Metadating in Newcastle

Couple in a coffee shop

Metadating… by Newcastle’s Culture Lab (I must declare I’m working with these guys in BBC R&D’s User eXperience Partnership, but this is nothing to do with me. I was told about it and went wow!)

Exploring the Romance of Personal Data, A singles dating event, hosted by researchers at Culture Lab

Ok you got my interest already… The Quantified Self and Dating?

We’re all creating more data about our lives, be it on social media or on our smartphones. Nowadays, people even use technology to track themselves and record how active they are, where they’ve been or how well they’ve slept. But how public should this data be? What would this look like on a dating profile? Would you like to know how late she works or whether he’s a night owl? Just how much does he workout? Where’s her favourite coffee shop?

Meta Dating is a free singles event for people interested in data and dating, hosted by researchers at Culture Lab, Newcastle University.

We’re looking for single people who have some experience of online dating to take part, meet other singles, have fun, and explore the romance of personal data!

Of  course I signed up straight away… I am a little worried about how they are going to collect all my data  but I’ll worry about that later. One of the questions asked was, why you? To which I roughly replied…

I’m a fan of the Quantified Self and use Online and Offline dating services all the time. I’m also working in the Quantified Self area in regards to the ethics of data and new storytelling experiences. I’ll be really interested to know if theres any link between the data about ourselves and data in whom we seek.

As most of you know, I tend to hold quite strong views about online dating and the process which services claim to use to match people. I pretty much damned most dating sites for doing nothing more than simply bringing people together like Facebook. Shuffled my feet at the idea of using algorithms to match people. And even made jokes about using things like smell to match people. But whats upset me the most is the lack of scientific methodology to solve the problem.

Well here’s my chance to see if there is something to it or its simply a joke like quantified toilets and premium dating. Be fascinating to see how they get over things like looks, interests and things which are just you like race, height, etc, etc… or will the results come back with something similar to the idea of the unquantifiable?

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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