Dating the next killer app?

· People Power

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving everyone, whether here in the U.S. or not. On this day where so many of us convene with our families and talk about or avoid talking about politics, religion, and sex, I find myself thinking about online dating.
A lot of us are scratching our heads as we see venture capitalists starting to invest again in Internet start-ups, particularly social software tools with no visible means of support. Some of these networks are set up explicitly for business and professional purposes but many are geared toward dating.
There have been online personals almost as long as there’s been a web, and there have also been the unstructured meat markets gathered around Yahoo! profiles and messenger (asl, anyone?) and other social/communication tools.
In today’s Circuits section of the Times, danah boyd is quoted, featured, and pictured in an article on Friendster, Tribe, Ryze, and all the rest. I still don’t see where the money is, but the idea is clearly gaining mindshare.
Maybe if Dean is elected, DeanLink can transform itself into a dating network as well.
RFB contributor filchyboy, it should be noted, recently floated a concept for an open source network structured around dating, blogging, FOAF, and some extended custom metadata. He calls it The Dating Syndicate! Now, how do I invest?
P.S.: This year I’m mainly thankful for my friends and family, online and off.