Harvard has done a study that says virtual dating is the future and the way to go. I think chat rooms are evil and probably the quickest way to destroy your site. People who use online chat and chat rooms are not serious about dating. Many of these people spend hours and hours chatting to people for entertainment or because they are bored. I have yet to see a major dating site that fully embraces chat, most that i’ve seen take it off after doing some testing.
Yahoo was stunned that when it converted yahoo personals to paid they got more users. Gee, maybe the fact the industry was growing at over 100% a year at the time for a couple of years had something to do with that. The article talks about how yahoo is hiring economics professors to try and squeeze more money out of the system. The problem is that these people can only improve on a current system, if you have the paradigm all wrong you still can’t compete. Ie Paid vs free dating sites.