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Show HN: Weekend project, fun spin on dating. Only friends edit your profile (cupidwithfriends.com)
200 points by jmtame 1657 days ago | hide | past | web | 54 comments | favorite

Honestly, I think this is a brilliant idea for a few reasons, but the most significant can probably be explained by this real-life comparison:

Consider two scenarios. a) You go out to a party, by yourself, with the sole intention of meeting someone you can take home, or ask on a date. or b) your friends think you need a girlfriend or boyfriend, and drag you out to a party and try to get you to meet people and facilitate it that.

Scenario (a) is a relatively uncommon occurrence with, what I assume to be, a lower success rate than (b). Unfortunately, all successful dating sites thus far are almost perfectly analogous to (a).

The differences between the two situations are pretty big because of the countless nuances that make people just generally seem more sociable when they're being social compared to when they're sort of trying to be social.

In a sense, this introduces the concept of a good wingman into the online dating scene.

Beyond that, I think by having other people manage your profile, you're taking away some of the stigma associated with dating profiles. Among them that they can become very self-important, uncomfortably personal, and come with a certain level of expectation of being honest. By making everything second-hand, you have to be more realistic in your evaluations of people's profiles.

Moreover, I think it dampens the 'desperation' factor. I think this is also a lesson we can gain from the analogy in my second paragraph.

I didn't try the app, but I would say its not because its a lot of work to be asking of people. Filling out a profile is incredibly tedious. On top of that, if a person's friend were to write something unflattering or something that wasn't agreeable, I imagine the person would ask their friend to change. So basically you would get the same response as if the person had to the time to fill out the profile themselves.

I think you've done a better job at describing this than I could. I got out of a 3 year relationship 5 months ago and rebounded pretty hard, so I tried lots of online dating sites. I always found it slightly awkward when I was filling out my own profile. It's a lot of effort when the whole thing could benefit from being simpler and faster. On top of that, some of the girls I met were telling me they didn't actually sign up. Their girlfriends were forcing them to create accounts on okcupid.

There's been a UK version of this around for a while now: http://www.mysinglefriend.com.

I know this because it has been advertised quite a lot in the popbitch newsletter but today is the only time I have visited the site (via a google, before posting this comment, to check I didn't imagine the whole thing). I find this process interesting. I might have thought the adverts were useless on me, as I never clicked them, but lo and behold the company stuck in my brain somewhere and here I am sharing the information on an internet forum (to appear knowledgable? for karma? why?). Takeaway: advertising is more powerful than I thought.

It's been around for a while. It got some occasional advertising on UK TV due to a celebrity backer/founder.

I understand they have been quite successful.

David Ogilvy calls this "The Moving Train of Interest."

Source? Google yields nothing for that phrase.

I like the quotes on the left :)

Favorite: "I got my friend laid with this web site." - Nobody, ever

This is funny, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this yet: http://i.imgur.com/f3m2F3d.png

If the situation were reversed, the dialogue would be mainly about the injustice of an established company ripping off the design.

It probably doesn't matter much for a weekend project though.

Surely this would be acceptable as satire on his part?

Excellent idea - we had a co-worker at my old job that had his OK Cupid profile in github. We all made pull requests and tried to make it far more appealing. It was fun, but I can also see how this could work as a site.

I love that... I wonder if he gave anyone commit privileges..

Personally I'd rather rebase than commit.

That is cool. Link?

You guys should rotate a guy/girl image on the front page and a/b test. :-)

Notice red background.


fixed that for you

Is there any way to demo / use this without FB? (I understand why you want to connect to FB though)

Not right now. Maybe in the future we'll let you join using e-mail, but for now it makes it a lot easier to prevent people from faking their own profiles and it also speeds up the process of adding friends.


"CupidWithFriends would like to access your public profile, friend list, email address, custom friends lists, birthday, current city and your friends' relationships, birthdays, current cities and photos." -> Cancel

(In general, I don't feel like Facebook should let me give my friends' photos [not just mine, but theirs] away to a 3rd party without their explicit consent first).

Relatedly, the 'Why Facebook' hover text says: "We use Facebook to make it easy to see which friends use the service, add existing friends, and prevent certain friends from seeing your profile. We do not post to your wall or spam your friends."

So my friends who I don't want to have see my profile will know I'm hiding it from them? Because they'll know I'm using the service, but they can't see my profile?

Had a similar idea a while back. Allow people to sign up, create a profile, etc. Then have matchmakers. People browsing profiles and matching people up. If they start dating, you get rep for being a good matchmaker.

sawyouatsinai.com is exactly this for jewish dating.

This idea is great in concept, but has been tried before in several versions and has yet to gain traction. I believe in the social arena, no one has found a viable solution yet.

The real crux of this (at least one crux, if you see this more as a gimic dating then you may view it another way) is creating a verified online image / reputation. This site simply applies that to dating, with the idea here being you are not creating the profile so it is by definition verified by other people who created it.

I had friends who attempted a social network startup based on this idea. The obvious problem you run into is the temptation by friends to write jokes / things that are untrue, which I think actually increases with a site like this. I absolutely want to see who starts reaching out to my friends after I write describe them as "Avid Harry Potter fan, captain of the local quiditch team" and add a status updates like "He's in a bad mood today, very upset he scratched his wand yesterday". Our friends attempted to put some legitimacy behind their site by requiring you to accept statements before they were publicly viewed, but then you lose a lot of the legitimacy / verified nature of the profile.

Eventually they pivoted to the professional arena, with recommendations by professionals, professors, etc. People who by the nature of your relationship are more likely to respond accurately. There are issues with this model as well, such as co-workers who you pissed off writing bad things, selection bias if you get to pick who reviews you (anonymous helps that) etc, but I think there are significantly inherent advantages in the professional arena. But even in that area, I don't think the main "issue" has been resolved.

This is definitely a concept with real business potential should it be mastered; it solves a "real-problem" which many startups do not (with the specific application here being online dating, but there are 20 other great applications which could become viable businesses). I certainly do not mean to discourage the work done (I think the site actually looks good in form and function), but it is my opinion a tweaks on this current model will not emerge as solutions to the broader reputational verification issue online. I believe an outside the box and completely different solution will emerge in this area.

What do people think? Is anyone familiar with a version of this model that really does work? Or has anyone seen another model which solves this issue and works?

That's interesting, would you mind posting the link to the site or name of the company that was doing this before? Would love to check them out.

I think it's something we're opinionated on: dating doesn't need to be a serious business. It's okay to be humorous, and that's also being honest. If your friends joke around and are sarcastic, you like their sense of humor, and it communicates implicitly "these are the kind of friends I have, if you don't like them, we might not get along."

There's a difference between nasty comments/bullying and sarcasm, and we'll allow bad stuff to get flagged and take it down.

That's really cool! I have worked along the lines of making a wiki-style profile for everyone (http://wikisapien.com/) but the whole dating angle gives this site a neat hook that should attract good users.

I think your project is quite nice, but I'm an extremely private person, and don't wish to be found by random folks I went to high school with or be stalked by ex-es. So, some way to not be listed in any searchable directory would be a must. The only simple way I can see this being feasible would be to only allow "un-listed" people to find the others. If two people are both "un-listed," I'm not sure how that would work. Perhaps they would have to exchange private keys in person?

You can set permission on who can see your account, and if one does not have permission to see you then you will not appear in the search results. In particular you can set it to be completely private.

Is the profile that's edited by those who have your permission to see you visible to others who don't have your permission to see you?

Are you going to be able to keep up with the thousands of such FB-linked sites you need to opt-out from in the future? I'm a private person too, so I don't use FB.

That's one of the reasons why I've stopped development on this: nowadays the only way to get a critical mass of users on a site like this seems to be by being annoying or shady, doing things such as scraping data to build up profiles, spamming friends, etc. I have been considering though opening up the whole project on github to serve as an example and see perhaps what others can make of it.

Wont people just make fake fb friends and write their own profile?

and do all the work? I would rather my friends write it up and get one of my close friends to make the edits I want.

Love the idea! One suggestion is to add a footer, even if it's just a copyright. Like Marissa Meyer said for Google, it gives the site more of a punctuated end.

I love this concept. Your app seriously needs a few things though.

1) You have to be able to message people on a dating site, none of this coming soon button. 2) You have to be able to have some rudimentary search/filter. People want to find people of the gender they are interested in, location, etc.

You've probably thought of both of these already but a dating site really has to have both of those.

The reviews are very well done but I'd still like to see more info/demo/screenshots before logging in with Facebook though.

Copy is hilarious!

That's great, but won't it be creepy to get messages from a dating website you never signed up to? Or is the person whose profile you're editing asked to give permission before the profile goes public?

Hah, it's the dating version of GetSatisfaction!

The logical next step is to hook up the bridesmaids with the best men who created the profiles for the happy couple.

we built a whole site several years ago round this concept - www.datemymate.co.nz (bit outdated now, but you get it)

I like the idea. What happened? Social graph was not as pervasive as now.. I think this idea has a chance... Act quick before FB makes it a feature into their website... Linkedin has similar feature with their endorsement from coworkers..

Love this http://www.datemymate.co.nz/blog/main/Date_this_Mate_ - it really shows why the concept can work. You can't write a salespitch like that about yourself!

Landing page says nothing about the product. How about some information before forcing people to log in?

Right, I'm totally confused who this product is for. Is it for people who want to date, or for people who don't want to date but want to edit their friends' dating profiles?

How do I know if I have a friend who has a dating profile? Do they have to share that with me in a side channel like their newsfeed?

Don't get me wrong, Facebook should buy this "weekend project" for $10M before it gets out of hand. I'm just not sure if I'm going to regret clicking "Connect". Before we connect, how about you sell me on it.

This is about playing the wingman role for your friends and helping them out.

What I've noticed happen is that after commenting on my friends' profiles, they've commented on mine. They just want to reciprocate the favor. But nobody joins the site asking their friends to do it.

I wonder if making fake friend profiles for this and doing it that way would be effective.

That won't work. You have to have 100+ Facebook friends to join.

Then I guess it'd just be a problem of dedication. Or outsourcing the job somewhere

That's a lot of work to fake a profile, so it seems like the odds are much lower with us vs. another site where all you need is an e-mail address. I also think Facebook is also good at detecting fake accounts.

Do you offer anything to people who won't connect to Facebook or whatever?

This is a great idea.


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