Jan 25 2010
Ah, dating Web sites. Where to begin? To me, they’re the Bee Gees of the online world – controversial, wildly popular, resilient, frequently transcendent, exquisitely harmonic, sometimes sketchy, and just plain incorrigible. Just when you think they’ve peaked in popularity, they wane, but then come back stronger than ever. Or your friend will say, “You meet a lot of weirdos on dating sites…but you also do at a bar, so what’s the difference?” And then she ends up meeting a 45-year old divorcee online who’s estranged from his children and has zero body fat. (Note: I realize Bee Gees analogy kinda fell apart there at the end.)
Key takeaway: dating Web sites, like the Bee Gees, need to re-invent themselves, stay fresh, and change with the times. Otherwise, they’d become a relic, like the Beau Brummels (no offense, guys.) And ahead of the curve is qmpeople, a great, Facebook/Yahoo-inspired dating site, which includes chat, video, and other great tools to find Mr./Ms. Right/Zero-Body-Fat.
If qmpeople feels instantly comfortable and easy – like, say, effortless downing a bottle of cheap red wine with your ex-wife in a parked car down by the river – its because it has the same user home page layout of Facebook (that’s still around? Hmm.) So I registered, and after doing so, it asked if I wanted to invite my friends from Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter (but not my friends at Astrostar; what gives?) Once registered, I decided to check out the six main apps on the top toolbar, and if I may, I’d like to spend some time on each. Shall we?
- Chat – I walked into the chat room like I was walking onto a yacht and saw that a gal named Rushiel was there, shy and a bit introverted, brooding by the electronic veggie dip, as it were. We exchanged some pleasantries, and I was on my way.
- Groups – A bunch of groups ranging from the obvious (e.g. “The Beatles) to the Dada -(e.g. “Potatoes.”) Simply click on the group title, go in, and post your comment. (Note: I posted “The Bee Gees are better than the Beatles.”)
- Games – Clicked on that and was taken to a game called “Who Is.” It was a pixelated picture of…someone. A blurry, fleshy, orangey mass. Scott Baio? Alexander Hamilton? Saturn? I won’t spoil it by telling you. That’d be cheating.
- Help Me – Here you can throw out questions to the qmpeople community (e.g. “which is the best and easiest way to stop smoking?) and answer accordingly. If this page feels instantly comfortable and easy – like, say, drinking double-brandy and staring at your watch, which reads 1 am, at a dive bar out past the rail yard, waiting for your ex-wife to show up – it’s because it’s similar to Yahoo Answers. And like Yahoo Answers, you and give your answers and opinions. But better yet, you can also donate money to fulfill your friends’ needs – something you can’t do on Yahoo Answers.
- Video – Here users posted videos, like “Funny Sports Bloopers” – my Achilles Heel! – and someone solving a Rubik’s cube really fast. You can also click on the user’s name and be taken to their profile.
- Photos – Pretty self-explanatory; you can also check to see the other photos posted by the user, should one pique your interest.
All in all, a very fluid, easy experience; lots of areas an opportunities in which to connect with people. Having taken the tour, a few questions/suggestions:
- What is “qm” in qmeople? That is, if it stands for anything – Quality Men-People? Doubt it – and it’s accentuated a bit more, it could help brand the site better. Anything to differentiate it from other dating sites or networks would be helpful.
- I counted three layers of navigation; two should suffice. For example, on the top layer – the top toolbar – is Video. Video also re-appears on layer three, in the yellow box. May be worthwhile to consolidate.
- I thought the Help Me portion, was, at first, a “help me with the actual qmpeople site” section. Upon further investigation, I realized it wasn’t the case. Maybe re-title it “Community” or “Ask a Friend” or “Answers.”
In retrospect, qmpeople is more than a dating site. It has the principles of a Facebook, traces of Yahoo, games and media, and the pugncious, unflappable spirit of three simple brothers from the Isle of Man. To this guy, it’s the kind of friendly, fun community where there’s lots of stuff to keep you busy for a long time, but for what it’s worth, dating is also strongly encouraged. Just like that amazing Presbyterian camp in rural Jersey my friend used to go to in high school, where they did all that crazy stuff in the woods. So jealous!