DatingBuzz has been around since 1997 as its previous incarnation Matchmaker (www.matchmaker.co.za NOT matchmaker.com). Not to be confused with the international Matchmaker.com website which is owned by Lycos, the DatingBuzz brand was launched in 2002. The main website is www.datingbuzz.com but a brilliant marketing strategy has allowed DatingBuzz to rebrand its website and create partnership opportunities major media companies in South Africa like Sunday Times, Mail & Guardian and 5FM. So anyone registering with these and over 70 other websites is pooled into one big database therefore giving everyone a lot more choice. At last count they had over 130,000 registered users. The website rated 70% in the Webagility analysis performed in July 2004.
Before you even register with the website you can browse the Gallery with all the pictures of newly registered members or members that have updated their pictures in their profiles. A cheat that I use to get more “hits” on my profile is to change my primary photo to get into the Gallery. I also do this on Sundays so I can get into the Gallery on Mondays and therefore get maximum exposure. You can also access the full profile of anyone from the Gallery but full access to photos is limited to registered members. As with most online dating websites registration is FREE.
Registration is a two step process with a confirmation sent to your email with an activation code. Once you’ve confirmed your registration from the email you must complete your profile. Once the initial registration with activation is complete DatingBuzz sends you a very nice introductory email which explains the basic next steps with useful tips on how to get the most out the website. The “About Me” and “My Ideal Match” sections are both compulsory. These are the most important items used in the matchmaking technology. The colours used (red) allows for quick navigation to answer the most important questions. You are allowed to upload a maximum of five photos that must be less then 600KB which is allows you to post really high quality photos.
Before you start searching for that ideal match, the front page shows you very useful information to help keep track of your progress and popularity. This can be a bit of a vanity trip but don’t get stuck on it. You get “quick stats” on number of “favourites”, “fans” and the amount of messages “sent” and “received” through the website. You also get a popup banner when you have a new message waiting for you; and when you click on it you’re taken directly to this message. Additional stats in the amount of times your profile was viewed is also presented on the front page once you’ve logged in.
Now that you’re ready to search you can find people by the following criteria:
- name: If you know the name of the user you can search directly for them
- favourites: You can search the list of your favourite profiles
- fans: You can search the list of fans (people who added you to their favourites list)
- matches: Using the matchmaking technology you can find matches based on your criteria
- search: Search the database based on any criteria you specify
- keyword: Using a specific keyword e.g. “Mariah Carey” you can find people who like her music
- gallery: Browse through the new photos of profiles in the database
- popular profiles: Based on amount of people who added these profiles to their favourites list today’s birthdays:
- new profiles: A list of the latest profiles, mostly with no photos approved yet
- recently modified profiles
- currently logged in members
Overall DatingBuzz creates a superior experience to those who want to get the most out of online dating. The subscriptions range from R79.95 for one month to R479.95 for 12 months (works out to R40 per month). There is a variety of payment options credit card, electronic funds transfer (via Internet banking), EasyPay, direct deposit and Cheque or Postal Order. An added bonus is a great Affiliate program which pays a 10% commission on subscribers referred to DatingBuzz. Once you’ve experienced how easy it is to use this system to meet great people you can make a few bucks from referring your friends.