Despite all the remarkable advances in the technology and despite all the broad sweeping changes in society, real human relationships between actual people are still at the heart of everything that we do. This is true in a romantic context as we seek out our life partners, just as it is true in the world of business as we connect with new colleagues and collaborate with business partners. Relationships are everything.

To some extent, the astronomical rise of the Internet has both helped and hampered in this regard. The world is smaller than it has ever been before and more people are connected to more people than ever before too. Someone in Dubai can hook up with someone from Detroit almost as easily as folks who simply live down the street from one another. At the same time, hiding behind computer keyboards, screens, and algorithms can feel awfully impersonal.

And this is really where the next major revolution in match making is taking place. It's about leveraging all the advantages of technology while simultaneously reintroducing the human element in a big way.

Big Data for Big Connections

Before the Internet really became a thing, the only real way you could get to know someone was to actually meet them. And even then, you could be friends, colleagues or acquaintances for years and still know very little about the other person. What are their hobbies? Where else have they worked? What's their family like?

Times have changed, particularly with the rise of social media, as more and more people are volunteering more and more information about themselves. That's a lot of data that wasn't available previously. Facebook has a data profile on you even if you don't have an account with the social network, never mind the people who actively fill out quizzes to see which Hogwart's House you belong to.

There's for dating and LinkedIn for business connections too, among innumerable other options. Before you go in for a job interview, you might (and probably should) spend the time looking up more about the company on LinkedIn. You might browse through the profile of the person who will be interviewing you to get a better sense of who they are and hopefully find some common ground.

Before you go on that "blind date," you probably Google up this individual to see what they've been posting on Twitter and Instagram. Well before you actually meet anyone in person, you've practically already "met" them through their profiles and what they post online.

A Personal Introduction

Having these giant networks with access to an unprecedented amount of data can be incredibly helpful, but it can also be remarkably overwhelming. The signal-to-noise ratio can be far too much, especially on dating sites. Of the messages sent out by men, less than two percent are ever sent a reply. And perhaps unsurprisingly, female users on many of these online dating sites report experiencing harassment too.

It's too much and this can lead to great deal of mistrust. What if the other person is misrepresenting themselves? And even though the algorithms on these types of sites continue to improve, they're far from perfect and could leave many users disappointed. According to a Pew Research report, less than a quarter of online daters eventually find a relationship through the platform.

This is why personal introductions continue to be invaluable. When your good friend personally introduces you to someone they'd think you'd be interested in, that introduction holds far more weight (and is oftentimes far more accurate) than what any algorithm is able to produce. This informal matchmaking is almost as old as human civilization itself! But it's not exactly scalable.

The Power of Ponder

What if you could almost leverage the best of both worlds? That's almost the idea behind Ponder, a platform that decentralizes matchmaking and rewards almost anyone to play matchmaker. Currently in beta, Ponder has actual human beings working to match people together. There are about 70,000 registered users and that number continues to grow.

It's like having that friend introduce you to someone who they think you'd like, except this is far more scalable and extends beyond your immediate friend circle. They're initially working within the romantic space, but in the future, they plan on expanding to the world of recruiting/hiring and business partnerships too.

Right now, the basic matchmaking dynamic on Ponder works like this. You are presented with a stream of singles in the app, including both your friends and strangers. When you think you see a potential pairing, you drag them together. The two people get notified and if they like the match, they each pay a $10 success fee. The $20 collected is then split 50/50 between Ponder and the matchmaker. If the pair end up getting married and Ponder is notified, the original matchmaker earns a $1,000 bonus.

Blockchain and the Future

To further facilitation these connections and personal introductions, and to provide a much greater level of safety, security and trust, Ponder is working toward having a token on the Ethereum blockchain. The public token sale starts later this year. This will help to integrate the financial rewards of Ponder while taking advantage of the ERC-20 smart contract.

Down the line, Ponder aims to introduce additional features like group matchmaking. Users can create their own sub-groups within the broader Ponder community, like groups based on faith or interests. Group members can then collaborate on matchmaking such that the people who are matched do not get notified until at least five people have suggested the same couple. This greater consensus provides a greater level of confidence to those being matched, and the benefits are then spread through the group.

It's About Relationship Building

Human relationships really are at the heart of everything and finding those personal connections -- whether romantic or professional -- can make all the difference. With platforms like Ponder, real people are really helping other real people in very real ways, all while leveraging the tremendous power of modern technology in safe and trustworthy environment.

Author's Bio: 

Zac Johnson is an entrepreneur with more than twenty years of experience in the world of online marketing and branding. To learn more about Zac, be sure to visit his personal blog at and his blogging tips reference guide at