By Hilary Ribons, Staff Writer
You may never have to deal with that bothersome political banter with a significant other ever again.
Boston University College of Arts and Sciences alumnus Alexander Fondrier and College of Communication alumus JD Beebe, founders of Political Matchmakers, have collaborated to introduce a new concept to the expansive world of online dating. Their sites, RedStateDate.com and BlueStateDate.com, debuted earlier this year.
The sites offer online daters the opportunity to meet their potential match based on shared political values. RedStateDate serves Republicans and BlueStateDate serves Democrats.
The site was founded based off of CEO Fondrier’s own dilemma as a politically minded individual.
“It was hard to meet someone in Boston who shared my views and who wanted to talk about politics,” Fondrier said. “There’s a site for almost every niche: religion, history, people who like to ride horses, you name it. So, what about politics?”
The two entrepreneurs met biweekly at a restaurant in Malibu, Calif. near their homes to discuss plans for their new idea and to make it a reality. They enlisted the help of a third partner for the creation of the websites. They launched the sites shortly before the presidential election.
“We have members of every age and from every corner of the United States,” Beebe, the CFO, said. “Even around the world, whether they are ex-pats or people just interested in American politics. We are seeing every type of person latch onto this.”
The sites feature a profile much like other dating sites, but with a unique twist. In addition to regular information, users also fill in their views on economics, social issues and foreign policy. Beyond dating services, the site also offers information on recent political events and a daily poll in which the viewers can observe how other people in their area voted.
“We already have a few thousands sign-ups, and we’ve been around for a few months,” Fondrier said. “It’s really gratifying to see the idea take flight.”
Both sites are free to join, but premium, paid membership is required to partake in messages or instant chat. Beebe described the sites as “the OKCupid for political junkies.”
“It’s a celebration of the idea that this has been through media pick up,” Fondrier said. “Whether they agree or disagree, it’s definitely a subject that is very pertinent in many people’s lives.”
“We see a lot of potential with the platform because there’s nothing really like it right now,” Beebe said. “It will be interesting to see how we grow.”