I just got back from attending a Frumster focus group and dinner, hosted at Mr. Broadway in Manhattan. Not only am I a member of the service, but I also collaborated with Frumster on the "We Need A Mensch" cartoon campaign to celebrate their 500th marriage. So I was particularly interested in participating in their effort to improve the service.
The name Frumster.com itself was a topic of discussion. For some, the term frum connotes ultra-orthodoxy or piety, and Frumster staff were concerned that the name may be turning off non-Orthodox Jews from even visiting the site, (FYI, "Traditional" is a term that Frumster formerly used to describe Jews of non-Orthodox background). I personally like the name "Frumster", and don't think they should worry about it scaring potential clients. Frumster recently announced having opened its gates to us Traditional Jews, (though non-Orthodox members were welcomed into the fold over a year ago) and since then, signups have grown exponentially.
We also talked about the invisible rift between some Orthodox and Traditional Jews on Frumster.com. Many open-minded Jews are willing to date members of the "opposite stream", while others are flat out offended by the prospect. It sure is difficult to accommodate the needs of everyone in an online dating community of such varied philosophies. Frumster's Director of Marketing, Derek, explained that every time a new variable is added to the system, in an attempt to please some and protect others, it becomes a programming and logistical nightmare!
Besides the brainstorming, we were also treated to a bountiful dinner, and it was fun to actually meet other members of the Frumster community ... which is a first for me, despite being a "PremActive®" member! It's true, I am a victim of Ortho-Traditional discrimination: Fear of no black hat. It was the catalyst that ignited my Shabot comic strip in the first place.
I'll just have to attend more focus groups.