When Captain Kirk proclaimed that the mission of the USS Enterprise's crew was "to boldly go where no man has gone before," he definitely wasn't talking about Tinder or OkCupid, but thanks to the release of a Star Trek-themed dating app, the famous line now certainly applies.
With the motto "set phase to stunning," the aptly-named Star Trek Dating app's MO is to create and foster a community for Star Trek fans on an international scale, with the added incentive of hooking up and/or dating IRL.
The site was founded in 2010 by Oliver Gough, the current owner, with an eye on catering "specifically to Star Trek fans," due to the fact that "there was no other site dedicated for Star Trek daters," said Gough in an exclusive interview with Tech Times.
Site users can set their preferences for notifications — the default lets the site send emails for everything from new messages and chats, to photo comments, to "winks" you can forward to and receive from users — as well as search for matches according to interests, physical characteristics, age bracket and relationship type. Star Trek Dating also lets you browse other users by either compatibility or at random, depending on which you choose.
In short: besides its demographic angle and the propensity for users to list which Star Trek characters they most identify with or if they prefer The Next Generation over Voyager, there isn't ostensibly much that differs from sites like OkCupid, JDate, eHarmony, ChristianMingle and others — sites with a particular niche that offer comparable settings.
Gough pointed out otherwise, citing the ethic of the site rather than preference selection.
"The difference of our site to the many other dating sites is that when you join you know that the people who join are Star Trek fans and with that comes the life values and good nature," he stated. "Star Trek has a common goal, to do good and help others, as well as explore unknown worlds!"
There are some notable features, though. Users can amass credits through particular actions (for instance, opening an account can give you 10 credits, uploading a profile pic earns you three and checking in daily scores you five, while other actions cost credits to complete (like sending a private message or adding your profile to the "Hot List" — presumably, a feature that lets your profile be seen by more users than usual.
Since the site was founded, Gough noted that there have been some other online dating services that have popped up. "But these sites are owned by large companies and certainly not dedicated to Star Trek fans," Gough explained. "They are what's known as affiliate dating, whereas the company owns many dating websites and when you join you're featured on all of their sites."
What's more are the continued efforts to update and improve Star Trek Dating, like the "site overhaul" the site had in the summer of 2015, followed by "a completely new site" that was launched in October of last year.
"Since the launch [the site has] had lots of new subscribers from all over the world," claimed Gough. When asked for specific numbers, Gough stipulated that he could not give an exact member count or provide stats for the recent membership uptick due to "data protection and as there are paying and nonpaying members," but he did estimate that "there has [sic] been over 400 new visitors every day," and cited that the site as a whole is "growing organically" — or, to paraphrase a particular Vulcan, as well as Gough, is living long and prospering.
The site is quick to point out that its online matchmaking services are in no way related to CBS Studios, which holds the production rights for the original (and a new potential) Star Trek series. Considering it doesn't have any copyrighted show or movie stills on its site, it looks like the digital yente for sci-fi lovers might stick around for awhile — or as Captain Kirk also says, "explore strange new worlds ... seek out new life and new civilizations ..." — and well, you know the rest.
Source: Star Trek Dating