According to a press release sent out in mid-March by John Townsend, vice president of operations at the Cervelle Group, which handles the company that created IAmFreeTonight.,”
Meeting someone at a party for the random hookup seems to be a stereotypical college student experience. However, hookups have gone 21st-century with the new Web site IAmFreeTonight.com, and Marquette students are right in the middle of it.
According to a press release sent out in mid-March by John Townsend, vice president of operations at the Cervelle Group, which handles the company that created IAmFreeTonight.com, Marquette was listed as No. 23 on the Top 25 Best Overall Colleges for Online Dating. Monday, however, the school was not ranked.
Clifford Lerner, president and CEO of eTwine Holdings, which created IAmFreeTonight.com, said the rankings are supposed to be fun and there are no opinions involved in the calculations. There are several factors used to calculate a university's standings on the site, all of which have to deal with how people use the Web site.
The different features included on the site are weighted differently, Lerner said. Points are calculated by the amount of e-mails sent and received and the number of profile views. Higher points are given to members for the special features exclusive to IAmFreeTonight.com, like the "date now" feature.
Lerner said the idea for the Web site came about because he did research and found people who used traditional dating sites were frustrated with how long it took before people could meet face-to-face. It would take at least a few days, if not a few weeks, of back-and-forth correspondence before members could meet each other in person. This Web site was developed to facilitate the process of meeting people as soon as possible.
"It has every feature you find on Match.com and other Web sites like that, plus a few more," Lerner said.
The site hosts two extra features, according to Lerner. First is the "date now" option, where users can check off what dates they are available to meet up with other people on the Web site. This is then displayed on the user's profile. Users can also search by dates to find people who are available on certain days.
He said members can basically find out a "who, what, where, when" about people. The "who" are the people available; "what" is the activities they would be interested in, like going to a party or movies or dancing; "where" is the area they are from, and "when" is when they are available.
The other extra feature, Lerner said, is the wingman option. It is meant for people who are interested in double or group dates. Each member can list wingmen on his or her profile who will follow along on dates, and the other member can bring friends of his or her own.
"This feature is meant to make the dating environment more casual, fun and safer," he said.
The site was launched in November 2006, and it is geared toward "the younger crowd," according to Lerner. He said it appeals to a lot of college students because most of the common activities are typically college-related, like going out clubbing or going to a fraternity party.
"It is a mix between Facebook, MySpace and a dating Web site," he said.
There were only three members on the site who listed Marquette University on their profile, but Lerner said the Web site just recently added the feature, and people who joined earlier were not asked to include their college information.
Even though the university may not show up on many students' profiles, it is still possible to pull off a high ranking, Lerner said. If members are searching for other people at Marquette University or if those few Marquette people are sending a lot of messages, it will bump up the school's ranking.
The Web site even made it possible to search for people based on NCAA regions, Lerner said, as a fun way for sports fans to browse.