We delve into the world of modern dating this week with our guest, Susie Lee, creator of the new app Siren for the iPhone, which aims to improve the dating experience by empowering women to decide who can see their profile and interact with them.

Susie Lee of the Siren dating app in the KIRO studios. (Erynn Rose Photo)

Lee, a contemporary digital artist, came up with the idea for Siren after getting a smartphone and realizing that existing dating apps didn’t facilitate the type of “unexpected and constructive flirting” that can often lead to successful matches in the real world. Features of Siren include a “Question of the Day” designed to elicit responses that shed light on users’ personalities more effectively than filling out a profile page.

“Think about the dynamic between a man and a woman when they first have chemistry,” explains Lee. “She can give you the signals that she’s actually interested in talking with you.” That’s what Siren is aiming to recreate in the new app.

The app is free to download, but you’ll need an invite code that you can request from Lee at susie@siren.mobi. An Android version is set to debut in October.

The conversation with Lee begins in the second segment of the show, at 9:30. Listen via this MP3 file or the audio player below. We also explain why the picture of Lee in this post is in black and white, and how that relates to the app.

The show begins with our weekly news roundup, as GeekWire’s John Cook calls in with a report from Portland’s TechFestNW. We also talk about Seattle’s efforts to attract a big tech company to the Yesler Terrace redevelopment.

Plus, the answer to last week’s Name that Tech Tune challenge and an App of the Week created by Tom Hanks.

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  • Slaggggg

    Siren: The dating app for dudes that want women to be in control.

    • Siren

      Indeed, indeed. The dating app for dudes who like confident women. We’re cheering those men on.

  • Nunya Beezwax

    Siren, the dating shop for women who have something to hide

  • Guest

    Anyway to get a slider control on the embedded audio player? Kind of annoying that I can’t ffwd.

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Sorry about that. It’s there, but not easy to find. After you press play, if you hover just at the top of the audio bar, you will see a mouse hand, and you can click to navigate to different parts of the show. Not as easy as it should be — we’ll see if we can fix.

      • johnhcook

        I totally agree with this commenter. Tough to find.

        John Cook
        Co-founder, GeekWire

  • Ed O

    As a guy who has done tons of online dating off and on for a while now: women are already “empowered” relative to men. They have the ability to ignore or block the messages and views and likes and favorites that pour into their inbox (at least in the experience of my female friends).

    The problem (again, according to my female friends and my personal observations) seems to be twofold:

    1. Symmetry. Many more guys are predisposed to casual dating/hooking up than women are, so a good first date might not lead to a second date, let alone a long-term deal.

    2. Firehose. Almost every woman I know who’s done online dating stops within a couple of weeks… not because they find the right guy or because an itch has been scratched, but because there are simply too many stimuli, including one word messages or “compliments” that are akin to construction worker catcalls. There is, in other words, a lot of worthless noise overwhelming the valued signal.

    So… I don’t know anything about Siren other than this post, and I have Android devices so I won’t know first-hand until October, but I think that it is a reasonable idea to “empower” women… empower them to feel like they’re not wasting their time or being exposed too much or becoming overwhelmed. Does this empowerment come at a cost to guys (who are already hopelessly underpowered online)? I don’t think so, since most of the signal should still get through even as more noise gets weeded out.

  • CaptObvious84

    say what you want about the idea behind this app, but I bet most of you haven’t been on every single dating site/app like i have… basically if you are born male and you don’t look like johnny depp or brad pitt, you have no chance in almost all of these…
    maybe this will prove to be different, as it usually doesn’t matter who makes the first move. As a guy making the first move on a dating site/app will AT MOST make them look at my profile… not sure how people meet others when that’s the best that can be done if you are average looking. And this app will be a big plus for guys who aren’t naturally dominant…

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