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Sayheyhey.com aimed at twenty-somethings comfortable with cutting-edge media

Date: 2007-12-12

Many online dating sites seek to connect soulmates, to bring together those
looking for eternal and everlasting love.
The latest Internet dating site, launched in Palo Alto this week, is not one
of them.

"It's not about marriage," said Alex Gurevich, co-founder of SayHeyHey.com,
the first free all-video online dating site.

"It can be ... if you're from Utah," joked fellow co-founder Soudy Khan,
born and raised in Palo Alto.

The new site, which officially launched on Tuesday, eschews the typical
format of online dating sites where users carefully word profiles and post
photos "from 10 years and 20 pounds ago," Gurevich said.

Instead, users of SayHeyHey post videos of themselves talking, wakeboarding
or, in Khan's case, utilizing a beer bong. If a visitor is interested in
someone else's clip, he or she can send a video introduction. The goal of
the site is to connect with the 18- to 28-year-old audience that's more
comfortable with YouTube than with Match.com, Gurevich said.

"If I'm a twenty-something, I don't want to be on a site with old fogeys,"
said Gurevich, 24, before apologizing to Khan, who described himself as
"thirty-something."

"It's OK. I'm good-looking," Kahn said.

"Good point," Gurevich said.

The two admitted the idea for the site did stem in part from their
collective dating woes.

Gurevich recalled a date he went on with a woman whose profile described her
as laid-back and relaxed. After their first date, though, she hit
him with a wave of frenzied calls and text messages.
"I was on JDate, and I went on two or three dates, and every single girl
turned out to be super-psychotic," Gurevich said.

Video clips provide much greater insight into a person's personality, Khan
said.

"Humans are able to perceive so much more by looking at just a few seconds
of video," he said.

On the site, users can post as many videos as they want, with each one up to
10 minutes in length and most averaging around two minutes, said Gurevich.
Nudity and illegal material are not permitted, but so far the site has had
to pull only one lewd video.

"Anything that's plain nasty you can't do," Khan summarized.

And those hoping to find a date can click on the "matching" function, which
locates a compatible personality using a top-secret but "very deliberate"
algorithm.

Gurevich said the matching formula works so well that it keeps trying to set
him up with a woman he dated before the site's launch.

Even after the site's official debut this week, both men are keeping the
Silicon Valley jobs that brought them together. Gurevich, a native of
Ukraine whose family was smuggled out of the country after the fall of the
Berlin Wall, works full-time at a Palo Alto startup.

Khan traveled the world with his Afghan-born father and now works as an
Internet user-experience consultant. The two met when Khan did consulting
work for the startup where Gurevich works.

"We've got a Russian Jew and an Afghan Muslim starting a business about
relationships," Gurevich laughed.

Already the site has built a fan base from its beta phase, including some
users with a more personal connection.

Source: http://www.contracostatimes.com/relationships/ci_7676805





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