Online Dating: By the Book

by d

via Flickr, by MrHayata is a brand spankin’ new dating site still in beta. Your profile is comprised of books you’ve read, and “what this book means to you. Make it personal!” Not a bad concept, reading lists are very important, especially if you’re a big reader.

Unfortunately, Alikewise has some shortcomings. Foremost among them: there’s nobody there, yet. The nearest guy is an hour away. And he’s the only one. If I change my ZIP code to the two nearest big cities, I find ONE in Philadelphia, and New York has a grand total of 30 (11 in my preferred age range). Erm? I know the site is a baby, but this is really tiny. New York is the home of the founders, so it’s to be assumed that it would have the most profiles when starting up. The number of women is roughly equally, but it’s a dauntingly tiny pool.

Lets look ahead to when the site has a decent userbase.

You can upload a few pictures, a tagline, some basic attributes (height, hair, eyes, body type), and “Your Story,” which is made up of six prompt questions. So, assuming someone puts in the time to write something nice about all the books they list, you can come up with a pretty good idea of who they are.

I’m not sure if they’ve got their sorting tools in place, though. If you click on a book, you’ll see other users who also listed that book. (This is a bit challenging while the site is still small. Try “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.”) It looks like this list is sorted by proximity, but it’s hard to be sure. What if I want to look for people in a specific city who like this book? How do I do that?

The site is currently free, though they say they may charge for some features in the future. It may be worth putting up a profile now, and seeing what you get as people discover it.

4 Comments to “Online Dating: By the Book”

  1. I hope they’ll expand soon. I think it’s a terrific idea, at least in theory. I mean — books say a lot about the mind. And, at the very least, it’s an excellent conversation starter, even if you don’t end up interested in the other person for whatever reason.

  2. Hm. Well, I suppose it might work for casual online dating. But, in all honesty, as it is right now it sounds like a fusion of Facebook and MySpace for the purpose of finding people to date. :p Which isn’t a bad thing, if you’re going for casual dating. But, it probably isn’t a dating site to go to if you’re looking for something more than that. But, you have to start somewhere, right?? Like F said, books are certainly good conversation starters and having the same taste in books (especially if you both like to read) can be something pretty nice in a relationship. However, what if you meet up with someone and find that that’s pretty much ALL you have in common despite how promising it seemed online? Naturally, this is a normal part of dating, but I think this set-up makes it likely to happen more often than not. It would probably be a good idea if they expanded to add more than just what they have for you to tell about yourself. Which they very well might be thinking of doing if their site catches on.

    I worry, though, that from the sound of things they might not be as serious about it as they could be. Perhaps they just don’t know how to properly advertise their site, though. That could easily make all the difference as far as the number of users is concerned.

  3. These ‘theme’ dating sites crop up every so often. JDate is popular, as are others focused on a religious or ethnic group. But there’s also one for Apple/Mac fans. Can you really base a relationship on your love for one tech brand? At least books cover a broad range of subjects and have a lot of nuance hidden between the pages.

    I am a reader, so I was excited to hear about it. I really hope it picks up/they expand the offerings. :-p

  4. Great comments. (This is Matt from Alikewise.)

    One difference is that we don’t make any false promises on compatibility. We don’t think a web site can figure that out for you.

    We’d rather help you have that first conversation, and make it interesting. After that, it’s up to you. 🙂

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