When I tell prospective members about the premise of TruConnection.com — the idea that what you write/create + your photo is the best first impression when meeting online — some have said, “but a lot of the mainstream sites have a place where you can write freely, too.”
That’s true — many sites have an ‘In my Own Words’ section or equivalent. The problem is, this is a static space where a member typically describes herself and what she is looking for. It’s part of a profile rarely modified by the member after it’s published, and while it can sometimes offer a glimpse into her personality, more often than not it is home to phrases like the ones below:
‘I love my family’
‘My friends mean the world to me’
‘I don’t play games’
‘I’m looking for someone who is fun, interesting, and close with his family’
‘I’m down to earth’
Little can be gleaned from these phrases, as they apply to almost everyone. To be fair, some users will use this space as a way to showcase their creativity or write humorously, and this does reveal a bit about who they are. But this is still merely a snapshot. And knowing they will be ‘judged’ on this one paragraph, members find it difficult not to write self-consciously (I know from experience…years ago on a site I recall spending an hour trying to be funny, and it probably came out awkward). Moreover, on most sites, this section is shown alongside a detailed profile of characteristics that likely trump the writing itself.
On TruConnection, the writing shared by a member on the site is not static; members are encouraged to write briefly each day about the listed topic, or about anything they like. They can also upload past writings, as well as art or photography.
If I join as a new member and come across someone I’m interested in, I can see a log of her past writings/uploads. I see more than a snapshot of her; I see what she chooses to share, I get to know her views on a number of topics, and I open a window into her personality without knowing everything about her.
And when we meet in person, I will learn the rest.
TruConnection.com launched 100 days ago in NYC and Boston, MA and currently has close to 400 members. We will be expanding into new cities in June.