3 Online dating revelations

TechCrunch Disrupt Europe: Berlin 2013 (Day 2)

A few things have come out in the open recently which I thought I’d share…

  1. Bill Dobbie is stepping down as chief executive of online dating company Cupid following a year which has seen its share price slump amid allegations it used fake messages to attract subscribers.
    Cupid is not OkCupid first up and being based in the UK, you can imagine the pressure which Cupid.com are under. No surprise the CEO stood down.
  2. A Florida woman has filed a $1.5 billion class-action lawsuit against online dating site Match.com, alleging the website allowed photos of her and thousands of others to be used illegally to create phony profiles intended to dupe romantic hopefuls out of money.
    The website “conspired with criminals operating from locations including Internet cafes in Nigeria, Ghana and Russia” who created fake profiles for romance “scams,” according to the lawsuit which was filed last week.The suit also says that Match.com, owned by media mogul Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp, was aware of the fake profiles as the company approves, edits and posts each profile.
  3. The “hook-up” app market is booming. Tinder is ruling the roost while everyone tries to catch up and cash in on the hookup market. Maybe they should have a look at my presentation and dating idea from 2009! Rad, CEO of Tinder recently spoke at Techcrunch Distrupt conference.

    Rad said he couldn’t share user counts, but he did reveal that the app sees 3.5 million matches and 350 million swipes a day. (About 30 percent of those are the right swipes that indicate interest.) And the app has seen 30 billion swipes and 300 million matches total.

Sam Sethi in hotwater once again

Blognation UK Launch

So I'm late to all this because I was tied up with meetings all day for reasons which will come out soon. But Sam Sethi of Blognation is in trouble again. I only heard about it from John tonight at the girl geekdinner christmas party (good party, shame I came late and didnt win the xbox 360, specially after the previous blog entry). And yes John was right, its now across many blogs and its become a real meal of a story now.

I don't usually read the over gossip driven valleywag but they have a decent summary.

In short, Starr charges, Sethi hasn't funded BlogNation, can't pay his contributors, lies to the press and his employees, and will have a hard time raising funding because he is a liar, not a CEO. Imagine that: Oliver Starr, burning bridges?

In this case, no one wins but Arrington. Never one to shy from a nerdfight, the prickly blog impresario has had a running feud with his former coworkers. If BlogNation ceases to exist, they'll be missed — if only for the entertaining feud.

There right about Arrington winning. Blognation was a good idea and actually had legs. Now I don't know Oliver Starr that well but when I read what Nicole Simon had to say, I was disappointed. Nicole is a very straight down the line kind of person, a person who I certainly trust and it sounds like she was getting a bit of a run around too.

Although I believed 100% that my hiatus would just be a temporary thing until payment would be in and then I would go back and continue working, it becomes now clear to me that this is unlikely to happen. I assume that I will find my postings deleted as are Oliver's soon, but of course I do have backups as well as documentation of posted items. Just because I am trusting other people does not mean that I am stupid.

No Nicole your not stupid, even Sam asked me to write on blognation at one point. (Imagine that, dyslexic writer?)

Anyway Sam did briefly reply on Techcrunch and Twitter saying Techcrunch isn't as clean as they may think. I'm sure Sam will more to say about this all soon, maybe via Jemima Kiss this time around? then maybe get back to unbalancing the mighty grip arrington has over this area of the startup business?

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The BBC should be dissolved says Mike TechCrunch Arrington

mike arrington at fowa

Video: Mike Arrington thinks the BBC should be dissolved

Taken from the Backstage Blog,

Yesterday (21st Feb) at the future of webapps there was a Panel Debate about what Europe could learn from American in regards to the startup culture. We captured the whole debate on a small camcorder. Including the part where one of the most prolific voices of the valley, Michael Arrington from TechCrunch.com. Showed his true feelings for the BBC's efforts online. He added…

The BBC should be dissolved

And then started to make a joke about the office, which showed his lack of knowledge of what the BBC really is about. He then wax lyrical about CBBC World and how we were distorting the industry. Daniel Morris a developer at BBC Manchester finally debunks most of Mike Arrington's rant about the BBC by pointing out that everything the BBC does has to pass the Public Value Test.

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Why do I use Blip.tv? and what is their business model?

I use to upload all my audio and video to the Internet Archive, but the uploading tools and general tools once the file was there, were very poor. So Tom recommended Blip.tv one night at BarCampLondon. I did check it out and really give it a squeeze. But it came out clean, so since then I've been pretty much using that and enjoying it. I think the feature set and general openness to download the actual high quality videos makes a hugh difference

This was pretty much confirmed in my mind today when Miles sent this entry from Joi Ito which links to the entry by Lawerence Lessig where he compares a whole host of video sites to a web 2.0 ethic.

In this context, YouTube is a “cool” poster-child of the Web 2.0 trend, but doesn't meet the basic requirement of allowing the user to download videos from the site. While it is “sharing”, it is what Larry is calling a “fake sharing site”.

Harsh but the truth, its painful to get content out of Youtube, even Google Video is a pain. And all I wanted to do was play it on my big widescreen tv via xbox media centre.

Funny enough, I was talking to Cary Marsh, CEO and Co-founder of a site called Mydeo (meant to be in Tech Crunch this week). Her take on things is that people want to be able to upload video and only show it to a small group of friends and family. They also may not want there wedding videos next to kids racing each other in supermarket trolleys. I see what she means. But what got her was when I started listing off the reasons why I use Blip.tv. She honestly was dumb-founded and wanted to know what there business model was/is. I pointed out that there may be pro version in the future but right now you can.

  • Upload video of any length
  • Download the archived orginal
  • Use there non branded flash player anywhere you like
  • Add a creative commons licence
  • Automaticlly add content to Internet Archive
  • Add advertising to your video (start or end)
  • Add alternative formats of the same clip

And thats just for starters… So to the question of is Youtube really web 2.0? Well I agree with Larry and say nope, its more a 1.75ish type site. Maybe Google will change this in the long run, but my money is certainly at Blip.tv for now. But I do worry that unless they do setup pro accounts soon or start running serious advertising, they won't be substanable and a great video service will go under.

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Tech Crunch UK launches

Tech Crunch UK

So at long last Tech Crunch UK opens its doors to the public. This may serve as a great place to finally aggregate all of whats going on in the UK in one place. For example here is the events page. Its very London focused at the moment but I'm sure that will slowly change. Theres tons of stuff happening in Brighton, Ireland and it would seem Glasgow. Anyway, one to subscribe to and keep an eye on.

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