Mar 14, 2007

Cliffs notes for online dating

E-Cyrano will write your personal essay for you and arrange for a professional photographer to take your picture. And it's just one of many companies offering such services.
“As online dating has gotten more popular, the more people have to do to get attention,” said Mindy Stricke, owner of, a New York business that has produced 1,000 profile portraits, at prices from $130 to $300. “There’s a lot of anxiety around this purchase because there’s no guarantees. But a lot of people, especially in New York, are willing to go the extra mile.”

Dating makeovers are hardly new. High-end offline dating services have long provided hairstyle and clothing renovations, as well as other help. But the latest twist underscores the frustration felt by some of the 40 million people using Internet matchmaking sites, said Mark Brooks, who follows the industry and author of the blog

“The promise of Internet dating is you plug in your profile and you send a few e-mails and you have got a date,” Mr. Brooks said. “It’s not as easy as that.”

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