It’s a tough nut to crack, but check them out at home here, and let us know what you think.
(Oh, and mobile apps are in the works.) Readers interested in testing out the site can get two free weeks on Nerve Dating by registering here.
Early on, Nerve was defined by some amazing editorial content, boosted by contributions from writers like Jonathan Lethem, Chuck Palahniuk, and Joyce Carol Oates (to name a few), and it evolved into one of the few early success stories of New York’s Silicon Alley.
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.When creating a new dating website (or really any other consumer-facing web business), scale is one of the biggest challenges, and online dating really doesn’t work unless there is a crowd of people on the site ready for love.Nerve Dating already has over 10,000 users, and Mills says that the team is already hearing success stories.Last year, Nick Paumgarten wrote an interesting article for The New Yorker that detailed the rise of online dating and the effects it’s had on web culture.
What struck me most were some of the eye-opening statistics he shared about the size and popularity of the industry, beginning with the fact that fee-based dating sites have become, collectively, a billion-dollar industry — that “one in six new marriages is the result of meetings on Internet dating site.” What’s more, online dating is now the third most common way for people to meet.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.(Neve Dating costs 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.In fact, Nerve recently flagged a user for setting up what looked to be a fake profile, and when they contacted the owner, they found that the profile was created by none other than Ok Cupid Co-founder Chris Coyne.This seems to be evidence that, while people want their dating lives to be social, it’s all about discovering new people, they don’t want to be followed by their social graphs, people want to be anonymous.