GPS for the Lonely
A girl walks into a bar—and her next boyfriend gets a text message about her arrival.
It’s hard to stay single these days. From eight-minute dating to Match.com, men and women searching for a mate have more resources than ever. Now a new service from Dallas-based Jambo Networks (www.jambo.net) promises to turn any William Hung into a George Clooney.
Think of Jambo’s software as GPS for the lonely. The application, which can be downloaded onto a laptop, PDA, or cell phone, alerts users when someone they might be attracted to is nearby. So say you’re a Match.com member. You sign up with Jambo Networks, fill out a short online profile, and when a potential date with your likes and dislikes enters your favorite bar, a message is sent. The receiver can respond via text or e-mail—or choose to ignore the notice. And the technology works anywhere on the planet.
“People want to network anywhere and anyplace,” says Charles Ribaudo, co-founder of Jambo. “Everyone has some sort of online identity. There are different dots everywhere—and we go in and connect the dots.”
Consider that online communities—MySpace, Yahoo! Personals, Facebook, and the rest—collectively have more than 150 million users. Add to that the fact that experts predict there will be 200,000 WiFi hot spots with 271 million users by 2008. And the power of the digital age is simple math. So, too, the money to be made off of it. As is the opportunity for love.