New Dating Site Matches People with Aural Fixations
Published: Friday, May 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 18:05
There is something about a slow Southern drawl, the proper sound of a Brit or the sexy speech of Australians that makes certain people weak in the knees. DatingMashup.com is a site dedicated to assembling and matching people who love accents with people who have accents.
DatingMashup.com was founded in March 2011 by Arizona native and former ASU student Dale Ballard after his fruitless search for a dating website that would help him find somebody from another country.
College Times: What is the story behind the start of DatingMashup.com?
Dale Ballard: I wanted a website that was dedicated to finding people from another country that live here. I’ve dated a lot of American women, and I think they’re great. I’ve also ended up meeting some women from other countries, from Bosnia, somebody from South Africa. It was different to see somebody else’s culture plus their accent was attractive. I wanted to try to find some people from other countries here in Arizona.
How did you come up with the name?
Basically, the site is “mashing up” a combination of different nationalities of people all in your own city. If you ever wanted to date someone from another country that lives here, it’s the site to go to. You don’t run into people from other countries that often and none of the other sites had this type of feature, so I wanted to provide a site that concentrated on people’s ethnic backgrounds, nationalities and their accents. Things like that are attractive, and people are curious to see what it’s like [and] to see what else is out there.
Did you go to school for this?
I went to ASU for a couple of years to study wildlife. I kind of wanted to be a park ranger. I ended up switching to hotel restaurant management and got my associates over at Scottsdale Community College. I graduated from University of Phoenix in 2009 with a degree in management.
Is there a specific demographic this site is for?
There isn’t a typical demographic for this site yet. There is a spectrum of people on there. A lot of baby boomers are now dating online since the divorce rate is so high, unfortunately. A lot of them don’t have time to go out and meet people. So typically you’re going to meet somebody at work or you’re going to meet somebody online.
Is online dating the future of relationships?
Depending on where you are in your life, if you want to meet somebody in particular, you’re going to go on a site. If you’re looking for something specifically, online dating is where to look. You can control who you want to see and meet. That’s what we provide.
How important has social media been in starting the site?
A lot of buzz has grown from social media … I think social media is very important, especially in this aspect. You very rarely see dating websites advertise, word of mouth is very powerful. I created a new Facebook group, Arizona Singles for DatingMashup. The purpose of the group is for people to share their dating experiences, advice and tips. We found that dating stories were humorous. Everybody has one.
I hear the site has some other perks?
We like to give out $25 restaurant gift cards to new members. We try to give our members a little incentive to join. It’s for whatever you would like. If you want to use it on your own, that’s fine. If you want to use it on your date, that’s fine, too.
Any relationship successes yet?
We’ve had a couple of communications and meet-ups. No marriages yet. We’re not exactly Match.com just yet, but we’re on our way. We’re growing every week with new members.
So, what is it about accents?
I think looks and accents are important right off the bat. That’s your first impression of somebody. I think it’s just something out of the norm. It’s that curiosity factor. I would say about 90 percent of the people you’re around have the exact same American accent as you do. When you hear something different, you’re intrigued, you want to know more. People have a curiosity about other cultures and want to see how they live.
What accents do you prefer?
I like a lot of accents. I’ve dated women that were form Eastern Europe and South Africa, but I would love to date an Australian.
Do you consider yourself a matchmaker?
I try to help people find their match. I give people a portal but ultimately it’s on that person to see if it it’s going to work. I feel good that people are getting together being on the site. There isn’t a site like this and I think it’s neat to point out that people from other countries do have a presence here and many people are attracted to them, which could lead to a long happy marriage no matter where they live or where they’re from.