Robyn Gee on Monday, Mar. 7th
Datemyschool.com, a new dating website, is popping up in select universities around the country. The site is founded on the premise that it’s HARD to meet people who understand your busy schedule as a college student, and yet aren’t necessarily in your department of study. That’s why Datemyschool (DMS) is a closed social network that operates within a small number of college student populations (you must have a .edu email address). It allows students to specify which departments can view their profiles. Right now, the service is available at select universities including Columbia, Berkeley, Stanford, NYU, and others. The site was started by Balazs Alexa and Jean Meyer, two Columbia graduate students.
How is the site different than the earliest version of Facebook?
The no-embarrassment factor is a key feature of DMS. “A core value is that we make sure that you are not embarrassed by being seen by other family members,” he added, which is different than a site like Facebook. In addition, no one in your every day classes needs to know that you are on a dating website. One user told us, “I do enjoy being able to select which departments can see my profile because it furthers DMS’ promise of privacy and security. In other words, it allows an NYU student to create a profile that is not visible to others in his/her program; therefore, allowing the student to feel comfortable in his/her classes, while reaching out in other areas of the school.” This user has two scheduled dates this week.
Another user told us, “DateMySchool is the rare blend of privacy and community that skirts the awkwardness of online dating. Jean and Balazs recognized the stigma and DateMySchool is the reaction to it.”
DMS also distinguishes itself from other dating sites because unlike Match.com or eHarmony, DMS does not suggest matches for you based on an algorithm. “There is no clear way to decide who is interested in who. It’s bullcrap,” said Balazs. “At the end of the day, if you want a successful relationship you have to work at it anyway.”
Because DMS creates a restricted pool of users, it means that users can get dates faster. Balazs said, “You can get a date one hour after signing up for the service… It’s about instant gratification. On other websites, you’re not sure who you’re talking to and you need lots of time to choose who you have a date with. Here instead, if anything happens, we know who they communicated with. Someone would have to be really stupid to do something bad,” he added.
Balazs also said that the site has attracted a different demographic of users. He explained that most online daters come to the table willing to sacrifice some of their privacy and security. But with DMS, you have more control over who sees your profile and all users are college students by default. As a result, they have seen a higher percentage of users who are new to online dating.
Balasz said the site is very concerned with protecting privacy and security. “We need to know who are our members. Our users need to know that they can trust other users,” said Balazs.