August 29th, 2012 — 1:35pm
As part of the increasing and welcome trend of websites helping singles connect offline more easily, Grouper has been getting . Billed as a social club, – currently available in NYC, Washington DC and San Francisco – is like other competitors (, for example) in that it uses Facebook to connect members with new people. The catch, though, is you have to be invited by an existing member in order to join.
Grouper: A great way to meet new people...if you're under 30.
Grouper organizes group outings at various watering holes around the city, matching men and women by things like age, educational background, profession and lifestyle. It’s a great concept – one that has struck a cord with many New Yorkers.
“I have a lot of clients on Grouper and think it’s a great, more natural way to meet,” founder Laurie Davis told me. “It just depends on what you’re looking for. In my opinion, it should be a second site you join not a replacement for a dating site. Grouper is not specifically for dating, it’s for socializing, so you won’t always meet a love interest.”
Nor will you always get a timely response from the Grouper team. After hearing about the site back in December, I reached out through Twitter multiple times. It wasn’t until last week that Director of Customer Experience Challen Hodson finally responded.
“While we’ve been very lucky to have so many people interested in Grouper, at this point, the vast majority of our members are in their early- to mid-twenties,” Hodson said in an email. “Our hope is that we’ll be able to expand beyond that demographic so that we can get more of our members on Groupers.”
Bottom line – Grouper is definitely a site worth having on your radar. But if you’re a thirtysomething single, don’t expect any rapid results. Nine months after registering with the site, I’m still waiting for an invite.
May 17th, 2012 — 1:52pm
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting founder Shelli Trung. Though Shelli and I connected awhile back, this was our first time catching up in person since Shelli is born and bred in Melbourne, Australia.
3six5dates.com's Shelli Trung and me
Over a cozy lunch at Cinema Café in Midtown, Shelli shared her inspiration for creating the website – Sex And The City. Once the beloved series ended, Shelli felt there was a void when it came to programming that talked honestly about women’s dating lives. 3Six5Dates.com is a fascinating, fun website that chronicles a year in the dating life of women based in some of the world’s greatest cities – New York, London, Shanghai and Sydney. The site is one of Shelli’s many ventures. A petite powerhouse of energy, she also dabbles in real estate and marketing so I’m not surprised she was named one of Australia’s top 10 ten female startup entrepreneurs.
The conversation flowed freely as we talked about following your bliss and how dating far outside your zip code opens you up to unexpected experiences. Shelli says Aussie men tend to be laidback about dating but quick to commit – a far cry from what she’s discovering about American guys. We also got onto the subject of Australia’s knack for work-life balance and I filled Shelli in on how much I loved living in Sydney briefly ten years ago. What’s not to love about a city situated alongside a gorgeous harbor with beautiful weather and friendly people who know how to live a good life?
Talking to Shelli reminded me why I have such affection for Australia and its people. And why, when you’re a single gal in any city, you’re part of a great, global sisterhood. Shelli and I are already planning a girls night out for her next visit, so stay tuned!
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