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Building a thriving internet community can be tough.

Converting a community into paying customers is considerably harder. On, I count on merchandise, click-thru ads and monthly advertising schemes. sells a fortified version of itself (Totalfark) and Something Awful sells access to its comments section. 

Dating sites use a different scheme. Many of these sites allow any visitor to post a free profile, but only allow contact information to be exchanged between paying customers. You can look, but you cannot talk. I have to admit, this is an ingenious scheme. New visitors will often devote hours crafting a worthy profile, uploading a complimentary set of photos and composing a personal description which touts an exaggerated appreciation for classical literature.

Once their profile is online, they may start getting some attention, such as "winks" and mail, but may only be able to read that mail once they have paid a monthly membership fee. I empathize with single people in this situation. These sites dangle a carrot so close that it is poking you in the eye. This is like a bank slipping $700 into your checking account, only to charge you a fee when you pull it out of the ATM.

This restriction on contact information invites subversion.

Sneaking Contact Information into your Profile

If you can somehow sneak your email address into your profile, " I hope SallyBird3433 gets to say "Gee! Male!" in the near future", "Iceflakequeen vacations near at aye oh well." or "Atlanta Ballerina, Yeah, who?" You can avoid paying, and you can attract the people who are really scouring your profile. It could save you both money, and even inject a little corporation-busting intrigue into your relationship.

The trick is to hide the email address from the dating site's administrator. He will definitely be filtering all profiles for the word "email", ".com" or the "@" symbol. "Yahoo" is probably forbidden, as well as "".

I'm going to put myself into the email encoding business by simply starting a reference table to dumb two-word codes, like this:

Code Email address 
orange faucet
mink carafe
gravel sweater

The codes can be ANYTHING. They will only need to be strange enough for people to realize a hidden message is there. Anyone who hangs out online for long enough will know that is the place to decode these nonsense phrases.

Ideally, even a novice profile-viewer will approach a nonsense phrase such as "zinc typewriter" with a Google search. 

"Hmm, she sounds nice, but what the hell is a "zinc typewriter"? 

Zinc Typewriter will only have a couple of results, and hopefully, one of them will be the email decoder page! Your email address will be there for the taking! Victory!

Examples of Prohibited Contact Rules

From Latin Love Finder
What does "Rejected" mean? 
Rejected is when a member has uploaded obscene or pornographic photos or has tried to "sneak" contact information or website links into their profile. Rejection is a temporary freeze on the account made by the admin of Latin Love Search until the profile content conforms to our standards. If your profile has been "rejected," change the content and resubmit for admin approval. 

Sometimes people try to sneak something into their profile that is against's Terms of Use, which all members agree to when they sign up. This could be their email address, phone number, or even offensive content (bad words for example). When this happens, places [CENSORED!!] over the unallowed content, preventing our other members from seeing it. 
Free to post a profile, but $30 to communicate with anyone. They run their profiles through an automated filter, looking for terms such as "hotmail" "yahoo" or ""
More information at

On, users could once sneak their email address into their profiles. However, the site is now strictly monitored, so there is no way to contact someone without paying. In fact, you cannot read a message from someone without first subscribing to the site. This is frustrating when you know you have a message, but you just canít check it. 

From Membership agreement:
Part 9-f: You may not include in your Member Portrait any telephone numbers, street addresses, last names, URLs or email addresses. 

Please look at the sample email concealer codes hidden in dating profiles on the next page.

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March 13, 2007 

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  • Terms and Conditions  Copyright 2007 | disclaimer: If someone you don't like gets your email address, they may bother you with unwanted emails. Not for use by terrorists.