Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Impressions of Ashley

So it’s been three weeks since we signed up for 3 online hookup services, and two weeks since I wrote my first impressions of them.  We’ve been getting a lot more action from these, well at least from Ashley Madison and Adult Friend Finder.  The other one is small and there are not many members in our area.

Here are my updated impressions of AM. 

First, what I like:
•    The mailbox is great.  When you log on, you are taken to your mailbox, and it shows all your contact messages with other members (messages, winks, add to favorites, private photo keys).  I like that it is all in one place.  So checking for any updates is easy.
•    Open an email and there is a link to show message history for last 10 messages or 30 days with that member
•    Helpful help
•    And good getting started page - Helpful Tips for Using the Ashley Madison System.  It’s hard to find though.  I didn’t find it until doing research for this post.  Go to the bottom of any profile, including your own, and click on “about member feedback [?]”.  Check out their fun lists of acronyms and emotions.  I’m sure you’ll find a few new ones.
•    Lists for favorites, keys sent, and block profiles – all available on the “Lists” tab
•    Feedback checkboxes at bottom of profiles
•    Easy navigation

Plenty of free services:
•    Anyone can send a wink
•    Including a wink that says sorry I’m not interested
•    Anyone can view profiles, many don’t have public photos, most of those have private photos, anyone can request a private photo showcase key and anyone can send their showcase key for free
•    Full function search
•    Favorites list
•    Email By name who has sent you a message
•    Emails showing a summary of how many members have put you on their favorites list, winks, showcase keys and messages you’ve received in the last 24 hours – but not by name
•    Emails showing new members in your area

Additional services available for a fee:
•    As of this writing, credits cost between $.25 and $.50 each, depending on how many you buy at one time, and never expire.
•    Only costs to send a message to a member for the first time (5 credits).  After that the two members can reply all they want for free.  Messages can contain alternate contact info such as email addresses and phone numbers. 
•    Also costs to initiate instant messaging. (30 credits for 30 minutes, 50 credits for 60 minutes, with some limited methods to save minutes)
•    Collect messages (5 credits for the receiving (male) member, free for the sending member)
•    Priority mail (additional 5 credits)
•    Gifting (20 to 50 credits for gifts) Why, you ask.  I don’t know.  Why would anyone want an electronic necklace?

What I don’t like:
•    Fewer members in area.  They seem to think that anyone in my state is in my area.  I guess if you live in Rhode Island, that works out well, but in larger states these “members in your area” are more often than not, hundreds of miles away.
•    Chat box takes up 1/3 of the screen, across the top always.  We don’t use the chat, because it could be me or Wife that happens to be logged in, and that wouldn’t be fair to a potential suitor.  So this is wasted space for us, but even if you use it, it takes up too much space.
•    No couples selection.  You can’t register as a couple nor can you state you are interested in anything but a male or female (but not both).

What I don’t know:
•    Apparently you can transfer credits to other accounts (for a 25 credit fee plus the number of credits you transfer).  You can select the account number to receive them, and the number of credits. (Hey, give me credits rather than a fake necklace, moron.)  I'm not sure how this really works.  There doesn't seem to be much documentation on it.

I like the way the Ashley Madison site is laid out.  It is easy to use and the impression I got is they really want to help people connect.  Their site reflects that philosophy. Sure, they want to make money but they let you know in the help section exactly which services are complementary and which will require credits (and how many credits).  Another page, conveniently labeled “Buy Credits”, shows the price for packages of credits.

While it was a little slow at first, which we accredited to the fact that I knew and approved of Wife’s activities on AM, it soon picked up.  The more likely reason is that there are fewer people on AM and therefore fewer people in your immediate area.  We have been conversing with 4 guys on AM and have exchanged winks (including several (5) no thank yous) with many more.  I’ll post more about them soon.

I definitely recommend Ashley Madison for people that are looking for long term relationships.  If you want to hook up tonight, try somewhere else (like sending me an email, lol).

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