The Electronic Middleman

, Deborah Lambert, Leave a comment

When William and Mary student Mallory Johnson realized she couldn’t summon up the courage to start a conversation with a cute guy on campus, she simply logged onto and posted a message. He eventually responded and they started a relationship.

GoodCrush, described as a “cross between and Facebook,” is “the brainchild of 23-year-old Josh Weinstein who started it in 2007 during his sophomore year at Princeton.” What sets it apart from other sites is the “double-blind approach”—both parties contact each other anonymously—“identities are only revealed if both people indicate they have a ‘crush’ on the other person.”

Weinstein’s concept was apparently an idea whose time had come. Within 24 hours of its launch at Princeton, 30% of the student body had signed up. The site, now operating on 20 campuses, has “14,000 users and requests from students at more than 80 colleges.”

Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia.