Since evagoblog has been kind enough to post a response defending the integrity of this site, I'll take a moment to add a couple of comments.
First, TCE does not pretend to be anything other than it is-- a small corner of the Internet where seasoned travellers can find a partner to travel with. Though I usually don't find out when this results in people finding each other, I do get enough feedback to know that a lot of people are successful in finding a compatible partner for one, or several, trips.
No, there are not often many people on the site at one time. Apart from having a comparatively small membership, the site is not designed as a chat platform. Most people come on, quickly check messages or browse new listings, then leave. Once they do start an extended conversation with another member, they often take that conversation off-site and use e-mail or telephone.
And no-one is required to pay for a membership. The large majority of functions are available with a free membership, and a large majority of members have joined for free. And I happily refund the cost of membership to anyone who does pay, and is not satisfied with the upgrade.
This site is a personal project, done in an attempt to provide a helpful service. If you have an interest, you can read some background here The site has many shortcomings, which I admit, and once time and funds allow, I hope to be addressing those. And some day . . .I may even find a way to recoup some of my investment! ;-)