by Angela Benton
Black Web 2.0
Most women know it’s hard to find love, but black women specifically may be looking in all the wrong places. The issue of black women having to look outside of their race if they wanted to even consider getting married, mostly due to the lack available African-American men, and the claim that their standards need to be lowered by Steve Harvey himself made waves earlier in the year by a feature on ABC. The statistic that 42 percent of Black women are single, double that of White women struck a nerve with many Black women and triggered a flood of both outraged and confirming op-eds by Black women online.
What most overlooked is where, realistically, you may find your potential mate. Chances are it isn’t in church and niche online dating may be exactly what the doctor ordered. While most women would opt to try household names in online dating like Match.com a study by OKCupid revealed this:
Black women have a particularly difficult time finding partners on online dating sites. OKCupid.com says that it’s data confirms that “men don’t write black women back. Or rather, they write them back far less often than they should. Black women reply the most, yet get by far the fewest replies. Essentially every race—including other blacks—singles them out for the cold shoulder.”
— OKCupid.com October 2009 via 1stFridays.com
The lack of responses to Black women online in traditional venues has proved to be a business opportunity; and it’s proved to be big business…for People Media at least. People Media owns BlackPeopleMeet.com as well as a slew of other niche focused dating sites. Launched in 2002, BlackPeopleMeet gets over 700,000 unique visitors per month (Compete). The media company was acquired by InteractiveCorp in July of 2009 for roughly $80 million. InteractiveCorp may not ring a bell to the average Jane but surely Match.com will, InteractiveCorp (IAC) is the company that owns Match.
Executive Director of BlackPeopleMeet.com Ron Worthy mentioned that not only is this a fast growing market it is often very effective:
“In an ever more wired society, online dating has become recognized as one of the most effective ways for people to meet, and black singles are one of the fastest growing populations within this trend,” said Worthy. “As this population migrates from urban centers to suburban settings, an online community acts as a common meeting ground, a place to gather and find each other. Compared to traditional methods of meeting other singles, online dating offers the greatest pool of potential relationship partners, and it’s certainly the most affordable option in today’s difficult economy.”
In addition to online dating being cheap, single ladies may also find dating tips and heck, even the Modern Day Matchmaker; a webisode that focuses on giving women matchmaking tips. Topics and advice range from “Why He Didn’t Call You Back” to “How to Know When to Invest [in him and the relationship]” and going “Inside the Mind of a Single Man.” The self proclaimed “real life Hitch” also goes head-to-head on the issue of 42 percent of Black women being single.
So while you might not get any play on Match.com proper… or at the local bar for that matter; Black women may fair well to tryout a more “interactive” way to find Mr. Right.
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