As you may (or may not) be aware, those with lonely Crimson hearts now have a very own place of their own. Behold BamaMEETUP.com:
Are you an Alabama fan in search of that special someone? Well, you don't have to search any further. Thanks to Sports Dating Inc., you can know find a partner who shares your devotion to the Crimson Tide with the click of a mouse. The company has created Bamameetup.com, a dating website designed especially for Alabama fans.
The site naturally was a huge source of internet humor yesterday.
However, one-in-six people in America have used online dating services of some sort. And, in 2013, an NAS study found that fully one-third of U.S. marriages began with online dating -- and these marriages may actually be more stable, happier than "traditional" marriages.
I've never dated online (and I am notoriously spoken-for in any event,) but given what I do know of the modern dating scene, I wasn't willing to guffaw at the notion of a niche Alabama fan singles dating service. And, being reticent to poke fun of the site without actually checking it out, I decided to dip my toes in the water.
In the interests of serving Greater Gumpdom, I actually joined the site and (for the trial period, at least) am a paying member of Bamameetup.com. Here follows an honest review. (I have only included my profile below: we're not here to out anyone.)
The site is not going to win any award for innovation in web design, to be sure. That said, it's not laden with flash ads, scripts and ton of other back-end add-ons that impede performance. Every page features a washed background image of prospective singles, with a crimson overlay.
The only niggling point here, as with every other page, is how far down you have to scroll for additional (and often-unrelated) information. The only page that is truly navigable upon loading is this landing.
I was very pleasantly pleased with how easy signup was. To progress beyond the landing, you must be a member. Fortunately, the signup process is painless. It took me about 3 minutes tops. That speed underscores the downside though -- there are very few traits or interests by which one can describe themselves via the drop-down menus. Just about everything of interest must be done in the "about me" or "searching for" text boxes.
The photo upload may be the easiest of any website I've seen.
The other thing I noticed (and really liked) was that member names follow the new post-Twitter convention of @____. Mine, therefore, becomes @erikevans, for instance. I also liked the complete disclosure requirements as to age etc.
But, as I said, the "traits" button (both on your selected profile and on the profile of others) is shamefully inadequate to get a flavor for any one.The other part about "traits" I did not like was the fact that married people could not place "married" or "in a relationship" or "other" etc., as an option. Relationships come in many different flavors and I'm not here to judge widowed/separated/divorced/single as sole options, nor should a dating site do so (in my opinion.) I simply put "divorced" because, well...I have been.
Now, for the downsides, and I think will be an impediment to most: To literally do anything (view forums, search members, basic searches, view/create threads, you must be a paying member. And, our gumpy companionship, though readily affordable, isn't necessarily cheap. To BMU's credit, they do give you a full 30-day membership trial at just $.99:
What do you find when you get there? I wish I could post screencaps, but, as I said, we're not going to out anyone here. The search parameters are actually fairly robust, easy to navigate, and responsive. Search returns provide names, locations, images and ages of your prospective partners.
The best part is, that by and large, everyone seems to be real, and the site seems to be growing. From the time I signed up, to the time I executed a basic search for this story, six new "matches" had signed up.
I clicked on a few random profiles. Like Facebook, there is self-journaling feature that also provides profile update information. And, like other sites, when you view a profile, it gives you a compatibility match. How BMU does that with such scant information is beyond me, however.
Look, it may seem like a joke, but there are tons of niche- and kink-specific dating sites out there. This just happens to be the newest. The site is growing, and there is interest from real-live human beings (yes, even women -- this isn't Ashley Madison.)
Is it worth spending a month at for $.99 to at least see? Why not.
But, until the traits are more clearly-defined, and until there are more options with respect to both relationship status and what you are seeking in using the site, there may be many awkward moments.
Overall, however, it's not as bad as it sounds, and is certainly not the joke the national media is making it out to be.
Go forth, do you, and be lonely no longer.