Lance Vaughn is a local Rails developer who wants to do what he can to promote Austin and the Rails communities. As a part of that work, he’s going to be doing some blogging for Austin on Rails. The feature below is a Twitter interview which he recently conducted with Steve Odom about his new Rails-based site, which is launching at DEMO this week in San Diego.

LANCE: Hey, Steve. Thanks for accepting my invitation for a twinterview. I’m looking forward to getting to know more about you and ge.la.to!

STEVE: Hi Lance, I look forward to chatting with you.

LANCE: Cool. You recently tweeted that you love pitching ideas. What is your standard ten-second elevator-style pitch for Gelato?

STEVE: Gelato is realtime search meets online dating. Think Friendfeed for dating.

LANCE: Nice. Okay. Seems like a unique idea. But sell me. What’s your angle? How will Gelato succeed?

STEVE: I was a heavy user of dating sites (after a divorce). I built Gelato because I wanted something different. Simpler.

STEVE: For Gelato to succeed, I’m listening & iterating. Rinsing & repeating.

LANCE: So, I know that Gelato is a startup. Do you have any funding to speak of? What stage is it in today?

STEVE: Bootstrapping! ATX startup community makes it easy. Lots of support. Gelato is alpha stage. Launch beta at DEMO.

LANCE: How exciting! Congratulations, man! Can you tell us more about how you won the opportunity to participate in DEMO?

STEVE: Pretty simple actually. I applied, had a phone interview, gave them a demo, and I was invited. Very excited.

LANCE: If your every dream for Gelato came true, what would it look like for you and/or for your users?

STEVE: I want Gelato to be a paradigm changer. Bring real-time search to dating. Match the authenticity & speed of offline dating.

LANCE: I really like the idea of using on-line profiles to validate a person’s authenticity. Tell us how SCOOP Points work.

STEVE: Online dating suffers from fake profiles & married people saying they’re single. SCOOP = Social Confidence of Online Profile.

STEVE: You get more SCOOP points for adding auth accounts, # of friends you have on networks, & your friends vouching for you.

LANCE: Very cool idea, Steve! So, what’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned along the way? What helped you the most as you bootstrapped?

STEVE: What helped me the most as a bootstrapper is having awesome friends providing support. eg @jbritten’s technical founder group.

STEVE: and @damon’s Cafe Bedouins. The AOR group. Groups like @conjunctured and @techranch.

LANCE: Wow. It’s becoming clear that Austin has a really supportive community for startups. Any other Austin Rails startups going to DEMO?

STEVE: I’m not sure I’m supposed to say. But, yes, I know of 3 others. Two of which are Rails-based.

LANCE: Go Rails! Thanks for the interview, Steve. Best of luck to you and your Gelato project!