Dating is difficult as is. Dating as a vegan, even more so.
The main goal of this project is to create a dating site/app on which vegans can freely find other vegans to connect with romantically. There have been a few attempts in the past by others to start such a site, but none of them have gotten any traction. There's even a classic vegan meme out there stating that your closest vegan match is 30000 km away. Yet I've seen the request for such a site on various singles pages, so I've taken up the challenge to create such a page.
The result is Vegamory (www.vegamory.com), which is almost completely done. I would like your financial support for two things. First, to start a thorough and comprehensive advertising campaign that spans the entire internet (think google adwords, facebook ads, youtube channels and so on). This is most important, as the success of this site is highly dependent on its user base. The statistics on veganism per country and the number of singles on dating sites indicate that we should have enough vegans around to make it work. Second, to make this site customized for us, the users. Your feedback and suggestions as to what functionality would be nice to have included on the website will be used. I want to make Vegamory a truely pleasant and convenient place for all vegans to find more love in their lives.
Here are some things I could add in the future, but like I said, I'm happy to hear your thoughts. I'll try to focus on whats both feasible and is agreed upon by most backers as to be most desirable.
Enhanced photo functionality
Enable integration with facebook and instagram to share pictures galleries of these platforms. Also, the site currently supports only one photo upload. Ideally, users should be able to share however many pictures they want.
Multiple methods for login
Currently, you need a facebook account to sign up for the website. Ideally, other social network platforms such as LinkedIN should also be supported.
Scheduled reminders of new matches and messages
To make sure you don't have to check back every 5 minutes, the site should be able to send you an email whenever you have unread messages. Also, when new potential matches become available, you should get weekly updates. Of course, you will also be able to turn off these functions.
The more popular you get the more messages you receive. In order to keep the more popular users from being overwhelmed, simple message filters should be added. For example, messages that contain only 1 or 2 words should be filtered out.
Event and date scheduling
There are some great platforms that can integrate with the site to facilitate meeting in public. For example, integration with facebook and meetup should help identify suitable events nearby for you and your match to meet. I intend to explore the options and build in some nice integrations that will allow dates to be scheduled.
Methods to invite friends
A big part of growing a community is word of mouth advertising. Though this will effectively be word of text, you get the idea. There should be buttons for you to invite people to vegamory and to recomend interesting profiles to your friends.
Android and iOS app (25k each on top of initial goal)
Every great dating site should also have an app. However, making these is a lot of work and is a different exercise than making the website version. If this campaign becomes a massive success, I'll be able to make, test and provide you with an app version for both android and iOS. Each version will cost 25k to develop and test.
Risks and challenges
To mitigate most of the technical risk, I've already created the bulk of the website. Standard functionality like making your profile, uploading your picture, chat and searching for other users is already working. You can check it out on www.vegamory.com. It's a functional dating site, but with limited functionality. The site has not been tested thoroughly so there's a chance for bugs to pop up. I've quite some experience as a developer and I'm sure I'm able to tackle the technical issues. My resume and how far I've gotten with the site should give some evidence for that. If for some reason I run into problems, I've various colleagues working in software engineering that I can consult.
However I would like testing to be done before the actual launch. I intend to hire an external experienced party to do so to make sure the job is done thoroughly. Solving bugs should be done before launch, so the users are not bothered by a malfunctioning site.
The quality of a dating site is strongly dependent on the quality and quantity of the users. If you can't find any matches, it's no good. To popularize the site, I intend to do a comprehensive advertisement campaign online. I think that if we can reach enough vegans online, we should be able to have a user base large enough to make the site flourish. Let me give you a little calculation to back this up:
A great dating site should have a certain number of profiles with active users. Okcupid has an estimated 1 million active members. Let's see if that's feasible.
It is estimated that 6% of Americans are vegan. Judging from the statistics on wikipedia, approximately 3% of europeans are vegan.
50% of people above 18, in western countries, are single.
About a third of singles uses dating site or app . About 75% of people are 18 or over .
Let's do some simple calculations based on these data.
America has about 330 million inhabitants according to google.
330 * 6% * 50% * 33% * 75% = 2.475 million
(330 million americans, 6% of them are vegan, 50% of them are single, 75% are above 18, and a third of those users use a dating site)
Europe has about 741M inhabitants according to google.
741 * 3% * 50% * 33% * 75% = 2.775 million
(741 million europeans, 3% of them are vegan, 50% of them are single, 75% are above 18 and a third of those users use a dating site)
So, there should loosely be about 5.25 million vegans out there willing to use this site. More than enough to make this a very usable site. And veganism is growing, as is illustrated by this google trends graph . Since 2004, then number of google search on the word vegan has increased with 575%. So in the next few years, the number of single vegans is also going to shoot up. This calculation is based on very gross estimates, but still indicate there should be enough of us vegans out there to make it work.
- (40 days)