of them seem to be active.

So if you're looking to meet someone special, it might be worth adding to your arsesnal.

Equal time

Back in August, I wrote about a site in which women could anonymously accuse any man of being abusive – or even a criminal, and asked how this could not be libelous. (In fact, one man so identified is suing for libel and invasion of privacy – the case is still in court.)

A female reader who felt I was being unfair sent in a link to a site that lets men turn the tables on women. operates under the same premise as – only it's the women who are identified by first and last name and state of residence, along with their alleged crimes and sins.

Should the gentlemen suing win, I imagine at least some of the women named on will be filing claims against its owners.