Gelato is a startup that wants to marry the real-time stream with online dating (not to mention maybe real people).
Instead of creating a profile, Gelato pulls in updates from your Facebook profile, Twitter account, Netflix queue, Pandora stations and Flickr photos to create what founder Steve Odom says is a more authentic profile of who you are. Odom says online dating is ripe for change because it involves static profiles that are time-consuming to create and that people don’t bother to update very often.
“Dating sites haven’t really changed in five years,” Odom said. “At the same time with Twitter, I felt if I could follow someone for a couple weeks, I’d get a more honest picture of who they are.”
When you look for a potential date, you type in the basics like gender, age range and sexuality and then anything you’re interested in. For example, perhaps you want someone who is into basketball, so you’d type in keywords related to that. A prospective dater can then follow a date’s Hulu habits or last.fm music to see if their tastes are compatible.
To address privacy concerns, users can make their streams private on the site or only visible to friends. There are also scores to predict whether a profile’s fake or not, based on how connected a Gelato profile is to a user’s Facebook and Twitter identities. Users also get extra points if their friends on Twitter and Facebook verify that they’re real on the Gelato site.
Gelato is a one-man startup and Odom has bootstrapped it himself.
VB's research team is studying web-personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.