BettyConfidential: Tell me why you decided to start badonlinedates.com
Jennifer Kelton: I wrote a book about dating called Don’t Use My Sweater Like a Towel and when I was out promoting it, I realized there are a lot of people having negative dating experiences.
BC: Can you tell us a little about badonlinedates.com?
JK: It’s kind of like MySpace meets Match.com. It combines the best of social networking with online dating. There’s a commonality among the members because everyone on there is tired of having bad dates. They’re tired of the traditional sites where people lie and misrepresent themselves. If people are meeting in a social-networking site, it’s more like they’re meeting at a coffee shop or at a bar, as opposed to “Hi, I live in a mansion, drive a Ferrari and have a six-pack.”
BC: How is your site different than Match or Nerve?
JK: I’ve been told that all the dating sites have done this: They create fake profiles. I refuse to do that. It goes against every grain of my being. We’re talking about people who are joining a scene because they’re sick of the bulls*&t.
BC: What makes your site unique?
JK: There’s this new feature that I’m doing with Omnidate that should go live this week. You pick an avatar – no sexual bias, you can be or go out with whichever gender you want. Unlike at eHarmony, your sexual orientation doesn’t matter here. This will be the first dating site that will have this functionality to it. This is the future and where online dating is going. People need to connect … to be able to talk in real time through these avatars – it is kind of Second Life, but it’s not. You can invite someone into a room and you can flirt, and blow kisses – it’s quite fun to play with.
BC: You’re also launching Bad Date TV – what’s that about?
JK: These are public service announcements. The reason bad dates happen is that people are oblivious to how they behave. I’ve created these bad-date characters (one is called Bad Date Betty!), and they’re bad daters. The actors improv a bad date, and at the end there’s a moral to them.
BC: Like an after-school special, but for dating?