Is Paid Dating The Uber Of Dating?

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Every Monday morning at 7:10 am, I am a guest contributor on CHOM 97.7 FM radio broadcasting out of Montreal (home base). It’s not a long segment – about 5 to 10 minutes every week – about everything that is happening in the world of technology and digital media. The good folks at CHOM 97.7 FM are posting these segments weekly to SoundCloud, if you’re interested in hearing more of me blathering away. I’m really excited about this opportunity, because this is the radio station that I grew up on listening to, and it really is a fun treat to be invited to the Mornings Rock with Terry and Heather B. morning show. The segment is called, CTRL ALT Delete with Mitch Joel.

This week we discussed: 

  • Pokemon Go has arrived. We can all be so critical of another, true? Apparently, we all need to get a life.
  • This sounds all kinds of strange: “Ohlala is a web-based app that facilitates what it calls ‘instant paid dating.’ Male users post offers for dates, consisting of a time, a duration, and how much money they’re willing to pay — a typical offer is from 1-4 hours at an average price of $300. While the request is up, women can decide whether or not they’d like that person to be able to contact them. Crucially, women are not visible to men before they initiate conversation — it’s the inverse of the backpage listings to which it’s often compared. Here, the buyers must come forward first. From there, the couple can chat and discuss the whens and wheres of their impending dates, as well as a payment method and their boundaries, if they so please. (In-app payment is currently in the works, the team tells me.) When the terms are agreed upon, the chat is logged, and presumably both parties are incentivized to show up. Though its on-demand model has earned Oglala the label ‘Uber for escorts,’ the company insists it isn’t an escort agency, or even operating in the adult entertainment space. 
  • Attention Star Wars nerds: Virtual reality is about to go mainstream. Industrial Light & Magic‘s virtual reality arm xLab is making its next virtual reality experience, and the subject is Darth Vader. Writer David S. Goyer (Batman Begins and Man of Steel) announced that he is working on the project
  • App of the week: Pokemon Go (of course!).

Listen here…