My favourite hello (Canceled)
My favourite hello (Canceled)
An online dating service designed specifically for people with asperger's, autism and learning disabilities.
An online dating service designed specifically for people with asperger's, autism and learning disabilities. Read more
Can you remember your first date? Can you remember the nerves and excitement you felt? Can you remember your first kiss? If you can, you are lucky because for a large number of our audience, even a first date is beyond their grasp.
People with aspergers, autism and learning disabilities do not have the same opportunities to form friendships and relationships as neuro typical people do. For our audience, face to face contact and social interactions are difficult. Where opportunities to form a connection (romantic or platonic) do arise, the nature of their condition means that the odds are stacked against them.
We asked a few members to share their frustrations and hopes with us. This is what they had to say:
"Imagine trying to land a Boeing 747 whose computers, controls and alarms are in Klingon. That's more-or-less what dating feels like to me." My favourite hello member
"People with disabilities and autism are entitled to a relationship. Just like everyone else they want the same, to be loved and cared for." My favourite hello member
"It would mean the absolute world to me to find the right girl." My favourite hello member
"I'm not fatalistic. I'm not convinced that I'm never going to find a relationship. My condition makes dating and relationships significantly more challenging. The only difference now is, while I'm still finding it hard, I'm very hopeful." My favourite hello member
In the UK the number of people (over 18 and unmarried) who have the challenges we have described is 603,000. In the US that number is over 7 million.
My favourite hello
My favourite hello is an online dating service that caters specifically to the quirks, needs and biases of people with asperger's, autism and learning disabilities. The service is a labour of love and was built with our team's own money, but we have come to a point where we need outside assistance. We are finding it difficult to convince institutional investors to see the value in what we are doing, so now we are asking our community to partner with us instead.
We are looking for donations to help us find new members, improve safety features on our site and to launch our on-the-date companion mobile app.
Why you should back us
We offer all of the benefits of online dating, but our service offers a number of tailored features that set us apart and make us more effective than mainstream dating sites and our competitors.
We stand apart because:
- Our bespoke matching logic helps our members find matches whose quirks are compatible with their own.
- We recognise that our members need help, so we allow assisted accounts where members can nominate supporters to receive duplicates of every communication received.
- Our 'My favourite date' app will go on dates with our members and guide them through every step and social interaction from choosing an outfit to saying good bye.
Where we are right now
We have a live service with active members. We know My favourite hello is not perfect, but we have a lot to be proud of and we have a clear vision and roadmap for the future. We worked closely with charities and supporters to develop a solution we believe will be impactful over time.
Right now, our members have full access to the following features:
My condition - Members don't want to be defined by their condition so we allow them to check a box and we will provide a clinical definition on their profile page. This gets the awkward technicalities out of the way and removes another obstacle.
My condition and me - We know that even though they have the same condition not all members are the same, so we allow members to detail how their condition affects them personally to help matches better understand them and form their outlook before they meet.
Dating guides - Our dating guides provide skill building content that will boost member's confidence and help build the courage.
Anonymous forum - Members can share their experiences and advice anonymously allowing the community to self-support.
Block - Members can block anyone who makes them feel uncomfortable. They are encouraged to report suspicious activity.
Assisted accounts - Members can decide whether they want to nominate a supporter to receive duplicate copies of every communication they receive.
- Guided communications - First communications are carefully guided so that members build confidence before they get to free messaging.
- Site safety features:
- We provide guidance on safety and making safe decisions. Every communication members receive will carry a safety message.
- We allow members to nominate a supporter to receive duplicate communications. So we include a supporter’s email address in member’s account.
- We never show a member’s email address, full postal address, or last name in their profile. These details are not discoverable in any way.
- Our database is not searchable, matches will only be able to see and communicate with the people they are matched with.
- We offer a ‘block’ function for member’s who would like to remove a match from their dashboard. We keep a record of all member’s who have been blocked – This helps us see patterns.
- We do not allow members to share profile to any other social media channel.
Our mission is to make safe romantic connections accessible and provide all of the tools necessary to improve our audience's chance of developing successful relationships.
We will use the funds we raise to improve the following key areas:
- Attracting new members - We will spend 20% of funds raised on a Google ad-words and a Facebook outreach campaign to find new members and deliver new matches.
- Improving member's safety - We will spend 25% of funds raised on automated background checks at registration and additional safety features.
- Offer on-the-day dating guidance - We will spend 25% of funds raised to launch our My favourite date app that walks users through a date, from getting ready to following up after a date. If members are stuck for conversation on a date the app suggest topics of conversation based on their match's profile.
The rest of the funds will go towards VAT and fees.
Please support us
We want to show our members that they are not alone and just how many people are rooting for them by building a virtual Love Village with every donation. Contributers will have their name added to a supporter index and as we gain traction so our Love Village will flourish as a visual gesture to our audience.
Even if we don't reach our goal, it's important to show our members that they are not alone. Our Love Village will live on beyond this campaign and will be a constant reminder that there are supporters and friends who want our members to experience the joys and challenges that come with romantic relationships, and were prepared to contribute something towards that goal.
Risks and challenges
1. There might be a perception that we seeking to profit off a vulnerable audience
We are committed to making a material difference in the lives of our members and as such we have built in checks and balances to ensure that we are always making decisions in the best interest and for the betterment of our community. We have an advisory board representative of all of our stakeholders and who will review and approve as our service evolves over time.
The advisory board will meet every 6 months to review progress against stated KPI’s and on an ad hoc basis they will be responsible for signing off on any new features and content.
2. Members might hold us responsible for their safety.
We know that the biggest concern our audience, their supporters and carers have when it comes to online dating is safety. People with aspergers, autism and learning disabilities are too trusting and slow to act when they are in an awkward situation. We also know that some of our members will not recognize threatening behaviours in themselves. My favourite hello will promote safe behaviours and offer members an environment where they can easily report threatening or suspicious behavior. A block function will remove a member from their dashboard immediately. We will also closely monitor profiles. In the near future we will also have automated background checks and photo validation. We know we can never completely remove threats and we can’t guarantee safety but we will do everything in our power to create a safe environment behind a paywall that will be less susceptible to ill intentions than most social media platforms.
Many of our audience have been taken advantage of in the pursuit of romantic relationships. The nature of their condition makes them easy targets for ill intentioned people because they can’t recognise threatening or deceptive behaviour. My favourite hello has an area of skill building content that will train members to recognise suspect behaviour and how to act when they do see red flags. We will also make it easy to report suspicious behaviour if the member can’t tell whether they are being taken advantage of before they resort to blocking a match.
We spoke to the head of social care and transformation at a local council who told us that the fear of making a mistake means that supporters end up doing nothing to improve the wellbeing of people with asperger’s, autism and learning disabilities and that in the end means our audience turn to social media and engage in risky behaviours in an unprotected environment.
We know we can’t guarantee everybody’s safety but we will do everything we can to provide a safe and protected environment for members to make connections
3. We might be accused of condoning offensive content in our forum.
When it comes to relationships research finds that parents and professionals help is not enough. Often advice is outdated and not sensitive to their condition. The My favourite hello anonymous forum will help members seek relationship advice from people like them who understand their struggles and have no personal interest or bias.
Over time we should start to see members create topics exploring sexuality in our anonymous forum. We expect to see conversation threads exploring all areas of sexuality and members opening up about their fears and barriers. As members grow in confidence we want to see more of them sharing advice instead of asking for it in the forum.
We will do our best to moderate threatening or offensive posts but we also have to leave some room for frustrated members to be able to speak freely. We WILL NEVER tolerate any post that mentions a member by name or offers enough information to be able to find out who a member is.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)