Nerve uses Joyent and MongoDB to Power a Sleek Next-Generation Dating Site Focused on Real-Time Interactions

April 11, 2013 - by Hannah Simon

With the tagline “Read, Relate, Connect,” Nerve has been building a hyper social community around all things smart, sexy, culturally important and entertaining since 1997. Nerve is not only a content powerhouse (with award-winning stories and photography) but is also an extremely innovative and technology-driven company.

In 2011, Nerve built a new dating app that uses social content and conversations to more closely mimic interactions in the physical world. Using technology to facilitate a more human approach to online interaction, the app connects users through real-time sharing of information, rather than forcing them to sift through passive, static profiles.

Behind the sleek, user-friendly design of lies cutting-edge web technologies like Nodestack deployment of Node.js application servers and MongoDB databases. Justin Shreve, Lead Engineer for Nerve, said that when building the app, their team couldn't afford to waste time running their own databases in house (which was too much work). They wanted a team of experts to manage and support their MongoDB clusters so they could focus on creating and delivering the best experience for their users.

“If you're looking to host a Node.js application and want to work with the people who invented it, then Joyent is your hosting provider." - Justin Shreve, Lead Engineer

Nerve also knew that hosting a dating site meant data reliability and security were incredibly important. The real-time nature of interactions on also required instantaneous response times from both the database and the application server to keep users happy.

They tried hosting their Node.js app on Rackspace as well as AWS, but “had many problems getting things working correctly and getting configuration,” according to Justin. So, they turned to Joyent and MongoLab’s MongoDB-as-a-Service platform, which provided a “much easier system” for getting up and running faster with their Node.js app, without any difficulties.

“As the leader in Node.js hosting, Joyent was very responsive when we were looking for a Node hosting solution and quickly offered relevant solutions. Joyent has also had great uptime and has performed very well, and they provided excellent engineering support when we needed to deploy,” said Justin.

To anyone considering a Nodestack deployment, Justin strongly recommends the Joyent-MongoLab combination.

“If you're looking to host a Node.js application and want to work with the people who invented it, then Joyent is your hosting provider,” says Shreve. “If you're building a social web app and MongoDB makes sense, then definitely use MongoLab.”

Calling Joyent “a more affordable hosting solution with better capacity,” Nerve says that based on their initial experience with, they plan to move the rest of the company’s web properties over to Joyent cloud hosting -- and we couldn’t be more thrilled!