Love Letters on the Web
Liebeserklaerung.de went live in June, posting 300 terms of endearment and a selection of romantic love notes. Sex is barely touched and does not go beyond "rubbing each other's stomach."
"We collect declarations of love," Roberto Wolf, a 20-year-old Web designer, said. "We put banners on Web sites asking for them. We used the radio and generally searched for other ways of accumulating e-mail addresses.
"We held prize drawings for the best love letters and kept all the responses. We were on TV [NBC's German channel] and got a lot of media attention with stories in Die Welt [a major national newspaper] and Bravo [a youth periodical]."
Now that he has built up a modest database of opt-in e-mail addresses, Wolf sent advisories that a new batch of love letters has been posted, drawing people to the Web site. "It's totally free for end-users."
The money comes from advertisers interested in targeting a pre-selected audience, generally 15 to 30 years old, although, Wolf said, "we have some 50-year-olds."
Wolf got the idea for the site after he sent a love letter to his girlfriend on the Internet and thought, "Hey, we could do more with this." He enlisted the Web project firm where he worked to let him build the site.