PRESS ARTICLE - BYU NEWSNET (view
Web Site Helps Friends
By Cheryl Catts, NewsNet
Staff Writer, 12 April 2004
With graduation approaching, many people are making vows to keep in touch with
friends. Promises are made not only to friends from school, but mission buddies,
business associations and romantic interests.
"I think communications and keeping connected is very important, but it is never
more important than in a community like the LDS community," said Jed Dempsey,
founder and CEO of LDS LinkUp.
Dempsey started a Web site, among the sea of LDS dating sites that offers people
the opportunity to maintain connections with others around the world.
The site, which has grown entirely by word of mouth, has thousands of members in
more than 30 countries around the world.
"It's a lot of fun to be on there," said Kaari Jacobs, LDS LinkUp community
liaison. "It's fun for everyone, it's not just a dating site, it's not just for
Jacobs was the first person to ever register on the site and has seen it grow
since its introduction in late 2003.
"It helps to get everyone together in a community that is really connected
offline," she said.
Jacobs said the suggestion is often made that the world is connected by six
degrees of separation, but she said in the LDS community it seems more like two.
LDS LinkUp offers e-mail, discussion boards and search tools to get in touch
with other LDS people around the world.
The site is a great application of the Internet, Dempsey said.
"It is a business that has a lot of potential value for the Mormon community, in
particular, to help them make better use of the affinity that the Mormon
community has for itself," he said.
A similar site was started for the Jewish community by LDS LinkUp's parent
company, Who New LLC. It has received a good response, said Amy Guggenheim
Shenkan, marketing and business development adviser for Who New LLC.
"The worry is gone, and now it's just a matter of needing to get the word out to
people," Shenkan said.
Dempsey said there is a demand for this kind of networking communication, based
on the response he has seen.
"It has exceeded my expectations," Jacobs said. She said she has received an
overwhelming response from her friends.
Users of the site are described as "passionate," Dempsey said. Approximately 15
percent visit the site daily and people spend an average of one hour on it.
It makes it easier to communicate because once you find them you can keep track
of them, Dempsey said.
The site is free right now, while it is in a trial period. Dempsey said the
basic service will remain free, and new features are being added.
Additional information can be found at
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