From Mercury News
By Elise Ackerman
Engage.com is founded on the premise that online dating needs to be more like offline dating.
Rather than dates, its 200,000-plus members are encouraged to seek out matchmakers who have volunteered to act as digital yentas for single friends and even strangers.
The site's old-fashioned approach to courtship is one answer to the deep disappointment reported by large numbers of online daters.
In 2005, when Engage first launched, a survey by JupiterResearch found that only one in three online daters reported being "somewhat satisfied." Within two years, the research firm reported that the percent of Internet users who said they had browsed an online dating site had fallen by half - from 21 percent to 10 percent.
For some, it was the humiliation of sending dozens of carefully crafted e-mails to prospective partners and getting no reply. For others, particularly younger women, it was the dismay of opening an inbox full of inappropriate overtures from guys they considered too old or too sleazy.
Great idea for a dating site. They probably could have come up with a better name like datemyfriends.com or hookupwithmyhomies.net. The only way this works though, is for someone’s friends to know them very well (likes, dislikes and tastes) and for them to be able to articulate well. “Roger is so awesome. He’s really nice and good at his job. He’s a good listener and likes movies” will not cut it. Unless Roger looks like the good-looking Wilson brother, he’s not getting any love with that description. So the moral of the story is, that your odds are only as good as your wingman.