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Publication numberUS20060059164 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/220,002
Publication dateMar 16, 2006
Filing dateSep 6, 2005
Priority dateSep 15, 2004
Also published asCN101065747A, US7917448, US20060059159, US20060059160
Publication number11220002, 220002, US 2006/0059164 A1, US 2006/059164 A1, US 20060059164 A1, US 20060059164A1, US 2006059164 A1, US 2006059164A1, US-A1-20060059164, US-A1-2006059164, US2006/0059164A1, US2006/059164A1, US20060059164 A1, US20060059164A1, US2006059164 A1, US2006059164A1
InventorsEgon Smola, Aaron Weiss, Wei Wang, Ramsey Ksar, Maurice Clancy, Vu Hao Thi Truong, Herbert Ong, Nawien Sharma
Original AssigneeYahoo! Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Online dating service enabling testimonials for a service subscriber
US 20060059164 A1
Abstract
A system, method, and apparatus are directed towards enhancing an online dating service experience by enabling a subscriber to the service to provide an online dating testimonial from a friend, family member, companion, and the like, to another subscriber. The invention further enables the subscriber to tell a date how they may feel about the date in a non-email format. In one embodiment, the subscriber may select from a list of predefined online dating messages. The subscriber may also modify the predefined online dating message before sending to the date.
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Claims(21)
1. A method for use in managing an online dating message, comprising:
selecting a recipient from an online dating environment;
selecting at least one predefined online dating feedback message from a set of predefined online dating feedback messages;
modifying at least a portion of the selected predefined online dating feedback message;
sending the modified predefined online dating feedback message towards the selected recipient; and
if an online dating testimonial is received, providing access to the online dating testimonial within the online dating environment.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein selecting the recipient further comprises selecting the recipient from at least one of an online dating candidate, and a date.
3. The method of claim 2, wherein the online dating candidate further comprises a candidate selected from a list of online dating candidates obtainable, in part, by performing an online dating search.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein the set of predefined online dating feedback messages further comprises at least one message for indicating a desire for a date, indicating a desire for another date, indicating that no further contact is desired, indicating that prior form of contact was enjoyable, indicating a compliment, providing dating or relationship help or advice, and indicating that prior form of contact was not enjoyable.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein the method is configured to operate with a mobile device.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein the online dating testimonial is received from at least one of a friend, and a family member.
7. The method of claim 1, wherein sending the modified online dating feedback message further comprises sending a non-email formatted message.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein providing access to the online dating testimonial further comprises providing access using a URL link.
9. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
composing another online dating feedback message; and
sending the composed online dating feedback message to at least one other recipient within the online dating environment.
10. A client device that is configured for use in communicating an online dating message, comprising:
a display;
a transceiver for receiving and sending information to another computing device;
a processor in communication with the display and the transceiver; and
a memory in communication with the processor and storing data and machine instructions that causes the processor to perform a plurality of operations, including:
selecting a recipient from an online dating environment;
selecting at least one predefined online dating feedback message from a set of predefined online dating feedback messages;
modifying at least a portion of the selected predefined online dating feedback message;
enabling the modified predefined online dating feedback message to be sent towards the selected recipient; and
if an online dating testimonial is received, providing access to the online dating testimonial within the online dating environment.
11. The client device of claim 10, wherein selecting the recipient further comprises selecting the recipient from at least one of an online dating candidate, and a date.
12. The client device of claim 11, wherein the online dating candidate further comprises a candidate selected from a list of online dating candidates obtainable, in part, by performing an online dating search.
13. The client device of claim 10, wherein the set of predefined online dating feedback messages further comprises at least one message for indicating a desire for a date, indicating a desire for another date, indicating that no further contact is desired, indicating that prior form of contact was enjoyable, indicating a compliment, providing dating or relationship help or advice, and indicating that prior form of contact was not enjoyable.
14. The client device of claim 10, wherein the client device is configured to operate as a mobile device.
15. The client device of claim 10, wherein the online dating testimonial is received from at least one of a friend, and a family member.
16. A mobile device that is configured for use in communicating an online dating message, comprising:
a display;
a transceiver for receiving and sending information to another computing device over a wireless network;
a processor in communication with the display and the transceiver; and
a memory in communication with the processor and storing data and machine instructions that causes the processor to perform a plurality of operations, including:
selecting a recipient from an online dating environment;
selecting at least one predefined online dating feedback message from a set of predefined online dating feedback messages;
modifying at least a portion of the selected predefined online dating feedback message;
enabling the modified predefined online dating feedback message to be sent towards the selected recipient; and
if an online dating testimonial is received, providing access to the online dating testimonial within the online dating environment.
17. A server that is configured for use in managing an online dating message, comprising:
a transceiver for receiving and sending information to another computing device;
a processor in communication with the transceiver; and
a memory in communication with the processor and storing data and machine instructions that cause the processor to perform a plurality of operations, including:
enable a selection of a recipient from an online dating environment;
enable a selection of at least one predefined online dating feedback message from a set of predefined online dating feedback messages;
enable a modification of at least a portion of the selected predefined online dating feedback message;
sending the modified predefined online dating feedback message towards the selected recipient; and
if an online dating testimonial is received, providing access to the online dating testimonial within the online dating environment.
18. The server of claim 17, wherein the server is configured to communicate with a mobile device.
19. The server of claim 17, wherein the online dating testimonial is received from at least one of a friend, and a family member.
20. The server of claim 17, wherein sending the modified online dating feedback message further comprises sending a non-email formatted message.
21. An apparatus of managing an online dating message, comprising:
a means for selecting a recipient from an online dating environment;
a means for selecting at least one predefined online dating feedback message from a set of predefined online feedback messages;
a means for modifying at least a portion of the selected predefined online dating feedback message;
a means for sending the modified predefined online dating feedback message towards the selected recipient; and
if an online dating testimonial is received, a means for providing access to the online dating testimonial within the online dating environment.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/610,125 filed on Sep. 15, 2004, the benefit of the earlier filing date of which is hereby claimed under 35 U.S.C. § 119 (e) and further incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to online dating services, and more particularly, but not exclusively, to a system and method for enabling an online dating subscriber to provide another user with an online dating testimonial and/or a compliment.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Dating services are now so popular that by at least one study for the given year, over twenty-six percent of all Internet users in America have visited a personals website. Part of the reason may be that online dating may appear to be a natural extension of where people are at this point in time. That is, many people today, have personal computers, or at least access to a personal computer. Moreover, virtually everyone wants to fall in love. Thus, it is natural to merge these two things. As such, online dating services may appear as the world's biggest singles bar. Except that it can be done in the privacy of one's own home where time may be taken to read about another person and get to know them through email, phone, and the like, before ever going on an actual date.

Thus, there has been a flurry of companies launching services that help people to meet and develop a personal relationship. Many of these companies, however, are struggling with developing additional services that will build customer loyalty. Without the ability to extend the value of the online dating experience, online dating may lose its appeal. Therefore, it is with respect to these considerations and others that the present invention has been made.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Non-limiting and non-exhaustive embodiments of the present invention are described with reference to the following drawings. In the drawings, like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the various figures unless otherwise specified.

For a better understanding of the present invention, reference will be made to the following Detailed Description of the Invention, which is to be read in association with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 shows a functional block diagram illustrating one embodiment of an environment for practicing the invention;

FIG. 2 shows one embodiment of a server device that may be included in a system implementing the invention; and

FIG. 3 illustrates a logical flow diagram generally showing one embodiment of a process for providing at least one of an online dating testimonial, and an online dating feedback to another online dating subscriber, in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof, and which show, by way of illustration, specific exemplary embodiments by which the invention may be practiced. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Among other things, the present invention may be embodied as methods or devices. Accordingly, the present invention may take the form of an entirely hardware embodiment, an entirely software embodiment or an embodiment combining software and hardware aspects. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense.

Briefly stated, the present invention is directed towards enhancing an online dating experience by enabling a subscriber to the service to provide an online dating testimonial from a friend, family member, companion, and the like, to another subscriber. The invention further enables the subscriber to tell a date how they may feel about the date in a non-email format. In one embodiment, the subscriber may select from a list of predefined messages. The subscriber may also modify the predefined message before sending to the date.

The invention, however, is not constrained to use by subscribers. As such a non-subscriber may be permitted to provide testimonials. By enabling the non-subscriber to provide testimonials, an increased amount of feedback may be obtained about a subscriber. Moreover, by enabling such testimonial feedback, the non-subscriber may be encouraged to become a subscriber of the service.

Illustrative Operating Environment

FIG. 1 shows components of an exemplary environment in which the invention may be practiced. Not all the components may be required to practice the invention, and variations in the arrangement and type of the components may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. As shown, system 100 of FIG. 1 includes local area networks (“LANs”)/wide area networks (“WANs”) 105, wireless network 110, online dating server (ODS) 108, client device 104, and mobile device 106.

Generally, client device 102 may include virtually any computing device capable of receiving and sending a message over a network, such as network 105, wireless network 110, and the like, to and from another computing device, such as server 106, mobile device 104, and the like. The set of such devices may include devices that typically connect using a wired communications medium such as personal computers, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor-based or programmable consumer electronics, network PCs, and the like. The set of such devices may also include devices that typically connect using a wireless communications medium such as cell phones, smart phones, pagers, walkie talkies, radio frequency (RF) devices, infrared (IR) devices, CBs, integrated devices combining one or more of the preceding devices, or virtually any mobile device, and the like. Similarly, client device 104 may be any device that is capable of connecting using a wired or wireless communication medium such as a PDA, POCKET PC, wearable computer, and any other device that is equipped to communicate over a wired and/or wireless communication medium.

Client device 104 may include a browser application that is configured to receive and to send web pages, web-based messages, and the like. The browser application may be configured to receive and display graphics, text, multimedia, and the like, employing virtually any web based language, including Standard Generalized Markup Language (SMGL), HyperText Markup Language (HTML), and so forth.

Client device 104 may further include a client application that enables it to perform a variety of other actions, including, communicating a message, such as through a Short Message Service (SMS), Multimedia Message Service (MMS), instant messaging (IM), internet relay chat (IRC), mIRC, Jabber, and the like, between itself and another computing device. The browser application, and/or another application, such as the client application, a plug-in application, and the like, may enable client device 104 to communicate content to another computing device.

Mobile device 104 represents one embodiment of a client device that is configured to be portable. Thus, mobile device 104 may include virtually any portable computing device capable of connecting to another computing device and receiving information. Such devices include portable devices such as, cellular telephones, smart phones, display pagers, radio frequency (RF) devices, infrared (IR) devices, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), handheld computers, wearable computers, tablet computers, integrated devices combining one or more of the preceding devices, and the like. Mobile device 106 may also include other mobile computing devices, such as laptop personal computers, microprocessor-based or programmable consumer electronics, and the like. As such, mobile device 106 typically ranges widely in terms of capabilities and features. For example, a cell phone may have a numeric keypad and a few lines of monochrome LCD display on which only text may be displayed. In another example, a web-enabled remote device may have a touch sensitive screen, a stylus, and several lines of color LCD display in which both text and graphics may be displayed. Moreover, the web-enabled remote device may include a browser application enabled to receive and to send wireless application protocol messages (WAP), and the like. In one embodiment, the browser application is enabled to employ a Handheld Device Markup Language (HDML), such as Wireless Markup Language (WML), WMLScript, JavaScript, and the like, to display and send a message.

Mobile device 106 also may include at least one client application that is configured to receive content from another computing device. The client application may include a capability to provide and receive textual content, graphical content, audio content, and the like. The client application may further provide information that identifies itself, including a type, capability, name, identifier, and the like. The information may also indicate a content format that mobile device 106 is enabled to employ. Such information may be provided in a message, or the like, sent to ODS 108, and the like.

Mobile device 106 may be configured to communicate a message, such as through a Short Message Service (SMS), Multimedia Message Service (MMS), instant messaging (IM), internet relay chat (IRC), mIRC, Jabber, and the like, between another computing device, such as ODS 108, and the like. However, the present invention is not limited to these message protocols, and virtually any other message protocol may be employed.

Client device 104 and mobile device 106 may be further configured to enable a user to participate in an online dating service, manage personal user information associated with the online dating service, and the like, which may in turn be saved at a location, such as ODS 108, and the like. As such, client device 104 and mobile device 106 may further include a client application that is configured to manage various actions on behalf of the client device. For example, the client application may enable a user to interact with the browser application, email application, and the like, to manage their online dating information. For example, the user may employ the client application, in part, to create a user profile, participate in an online dating analysis, and the like. In one embodiment, the client application may enable the user to receive an online dating testimonial from another user, including friend, companion, family, and the like. The client application may then enable the user to attach the online dating testimonial to an online dating user profile, and the like. For example, the user may attach the online dating testimonial to a link that a reader of the user's profile may select for reading recommendations, and similar comments. The link may for example, be implemented using a URL link. The user may also attach the online dating testimonial to a graphic, such as a self photo, such that when the photo is selected the online dating testimonial may also be displayed.

The client application may further enable the user to receive and interact with results of a search that is based, at least in part, on the user's input to the online dating service. Moreover, the client application further enables the user to provide online dating feedback to the online dating service regarding a date, a correspondence with a potential date, and so forth.

The client application also may interact with various other components of the system. For example, in at least one embodiment, the client application is configured to enable the user to provide a fee for use of at least a portion of the online dating service.

Wireless network 110 is configured to couple mobile device 106 and its components with WAN/LAN 102. Wireless network 110 may include any of a variety of wireless sub-networks that may further overlay stand-alone ad-hoc networks, and the like, to provide an infrastructure-oriented connection for mobile device 106. Such sub-networks may include mesh networks, Wireless LAN (WLAN) networks, cellular networks, and the like.

Wireless network 110 may further include an autonomous system of terminals, gateways, routers, and the like connected by wireless radio links, and the like. These connectors may be configured to move freely and randomly and organize themselves arbitrarily, such that the topology of wireless network 110 may change rapidly.

Wireless network 110 may further employ a plurality of access technologies including 2nd (2G), 3rd (3G) generation radio access for cellular systems, WLAN, Wireless Router (WR) mesh, and the like. Access technologies such as 2G, 3G, and future access networks may enable wide area coverage for mobile devices, such as mobile device 106 with various degrees of mobility. For example, wireless network 110 may enable a radio connection through a radio network access such as Global System for Mobil communication (GSM), General Packet Radio Services (GPRS), Enhanced Data GSM Environment (EDGE), Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA), and the like. In essence, wireless network 110 may include virtually any wireless communication mechanism by which information may travel between mobile device 106 and another computing device, network, and the like.

Network 105 is configured to couple ODS 108 and its components with other computing devices, including, client device 104, ODS 108, and through wireless network 110 to mobile device 106. Network 105 is enabled to employ any form of computer readable media for communicating information from one electronic device to another. Also, network 105 can include the Internet in addition to local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), direct connections, such as through a universal serial bus (USB) port, other forms of computer-readable media, or any combination thereof. On an interconnected set of LANs, including those based on differing architectures and protocols, a router acts as a link between LANs, enabling messages to be sent from one to another. Also, communication links within LANs typically include twisted wire pair or coaxial cable, while communication links between networks may utilize analog telephone lines, full or fractional dedicated digital lines including T1, T2, T3, and T4, Integrated Services Digital Networks (ISDNs), Digital Subscriber Lines (DSLs), wireless links including satellite links, or other communications links known to those skilled in the art. Furthermore, remote computers and other related electronic devices could be remotely connected to either LANs or WANs via a modem and temporary telephone link. In essence, network 105 includes any communication method by which information may travel between ODS 108 and another computing device.

Additionally, communication media typically embodies computer-readable instructions, data structures, program modules, or other data in a modulated data signal such as a carrier wave, data signal, or other transport mechanism and includes any information delivery media. The terms “modulated data signal,” and “carrier-wave signal” includes a signal that has one or more of its characteristics set or changed in such a manner as to encode information, instructions, data, and the like, in the signal. By way of example, communication media includes wired media such as twisted pair, coaxial cable, fiber optics, wave guides, and other wired media and wireless media such as acoustic, RF, infrared, and other wireless media.

One embodiment of ODS 108 is described in more detail below in conjunction with FIG. 2. Briefly, however, ODS 108 may include any computing device capable of connecting to network 105 to enable a user of at least one of client device 104 and mobile device 106 to manage their online dating activities and related information. Devices that may operate as ODS 108 include personal computers desktop computers, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor-based or programmable consumer electronics, network PCs, servers, and the like.

Illustrative Server Environment

FIG. 2 shows one embodiment of a server device, according to one embodiment of the invention. Server device 200 may include many more components than those shown. The components shown, however, are sufficient to disclose an illustrative embodiment for practicing the invention.

Server device 200 includes processing unit 212, video display adapter 214, and a mass memory, all in communication with each other via bus 222. The mass memory generally includes RAM 216, ROM 232, and one or more permanent mass storage devices, such as hard disk drive 228, tape drive, optical drive, and/or floppy disk drive. The mass memory stores operating system 220 for controlling the operation of server 102. Any general-purpose operating system may be employed. Basic input/output system (“BIOS”) 218 is also provided for controlling the low-level operation of server 102. As illustrated in FIG. 2, server device 200 also can communicate with the Internet, or some other communications network, such as network 105 in FIG. 1, via network interface unit 210, which is constructed for use with various communication protocols including the TCP/IP protocol. Network interface unit 210 is sometimes known as a transceiver, transceiving device, network interface card (NIC), and the like.

Server device 200 may also include an SMTP handler application for transmitting and receiving email. Server device 200 may also include an HTTP handler application for receiving and handing HTTP requests, and an HTTPS handler application for handling secure connections. The HTTPS handler application may initiate communication with an external application in a secure fashion.

Server device 200 also includes input/output interface 224 for communicating with external devices, such as a mouse, keyboard, scanner, or other input devices not shown in FIG. 2. Likewise, server device 200 may further include additional mass storage facilities such as CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive 226 and hard disk drive 228. Hard disk drive 228 is utilized by server 102 to store, among other things, application programs, databases, and the like.

The mass memory as described above illustrates another type of computer-readable media, namely computer storage media. Computer storage media may include volatile, nonvolatile, removable, and non-removable media implemented in any method or technology for storage of information, such as computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules, or other data. Examples of computer storage media include RAM, ROM, EEPROM, flash memory or other memory technology, CD-ROM, digital versatile disks (DVD) or other optical storage, magnetic cassettes, magnetic tape, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices, or any other medium which can be used to store the desired information and which can be accessed by a computing device.

The mass memory also stores program code and data. One or more applications 250 are loaded into mass memory and run on operating system 220. Examples of application programs include email programs, schedulers, calendars, web services, transcoders, database programs, word processing programs, spreadsheet programs, and so forth. Mass storage may further include applications such as online dating manager (ODM) 252.

ODM 252 enables a user to manage their online dating user information, communicate with other users, and non-users, and to generally pursue an online dating relationship. ODM 252 provides a variety of features to enable a user of a computing device to participate in the online dating experience.

For example, ODM 252 enables a user to search for another person in the online dating service. After identifying candidates for a user based on a variety of input, including, a response to a test, a selection of criteria, and so forth, ODM 252 may analyze the user's evaluation of candidates for possible adjustments. For example, whether the user has contacted a candidate, the frequency of the user's contacts with the candidate, and the order in which the user contacted the candidates may serve as indicators of the user's opinion of the candidate. ODM 252 may further prompt the user to rank or evaluate candidates. Based on the user's feedback, ODM 252 may automatically adjust the search criteria. ODM 252 may then conduct an additional search for the user.

ODM 252 may employ a variety of mechanisms to enable the user to rank or evaluate the candidates. For example, ODM 252 may enable the user to review online dating testimonials from others about a candidate, and to vary their criteria, rankings, and so forth, based, at least in part, on the online dating testimonials.

ODM 252 may further enable the user to communicate with a candidate through a variety of mechanisms, including email, SMS, MMS, IM, IRC, mIRC, Jabber, and the like. ODM 252 may further allow the user to provide to a candidate, date, and the like, online dating feedback, comments, and the like, indicating how the user may feel about the candidate, date, and the like. In one embodiment, the user may select from a set of predefined messages a message to be sent to the candidate, date, and the like. For example, the set of predefined messages may include a message indicating a desire for a date, another date, and the like. The predefined message may further include messages indicating that no further contact is desired, that the date (and/or another form of contact) was enjoyable/not enjoyable, and so forth. Virtually any predefined messages may be provided for use in communicating to the potential online dating recipient.

The user may further be enabled to modify the message. In another embodiment, the user may compose their own message. ODM 252 may then enable the user to provide the message to the proposed recipient using any of a variety of mechanisms, including non-email formats.

Moreover, ODM 252 may employ a process, such as process 300 described below in conjunction with FIG. 3 to perform actions, such as those described above.

Generalized Operation

The operation of certain aspects of the invention will now be described with respect to FIG. 3. FIG. 3 illustrates a logical flow diagram generally showing one embodiment of a process for providing at least one of an online dating testimonial, and an online dating feedback message to another online dating subscriber. Process 300 of FIG. 3 may, for example, be implemented within ODM 252 of FIG. 2, with interactions from a client application on a computing device, including client device 104 and mobile device 106 of FIG. 1.

Process 300 begins, after a start block, at decision block 302, where a determination is made whether an online dating testimonial is received for a subscriber to the online dating service. An online dating testimonial may be received from a variety of sources, including another subscriber to the online dating service, a friend, a family member, a date, an IM buddy, and the like. Receipt of the online dating testimonial may occur using any of a variety of mechanisms, including email, SMS, MMS, IM, and the like. Moreover, the online dating testimonial may include attachments, such as a document, a graphic, music files, audio files, video files, and so forth. In any event, if an online dating testimonial is received, processing branches to block 304; otherwise, processing continues to decision block 310.

At block 304, the subscriber may review the online dating testimonial's content to determine whether to post the online dating testimonial on the subscriber's online dating profile site, or the like. Processing proceeds to decision block 306 where a determination is made whether the subscriber is to post the online dating testimonial. If the subscriber is to post the online dating testimonial, processing continues to block 308; otherwise, processing continues to decision block 310. At block 308, the subscriber may attach the online dating testimonial to virtually any location within their online dating profile, including to a graphic, such as a photo, a text file, a web page through a link, and the like. Should the subscriber receive several online dating testimonials, the subscriber may select to group the online dating testimonials, and provide access to another subscriber through the groupings. In any event, processing then continues to decision block 310.

At decision block 310, a determination is made whether the subscriber indicates an intention to send online dating feedback, such as a compliment, comment, and similar message, to another subscriber. The other subscriber may, for example, include an individual the subscriber dated, corresponded with, and the like. In any event, if online dating feedback is to be sent, processing flows to block 312; otherwise, processing returns to a calling process to perform other actions.

At block 312, the proposed recipient of the online dating feedback is selected. As stated above, the recipient may be an individual the subscriber dated. Processing then continues to decision block 314, where a determination is made whether the subscriber is to employ a predefined online dating feedback. If the subscriber is to employ a predefined online dating feedback, processing flows to block 316; otherwise, processing flows to block 322.

At block 322, the subscriber may compose online dating feedback employing any of a variety of mechanisms, including a text window, a non-email format such as IM, SMS, MMS, or the like. Processing then continues to block 324.

At block 316, however, the subscriber selects from a set of predefined online dating feedback messages. Such messages may include, for example, a message indicating that no further contact is desired, that the subscriber wishes to continue a relationship with the recipient, that the subscriber finds the recipient attractive, funny, intelligent, courteous, or the like. In one embodiment, the message may be selected from a set of predefined feedback messages that are directed toward providing dating or relationship help or advice. Such help or advice may be directed, for example, towards improving an attractiveness of a profile, enabling one to become more successful in the online dating environment, or the like. Virtually any set of predefined messages may be provided for selection for the online dating service subscriber.

Processing then continues to decision block 318, where the subscriber indicates whether to modify the selected predefined online dating feedback message. If the subscriber is to modify the message, processing continues to block 320, where the subscriber may make the appropriate modifications, after which processing flows to block 324. In addition, if the subscriber does not indicate an intention to modify the message, processing also flows to block 324.

At block 324, the message is sent towards the selected recipient employing any of a variety of mechanisms. Processing then returns to the calling process to perform other actions.

It will be understood that each block of the flowchart illustrations discussed above, and combinations of blocks in the flowchart illustrations above, can be implemented by computer program instructions. These program instructions may be provided to a processor to produce a machine, such that the instructions, which execute on the processor, create means for implementing the actions specified in the flowchart block or blocks. The computer program instructions may be executed by a processor to cause a series of operational steps to be performed by the processor to produce a computer-implemented process such that the instructions, which execute on the processor, provide steps for implementing the actions specified in the flowchart block or blocks.

Accordingly, blocks of the flowchart illustration support combinations of means for performing the specified actions, combinations of steps for performing the specified actions and program instruction means for performing the specified actions. It will also be understood that each block of the flowchart illustration, and combinations of blocks in the flowchart illustration, can be implemented by special purpose hardware-based systems which perform the specified actions or steps, or combinations of special purpose hardware and computer instructions.

The above specification, examples, and data provide a complete description of the manufacture and use of the composition of the invention. Since many embodiments of the invention can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, the invention resides in the claims hereinafter appended.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8117132Apr 16, 2009Feb 14, 2012Peter Joseph DeanDating service system and method increasing member profile development and reducing unwanted communications
US8620896 *Dec 6, 2007Dec 31, 2013Yahoo! Inc.Reverse matching relationships in networks of existing identifiers
US20090150346 *Dec 6, 2007Jun 11, 2009Yahoo! Inc.Reverse matching relationships in networks of existing identifiers
US20140052781 *Aug 16, 2012Feb 20, 2014Jason Matthew DolleSystems and methods for gathering and sharing testimonials
Classifications
U.S. Classification1/1, 707/999.01
International ClassificationG06F17/30
Cooperative ClassificationG06Q10/10, G06Q50/01, G06Q30/02, G06F17/30861, G06Q30/08
European ClassificationG06Q30/02, G06Q50/01, G06Q10/10, G06F17/30W, G06Q30/08
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 6, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: YAHOO! INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SMOLA, EGON;WEISS, AARON;WANG, WEI;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:016963/0067;SIGNING DATES FROM 20050721 TO 20050823