by Rajashri on  September 27, 2009 at 4:20 PM Lifestyle News
 New Dating Service for Social Networking Fans
Steve Odom created a website for those seeking love in a hyper-connected world after Dud dates arranged at traditional online match-making services disappointed him.

Freshly-launched breaks from simply matching personal profiles to weaving Twitter comments, Facebook updates and other social networking activities together to capture the online persona.

"We tried to make it more authentic and real-time," said Odom. "We call it stream dating."

Odom turned to a gamut of Internet dating websites after getting divorced a few years ago and falling into a string of disappointing encounters.

Profiles left ample room for people to be less than honest when describing themselves to potential mates, the 41-year-old computer programmer said, echoing a common lament.

Typical claims by women to being "laid back" or liking dogs and long walks on beaches blurred together in Odom's eyes.

"It resulted in a lot of dates without much of a connection," he said of the experience.

"At the same time I started on Twitter and liked the idea of following someone for a lot of weeks; I felt I got to know them."

Odom built on the concept, designing Gelato profiles that are automatically freshened with what people are sharing online.

For example, Internet music selections show what tunes a person has listened to in recent days, while updates from popular Internet television service Hulu reveal what shows they have watched recently.

"I can tell you what my favorite movies are, but if you see my Netflix list you get a much better idea of what I really like," Odom said, referring to a popular US online movie rental service.

Facebook status updates and Twitter comments fed to Gelato profile pages provide looks at what people are doing and thinking.

"Gelato sucks in stuff from Facebook, Twitter, it's authentic and what I'm doing on the Web," Odom said.

"I think Gelato will appeal to that younger, hyper-connected crowd living their lives online. Eventually, it will be a mainstream thing."

Gelato also assigns profiles confidence ratings based on how strongly details are validated by other information or people on the Internet.

"It's really hard to fake a profile on Gelato," Odom said. "You are pulling in information from a lot of accounts."

Gelato is also intended as a community for people in the dating scene.

"It is sort of lonely being single," Odom said. "We are trying to create a community where you can see what other singles are doing and thinking."

Source: AFP

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