Online Dating Coaches Offer Advice At A Price Omar Gallaga, who covers technology culture for the Austin American-Statesman, talks about the increasingly complicated world of online dating, including the proliferation of niche dating sites and of "coaches" who will help you create an appealing online profile.
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Online Dating Coaches Offer Advice At A Price

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Online Dating Coaches Offer Advice At A Price

Online Dating Coaches Offer Advice At A Price

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And again I'm joined by Omar Gallaga. And Omar, in April Baer's story, we heard about a new career to take up after the investment banking job or being a mortgage broker, I guess, has gone south. Online dating coach. This is actually a job?

Mr. OMAR GALLAGA (Technology Reporter, Austin American-Statesman): Yeah, it is a growth industry. I tracked one down in Los Angeles named Evan Marc Katz. Now he is an online dating expert, and he has clients who will pay him between two and three thousand dollars to coach them on online dating. And what that buys you is about four to eight weeks of his services. He says a lot of people get really frustrated with online dating and quit. He's there to make sure you don't. And some of his advice includes, in the profile, avoiding cliches and adjectives, choosing the right Web site, first of all, creating a witty username, and having a good headline and a professional-looking photo.

SIEGEL: And does he guarantee that you are the only client who will get that witty username, for example, or get that advice?

Mr. GALLAGA: I imagine so, yeah. I imagine they all have to be pretty original to stand out.

SIEGEL: That much money, you could pay people to answer somebody's online dating advertisements. I want to go back to something that you said there. Why would somebody want to avoid using adjectives in a dating profile? The words like cute and fun are not cutting it.

Mr. GALLAGA: Well, the problem is that a lot of people use the same adjectives, and they don't really mean anything when you see them so many times on a dating site. Evan Marc Katz says that you really want to show and not tell. You want to describe the ways that you are funny or athletic or kind, not just tell people that you are those things. So he advises creating a very good essay that gives specific examples.

SIEGEL: So you've actually recreated the role of writing love letters, albeit to an unknown recipient that, you know, you'd hire the one literate guy in the village to do for you a couple of hundred years ago.

Mr. GALLAGA: He's a bit of a Cyrano. But one of the services he offers is not only to create a profile - which he says is just really the resume of the process. You wouldn't normally get hired on just a resume. He says you really have to create a whole package. He offers to teach you to understand the opposite sex and why they act the way they do.

SIEGEL: Yeah, well, that's worth a lot of money. There are a lot of...

Mr. GALLAGA: It's a bargain at two to three thousand dollars.

SIEGEL: Exactly. That's a bargain, a steal. There are a lot of general online dating sites. EHarmony is the one that I seem to see advertised no end. But there are also, there are niche markets here that I want you to tell us about.

Mr. GALLAGA: Right. I mean, it's very widespread, I mean, the rise of these niche dating sites. Really, any interest you have, there's probably a dating site catering to you or groups of people like you. I mean, there's a vegetarian dating Web site. There's one exclusively for Catholics. There's one for millionaires. There's even a dating Web site for farmers.

(Soundbite of online dating ad)

Unidentified Man: We used to be lonely.

Unidentified Woman: Until we met on FarmersOnly.

Unidentified Man: is the new online dating site for farmers, ranchers, and good old country folks.

Unidentified Woman: (Singing) You don't have to be lonely at

Unidentified Man: City folks just don't get it.

SIEGEL: That can't be for real. You must have made that one up.

Mr. GALLAGA: I would be so much richer if I can make that up.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIEGEL: Well, thanks again, Omar. Talk to you soon.

Mr. GALLAGA: Thanks very much, Robert.

SIEGEL: That's Omar Gallaga who covers technology culture for the Austin American-Statesman. And before we go, "All Tech Considered" needs your help for a segment that we're working on. It's about using technology to keep in touch long distance. Whether you're checking in with your spouse, traveling on business, or with your grandchildren on the other side of the country, we want to hear how you use technology to stay connected. Just go to our Web site,

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