Matchmaking Mom Launches New Site — Date My Single Kid

A heart-shaped Faberge picture frame with a po...
Image by AFP/Getty Images via @daylife

This week marked the launch of, whose site offers a photo of its creator, Geri Brin, and her 31-year-old single son, Colby. He looks like a nice guy, cute.

Does he really need his Mom’s help?

From the National Post:

As the New York entrepreneur behind FabOverFifty. com, she decided to add a dating component to the website–not for her women readers, but for their sons and daughters. Unlike sites such as Lavalife or eHarmony, Date My Single Kid asks moms to upload photos of their adult children along with a brief profile; then, if another mom thinks she’s found a good match, she’ll send a message. “The goal is mom-to-mom communication,” Geri says. Date My Single Kid, which the Brins insist wasn’t created for the sole purpose of finding Colby’s future wife, went live on Tuesday. Within 48 hours, it had 200 profiles uploaded. Although many a thirtysomething guy would find it embarrassing to be set up on a date by his mother, the Brins think this system has its advantages. “Say you’re into gardening,” Colby says. “You might not think that’s cool or manly, so you leave that out; but your mom might mention it and it shows your sensitive side, and a girl might find that attractive.” Then again, mothers don’t always know best. “She casts a wider net than I maybe would,” Colby says about his mother’s broad search criteria. “Her main requirements are just age and gender.”

My family was always pretty laissez-faire when it came to my dating life. My parents, long divorced, were often far away, traveling or living many times zones distant. It wasn’t the sort of family that spent a lot of time vetting my beaux. (Might have helped.)

Only once did my Mom introduce me to a guy she’d met, an IBM salesman (yes) named Bob, from a small town in Saskatchewan. Bob had a closet filled with (yes) white shirts and dark suits and a BMW that (help me) he called his Beemer. (What can I say? It was a summer fling.) He was good-looking, smart, had a decent job. But, once we got past this approved exterior, there wasn’t a great fit. He did manage to piss off all my friends at a dinner party by calling them (accurately, but still) limousine liberals.

Has your Mom ever found you someone to date? How did it work out?

How Do I Look? Asking Strangers' Advice On-Line

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 17:  Cheryl Cole walks down...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

I find this both helpful and a little sad — that anyone so trusts a bunch of strangers and so lacks self-confidence.

From The New York Times:

Not long ago, people turned to fashion magazines for advice. Now they are turning to one another. Web sites like Fashism and Go Try It On, both less than a year old, are picking up where fashion blogs have left off, and are making fashion more immediate and personal.

The premise is simple enough: Upload a photo of yourself wearing a particular outfit. Ask a question or share some details about your look. Users then rate your outfit by clicking “I like it” or “I hate it” on Fashism (or “Wear It” or “Change It” on Go Try It On).

Would-be Rachel Zoes can also comment. It’s similar to that Web site Hot or Not, where users rate one another’s sex appeal. But these sites are geared for fashion and, more refreshingly, are largely free of the snark or harsh judgments that plague earlier crowd-sourcing sites.

“It’s for people who want a quick second opinion,” said Marissa Evans, 26, a former Web analyst and strategist in New York, who started Go Try It On. Ms. Evans employs a small team of moderators to ensure civility. “I really wanted to build a site that is helpful, not hurtful,” she said.

If you’re not sure about a look, who do you turn to for advice or feedback?

Or do you simply trust your own judgment?

Or…not care how you look?

Is Blogging A Dying Art?

Image representing Blogger as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

An interesting piece from The Economist:

Signs are multiplying that the rate of growth of blogs has slowed in many parts of the world. In some countries growth has even stalled.

Blogs are a confection of several things that do not necessarily have to go together: easy-to-use publishing tools, reverse-chronological ordering, a breezy writing style and the ability to comment. But for maintaining an online journal or sharing links and photos with friends, services such as Facebook and Twitter (which broadcasts short messages) are quicker and simpler.

Charting the impact of these newcomers is difficult. Solid data about the blogosphere are hard to come by. Such signs as there are, however, all point in the same direction. Earlier in the decade, rates of growth for both the numbers of blogs and those visiting them approached the vertical. Now traffic to two of the most popular blog-hosting sites, Blogger and WordPress, is stagnating, according to Nielsen, a media-research firm. By contrast, Facebook’s traffic grew by 66% last year and Twitter’s by 47%. Growth in advertisements is slowing, too. Blogads, which sells them, says media buyers’ inquiries increased nearly tenfold between 2004 and 2008, but have grown by only 17% since then. Search engines show declining interest, too.

People are not tiring of the chance to publish and communicate on the internet easily and at almost no cost. Experimentation has brought innovations, such as comment threads, and the ability to mix thoughts, pictures and links in a stream, with the most recent on top. Yet Facebook, Twitter and the like have broken the blogs’ monopoly.

I am about to start a new blog, for an Australian website, on women and work (only twice a month, luckily) and have been sadly neglecting/ignoring the blog I began at, which covers crime.

How much can anyone have to say?

Blogging, for me, has a number of challenges:

1) I need to be paid for my work and most blogs don’t pay; 2) I need what I say to be intelligent, amusing, helpful. I don’t feel that everything I think is worth posting. That slows my production. 3) There is an insatiable quality to blogging, the feeling that you have to be on top of your issues all the time which (see point 1) is lovely if you’re independently wealthy and can take lots of unpaid time to opine on-line or you are OK shooting your mouth off and knowing it’s out there for all sorts of people to see; 4) people whose opinions can make a difference to my career are reading this stuff. Which is good. It’s very flattering indeed to see some of the links to major websites that analyze journalism, but it reminds me that I need to be thoughtful — not just fast or first.

This blog began July 1, 2009 and this is my 844th post. Crazy. I’m pooped!

I don’t think I’m that fascinating, so the frequency isn’t a reflection of my ego, and need to be heard (which it may well look like!) but my desire to hit the numbers I needed — 5,000 or 10,000 unique visitors per month — to reach my T/S bonuses. My best month was May, with more than 15,000. That was pocket change to people like Matt Taibbi, but a lot for me.

Today, more people are tweeting or using Facebook to communicate their own thoughts and personal data, while blogs are becoming niche or micro-niche areas of specialty, like the one referenced in that story from Sweden on how to paint your house.

Now I’m becoming even more of a dinosaur…if I used to be Stegosaurus (being a generalist in a hyper-specialized medium) I’m starting to feel like a trilobite…primordial ooze, even.

I still read very few blogs, but I do read Facebook several times a day, and have found many items I use here — like this one — from others’ posts there. I have FB friends in Bhutan, Paris, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and many of them are fellow journos or photographers, people traveling or noticing fun stuff. A few (sigh) are endless, tedious self-promoters.

I’ll soon start tweeting (saying what exactly?!) as instructed by the publicist for my book publisher. I need to (further) build a set of readers eager, one hopes, to reach for my retail book when it appears next spring. I wouldn’t tweet unless ordered to do so. But this is the new world. Many writers now spend as much time, sometimes more, publicizing their work than actually producing it.

Do you spend more time now on Facebook and Twitter than reading or writing blogs? Why?

Nine Months Into My T/S Gig, Taking Inventory

Marge Simpson
Who knew she'd prove so bloody popular?! Image via Wikipedia

They do it in retail — the subject of my book — so I thought I’d take stock.

As of April 1, no fooling, I’ve been blogging here nine months. I’d never done it much, never really wanted to and was, actually, terrified of the whole idea.

Last month was my best, so far, with 12,477 unique visitors. I know that number is dwarfed by super-popular True/Slant contributors like Matt Taibbi, who routinely pull in 40,000 views and who has 2,219 followers, by far the most of anyone here, but we’re very different writers.

(I rank 12th. of 275 in the number of followers. Which is lovely — thank you!)

My current number of posts: 649.

The largest number — 55 when I counted (at 641), have been on media, writing and publishing; 40 on business; 39 on foreign news; 37 on labor or work; 35 on women;  34 on matters personal (original content); 31 on crime, 29 on romance, dating or marriage, 28 on movies and 23 on sports.

My top 10 posts, which have changed little in nine months, are on mass media and pop culture, from Susan Boyle to (sigh) Marge Simpson, whose post still garners views every day, many months later; I wrote that post, mostly for fun, on October 9, 2009. Three of the top ten are about television; three about journalism, one on film, one about radio and one on music.

D’oh indeed!

I’ve found blogging, so far, somewhat surprising and counter-intuitive. I tend to write long — 400-800 words is typical, and up to 1,500 words on occasion. I figured short and snappy was necessary, but that’s not what my numbers are telling me.

I was shaking like a leaf on July 1, 2009, the day I started blogging here. I’ve been writing professionally for national newspapers and magazines since my sophomore year of college.

But the blogosphere seemed like a whole new planet, peopled by…who? I had no idea.  When you write for Smithsonian, or Boys’ Life or Glamour, as I have, you know exactly who’s reading you, demographically speaking. I certainly write differently for my Boy Scout readers than for the educated, affluent crowd that picks up Smithsonian.

For you….I write as I see fit. Of Broadside’s 179 followers, only nine are personal friends, although I’m really enjoying getting to know some of you better. Thanks to every one of you — almost evenly divided between men and women, as I’d hoped — for making the time to listen and to share your ideas. I’m grateful for the wit, intelligence, compassion and presence of this site’s readers.

More than 10,000 visitors now arrive here each month and I’ll soon also start blogging for a new Australian website written only by people without kids. The site’s owner found me here and invited me to join her small team.

In the next few months, I’ll try to post as often as before, but I must finish my book, which I hope to have in bookstores this time next year.

Anything you’d like to see more of? Less of?

Please email whenever you have ideas or links.

4.5 Million Cheaters Use AshleyMadison.Com — Adultery Made Simple!

Toronto Transit Commission
The Red Rocket, doing the right thing! Image via Wikipedia


That’s my reaction to, a Toronto-based website founded in 2001 that now has 4.5 million users — 70 percent of them male. The site recently gained more publicity when the Toronto Transit Commission rejected their ad that would have run the length of two streetcars with the site’s motto: “Life is short. Have an affair.”

Here’s an interview with Noel Biderman, the married man who runs the site. Gotta love that Vaseline-on-the-lens, WASPy soft-porn name he chose for his…venture.

I guess “Sluts Central” was taken.

Old(er) Women And Sex — With Or Without A Partner

Lamplit bedroom
Wherever works...Image by *Susie* via Flickr

Congrats to California writer Joan Price, whose website, which focuses on older women and sexuality, has just been named one of the top 100 sex bloggers. She’s a fellow member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, (on whose board I serve), a recent widow, and a fearless writer on sex and sexuality for women over 50. Yes, women over 50 have sex.

Recent blog posts include her rave review, with color photos, of the Snow Bunny, a sex toy – “no cervix battering!” — and a new book of women’s erotica. Typical of Joan, who’s as openly sensitive above the shoulders as below the waist, she also blogged recently about the loss of her beloved husband, Robert whom she met while line-dancing.

She’s now working on a new book, Naked At Our Age, and seeks people to interview who are ages 50 to 80 and currently celibate, whether happily so or not.