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(Neve Dating costs $20 a month.) And to that point, Nerve has made it their mission to monitor activity on the site, and the team keeps a close eye on suspicious activity, flagging users for abnormal behavior, and booting them if necessary.
Nerve Dating already has over 10,000 users, and Mills says that the team is already hearing success stories.Today, the team is launching Nerve Dating in San Francisco, with plans to continue rolling out across the U. The main thrust of Nerve’s bi-costal dating service is to create a platform that “celebrates individual voices,” without the taxonomy inherent to dating websites that tends to lump people into categories so that matching technology can do the heavy lifting.As Mills tells us, the challenge facing the users of online dating sites is not so much in figuring out whether you like someone (people are already pretty good at doing that on their own), but simply in starting the conversation.Walking across the room to introduce yourself to someone you don’t already know? That can be challenging, and it’s something that sites like Commonred identify with, as they attempt to meld the meetup and “new people” discovery space, inhabited by startups like Sonar, Meetup, and Lets Lunch, with professional networking sites/apps like Branchout and Hashable.Just as Shaker launched to bring a fun, interesting way to socialize on Facebook, Nerve is trying to make dating more like an enjoyable cocktail party, something that’s more natural and casual than an awkward blind date.In 1997, Rufus Griscom and Genevieve Field launched a website and e Mag dedicated to sex, relationships, and culture called Nerve.
After spending eight years as president of everyone’s favorite satirical news source, The Onion, Sean Mills took over as the chief exec at Nerve, looking to bring the same brand loyalty and affinity people had for The Onion to Nerve’s community of sex-addicted readers.
Having witnessed the success of The Onion’s dating site firsthand, which capitalizes on a more relaxed and humorous approach to online dating, Mills officially re-launched Nerve Dating in New York in December as an extension of the existing site.
Because Nerve already had a loyal readership and fanbase (about 2 million monthly uniques), there was a readymade audience for Nerve Dating, making it easier, Mills says, to reach critical mass.
(It’s always a good sign when your nominal competitors are setting up profiles on your site to “check it out.”) While Nerve Dating costs a month, users can respond to messages they receive for free, unlike many other sites.
The idea here is to encourage people to interact with each other, to socialize, and reach out, but initial messages are kept to a Twitter-length 141 characters, with the idea being that this takes the pressure off and is a little more casual.
Nerve is also hoping to leverage the community its created around its lifestyle and culture publication, hosting live events for people to mingle and hang out, to facilitate yet another opportunity for users to move their online identities into the real world.