No more gifts…. & lots of changes.

Spent some time this weekend and rewrote parts of the site…

1.  Ditched the paid virtual gifts on the weekend  not really core to what we are doing.

2.  Instead of allowing you to remove people from searches  I added a new search that removes any profile you have ever viewed from the search..

3.  Added a thumbnail cropping tool built in Ajax…

4.  Revamped the profile system  forcing better quality profiles…

5.  Semi new design and cleanup of a lot of pages..

5.  A whole bunch of tiny changes all over the place.

With so many different free sites all over the world the only way forward is to offer better features than paid sites  and more of them.  But only if it actually helps users.

43 Responses to “No more gifts…. & lots of changes.”

  1. Hammer Says:

    I’m glad you made these changes; a couple of these, particularly the low quality profiles, have been bothering me for a while about the site. It would be really great if you gave us a more robust search engine, allowing us to filter by more characteristics, and sort in ways other than last login. In particular, I think it’d be great if we could sort by newest, and filter people by body type and ethnicity(multi-picklists), and exclude people who haven’t logged-in in a specified amount of time.

  2. Manuel Says:

    Good evening Markus, Not sure where else to turn… tried contacting your POF website… no response…Id just like to know if my account has been suspended for some reason? Im not a spammer… and tried numerous times to sign up again… with out success… Really like your site, and would like to rejoin again, you have done a great job, congrats on all your hard work and success.. Thanks

  3. Bob Loblaw Says:

    I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want you to be part of their community…

  4. jim jones Says:

    markus, do you have any book recommendations for someone interested in getting started? putting the cart before the horse, I completely know and specialize in the monetization side. I need to better understand web design, as such I am a complete novice. Thanks.

  5. Bret Says:

    Were virtual gifts underperforming revenuewise? Or was there a lack of interest by your audience.

  6. Michael Says:

    I agree with Hammer on allowing you to filter people by body type. For girls, they want height. Guys (usually) want a thin girl. All the euphemisms in the world won’t help though (really…what is “athletic”?).

    Go raw. Ask for pounds (or kilos).

    If they’re gonna ask for inches, then we should be entitled to pounds.

    (That last sentence is just begging to misinterpreted).

  7. Randy Says:

    Looks like your tying to be more like the dating web site DownToEarth.com

    • James Says:

      I live in Fairfield , CA. that is the Northren part. I live in Northren CA inland area with some ocean inelufnce, summer days are hot between 90 to 103F & winter days between 40 to 50 F.After reading where you are all from I’m not sure I picked the right color. Does any of that sound like wear any of you live?

  8. Sama Baby! Says:

    P.S. – How do you feel about Paid vs. FREE? A while ago you said free sites were in trouble the more the site grew….

  9. Walter Says:

    You may have a lot of competitors offering free online personals, but you still boast the highest number of users which IMO is what gives you a distinct competitive advantage.

    -w

  10. Michael Says:

    Randy….perhaps you haven’t been following Markus long, but downtoearth is trying to be like POF.

    He mentioned it about a week ago:

    http://plentyoffish.wordpress.com/2009/01/03/its-official-matchcom-abandons-paid-dating/

  11. Plentyoffish Website Changes - 100% free online dating Says:

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  12. Manuel Says:

    thanks Markus…

  13. GFXarts Says:

    How can you expect people to take you seriously when you don’t show proportional thumbnails? Did you not notice everybody is streched out to cram into your square little boxes?

  14. Massimo Says:

    not really sure point 2) is a good idea. or maybe it is, but I’d like the possibility of opting out of this feature for a particular profile.

  15. dg Says:

    GFXarts is right. Here, now you have no excuse:

    ”’
    ”’ Calculate a scale factor to be applied to the dimensions of an
    ”’ image so that it fits into a smaller thumbnail area.
    ”’
    ”’ Width of source image.
    ”’ Height of source image.
    ”’ Width of destination thumbnail.
    ”’ Height of destination thumbnail.
    ”’ Scale factor to be applied to original source image.
    Function GetThumbnailScale(ByVal wdSource As Single, ByVal htSource As Single, ByVal wdDest As Single, ByVal htDest As Single) As Single
    Dim scaleX As Single = wdDest / Math.Max(1, wdSource)
    Dim scaleY As Single = htDest / Math.Max(1, htSource)
    Dim result As Single = Math.Min(scaleX, scaleY)
    Return result
    End Function

  16. dg Says:

    ”’ <summary>
    ”’ Calculate a scale factor to by applied to the dimensions of an
    ”’ image so that it fits into a smaller thumbnail area.
    ”’ </summary>
    ”’ <param name=”wdSource”> Width of source image. </param>
    ”’ <param name=”htSource”> Height of source image. </param>
    ”’ <param name=”wdDest”> Width of destination thumbnail. </param>
    ”’ <param name=”htDest”> Height of destination thumbnail. </param>
    ”’ <returns> Scale factor to be applied to original source image. </returns>
    Function GetThumbnailScale(ByVal wdSource As Single, ByVal htSource As Single, ByVal wdDest As Single, ByVal htDest As Single) As Single
    Dim scaleX As Single = wdDest / Math.Max(1, wdSource)
    Dim scaleY As Single = htDest / Math.Max(1, htSource)
    Dim result As Single = Math.Min(scaleX, scaleY)
    Return result
    End Function

  17. stuffnthings Says:

    Very nice change to the profile pic dept. good improvements. that was the one thing that stunned me about your site for so long. I was like surely he is going to fix that, then I thought, ya know he will get more click through if you have to go to the profile and actually see a better image. Klever.

    where does cragslist.org’s personal ads come in as far as traffic in comparison to plentyoffish.com?

    I wonder how much Ashley Madison spends in a year on web ads?

  18. MN Says:

    Good evening Markus…Ive recently signed up an account on your site POF.com… but having problems deleting my sent messages…….and also it appears my messages im sending to other users arent being recieved by them… sent a friend of mine on your site a message and he never recieved it… try it many times aswell… not sure whats wrong… any help or advise would be appreciated… thanks

  19. Gary M Says:

    Hi Markus,

    I read your interview/article on INC magazne it was very cool!
    we have some similairites being refugees for the high tech bust of 2000-2003.
    If I agree to play you a game of RISK, Would you agree to chat with me for five minutes? I have two ideas I want to run by you, neither of which involves you me asking you for money.

    I sent a msg @ POF as well – im a satisfied user there.
    have a good one !

  20. Why Hunters Use the Web « DayneShuda.com Says:

    […] No more gifts…. & lots of changes. […]

  21. Cody Says:

    heh, I didn’t even notice any changes but I’m glad you decided to ditch the paid gifts. Keeping pof “100% Free Online Dating” is the way to go in my opinion especially with the new free dating sites popping up; I don’t think you want to loose your edge.

  22. Eldho Says:

    I am just thinking why you’re not trying premium profiles with a better GUI and later making it free will be beneficial to POF.

  23. Plentyoffish Website Changes Says:

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  24. Kyle Says:

    Playing the devils advocate.

    Just curios Markus. What was the driver behind these changes since you have posted before that listening to “your users is bad”

  25. David N. Says:

    I’m not sure how I got to this website but I read the article in Inc. and thought to myself, wow.

  26. Craig Says:

    Gee Markus you must be “LOSING A FORTUNE” with these changes, no more ads on each profile?

  27. Your Full of Crap Says:

    I want dick size! Tired of hooking up with guys with little dicks who cum as soon as they see me naked.

  28. Your Full of Crap Says:

    Should of sold your site in 2007 when you could have made a fortune. Now you lose because of your big ego got in the way of smart business.

  29. Dimitri Says:

    I have a suggestion for segue for resolving your issue. Is there a way we can speak “privately?

  30. Robert Says:

    Well, sounds like you’re on the right track in your thinking. Remember your market though. Don’t forget many people like your site because it’s simple. Make sure any changes you make still result in an extremely simple interface. By all means, make more advanced options available, but only by choice, link, tab, etc.

    And of course the proverbial, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Your current income schemata seems pretty solid based on the last magazine interview I read about you. Don’t toss it.

  31. CasualEncounters.com Says:

    I always found the virtual gifts thing weird. Do people really pay for them? Anyone know how much they contribute to facebook’s revenue?

  32. John Comeau Says:

    Markus, if you’re interested in an automated way of making equal-sized thumbnails that don’t distort, use ImageMagick’s “convert” with the options (for example):

    convert “$file” -thumbnail ’72×72>’ -background -grey -gravity center -extent 72×72 “thumbs/$(basename $file)”

    That shrinks the picture to 72×72, and if the original dimensions aren’t in proportion, it will center what’s left on a grey “matte” background. Took me a while to figure that out for one of my own sites. Thought it might help improve PoF’s look too. Best — jc

  33. Plenty of Fish decides to go paid but is its effort half-baked? | Drama Blog Says:

    […] January 2009, he decided to stop offering them, writing that they were “not really core to what we are […]

  34. Anika Quinn Says:

    As the smart saying: “… Business training in early life should not be regarded solely as insurance against destitution in the case of an emergency. For from business experience women can gain, too, knowledge of the world and of human beings, which should be of immeasurable value to their marriage careers. Self-discipline, co-operation, adaptability, efficiency, economic management,—if she learns these in her business life she is liable for many less heartbreaks and disappointments in her married life.” (Hortense Odlum).

  35. Racing car experience days Says:

    Racing car experience days…

    Sending Money- You can send Tiffany money orders via the Central Trust. Personally I would prefer if you sent money gifts via her mother (me). Tiffany has about 6000 worth of bills and 3500 worth of restitution that we are working on paying off. She is…

  36. Why Hunters Use the Web Says:

    […] No more gifts…. & lots of changes. […]

  37. Randy Says:

    Can you please show me a remove link? I no longer wish to receive your emails. I was a subscriber at one time…. but, no longer wish to receive emails.

  38. Fish Killer Says:

    Hey Marcus what are you doing about the serial killer on your fish site that has been killing women. How is it that its not all over the place yet. Your system sucks and it can not stay free forever. You will be forced to charge a fee to stop these maniacs from killing again. I recommend a paid service. Marcus is only init for the money the ads provide for him. I have met marcus in person years back and he really needs to do something before he finds himself in a bad place.

  39. Carolyn Says:

    Is the website down today?Tried numerous times to login.

  40. Medical apps Says:

    So when this going to end.

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