Tag Archives: okcupid

How can you still be single?!

Killer Prom Date - Dig The Grave Black & White

I opened OKCupid to find a message which brought a smile and with some time a puzzled look to my face. The message was…

I’ve lurked your profile on and off since we spoke. How can you still be single?! :)

The lady in question is lovely but the distance is too far and shes quite young. Whats the rule again? (Half your age and add 7?) Ok if I go by that rule it wouldn’t be so bad, but I generally go for slightly older it has to be said. But she’s quite mature, going by the things in her profile.

But as I said, I had a puzzled look after a while.

I answered her message with…

Honestly… I think my modern attitude and values seems to cause conflict with women my age. I tend to go for older women but they also tend to be in relationships or have old school views. Distance tends to be a problem and for some reason I end up falling for the same type each time…

Keep lurking…

I thought about it quite a bit since and even had a discussion with my sister.

First thing, I’m not one of those guys who believes I should be in a relationship. This isn’t a goddamm right of being born. Secondly I know the lady in question meant it as a honest question rather than a slap in the face.

So why am I single?

Some suggest I may actually like dating (well I do enjoy meeting new people). Others say I just haven’t found the one (yeah right, I don’t believe in the one) others think I might be a secret playa and even a womanizer! (cheers sister) Of course I totally disagree (although I can see the haters, laughing this one up). Another friend in Manchester thinks I’m making everything up and I’m actually not going on dates. MancNewgirl recently said I was a ex by ex… “Dating Expert by Experience”  something she came up with on the spot. I certainly liked that, and fits nicely with my unofficial tag line of the wikipedia of online dating.  Wikipedia because my advice is made up of lots of experiences and trust me its not made up. Sheila promised a book to me which explains exactly why I’m single (but even after 4 years) I still have not seen this mystery book? (I don’t even know the title of it). Some say its the clothes I wear, I have already had a offer to take me shopping for new clothes in a Queer eye for the straight guy remake. Although I agree, sometimes I should get the clothes out the washer/dryer a little quicker or do a tiny bit of  ironing (which I bloody hate).

All interesting but brings me no nearer to understanding why I’m single. I mean who wouldn’t want to go out with a modern geeky gentleman who has modern views and is a feminist? I get I’m not exactly in shape and have a face which is better for radio. But I’m confident, funny, smart, tall, dark and handsome?

My sister also suggested my comfort with female kind might be putting other women off? I can’t understand why, and to be honest if a potential women is put off because I have quite a few friends who are female. Then that’s simply crazy and I’m not going to give up being friends with women because of her insecurities. The fact I might have dated a few of them might be some area for concern but within the first hour of chatting with me, it should be clear there is never going to be anything questionable

This whole thing reminds me of a Single Black Male post I saw a while ago. Am I a picky or patient dater? Maybe I am too picky and settling isn’t such a bad thing? This also seems consistent with my recent lack of speed dating dates. The ones I’m interested in, don’t seem to be interested in me? Don’t even get me started on my very bad tinder activity. But at least the online dating side isn’t going so bad.

The idea of settling does bug me and give me much to think about. On the whole, I feel too young to settle (don’t ask me what age this changes as I have no idea). However everything I read seems to indicate this isn’t necessarily the case, for example this is something I read while putting together slides for Dating, Lies and Algorithms recently.

“The future will see better relationships but more divorce,” predicts Dan Winchester, the founder of a free dating site based in the U.K. “The older you get as a man, the more experienced you get. You know what to do with women, how to treat them and talk to them. Add to that the effect of online dating.” He continued, “I often wonder whether matching you up with great people is getting so efficient, and the process so enjoyable, that marriage will become obsolete.”

Why settle at all? Now some of you may say “Well this is typical of your generations lazy self-centered and selfish attitude. In my day, we had kids by the age of 22” And it would be hard (but certainly not impossible) to debate against the first part of the statement. But bear in mind I was married at the age of 23! Its not like I wasn’t open to everything.

There seems to be a connection between education (will find the reference later) and the amount of kids you may want/have… Now you could take the statement above and say well I’m being selfish but I disagree, my parents (I’m sure many others did the same) encouraged their kids to pursue their dreams by getting a decent education and making something of themselves. That push to better thy self, leads to finding a partner who is equally ambitious?

Why would you settle for less?

OkCupid protest for equal marrage rights…

Okcupid protest for equal gay rights

Good on OkCupid! Text reads…

Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.

Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.

Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there’s a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we’re asserting ourselves today. This is why: we’ve devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.

If you want to keep using Firefox, the link at the bottom will take you through to the site.

However, we urge you to consider different software for accessing OkCupid:

Scratching at the online dating bubble

Freakonomics recently put up a podcast about online dating. I love the it the show and you know your in for a good show when someone says…

…if only everybody approached it like an economist would…

Online dating through the eyes of an economist is a very intriguing world indeed. But unfortunately not everyone does. In actual fact theres a well known phenomenon which happens when faced with love.

…being attracted to a person is a lot like being on drugs. The release of chemicals into our brain and body creates an altered mental state in which we both perceive and behave differently than we normally would..

But back to the Freakonomics podcast. The bulk of the show was dedicated to AaronCarterFan, who I have written about before.

Theres some nice juicy parts in the show including,

OYER: Okay, so as I look at what you’ve got here, well, before we even look at it we have to stop and think about the first thing an economist is going to do is think about supply and demand. So I don’t know if you realize this, but you’re in a great position. New York City is demographically more female than male. I’m not entirely sure why that’s true. Out here in San Francisco it’s the opposite. We have an oversupply of men relative to women, at least compared to other cities. New York City and Washington D.C. tend to swing much more towards more available women. So you’re in a good position from a competitive point of view. You’re providing a good, single, straight male, which is in relatively high demand. Now the other thing to keep in mind here is time is very much on your side. So you’re in a good position for two other reasons, and that is the male/female differential I just mentioned is going to swing much more in your favor over the next 10 years. So you’re under no pressure to hook up for a long-term relationship right now. So that’s one thing that’s good. The other thing is just more generally, aside from your gender, the fact that you’re 28 years old from an economist point of view means that you should be very picky. So you should be picky, you should be looking for a really good match. And the reason for that is suppose you do find just the right person, and get married and live happily ever after, well you’re in no rush to do that because you have, let’s just say 50 more years in which to enjoy the relationship you find if it’s a successful one. So when I was on the online dating market recently, you know, I’m much older than you are, and from a rational economic perspective, I should be less picky than you. I should be searching a little less carefully. I should be settling, settling is an important idea, it’s a very important idea to economists because of what we call search theory suggests that at some point you should realize that  having what you have is better than expending more resources to try to do better. And that’s more true when you’re my age, I’m 50 now, than when you’re your age, which is 28.

And the guys are right… no rush, be a picky, nothing worst that rushing into something which isn’t going anywhere.

Justin WOLFERS: The Internet has turned matching upside down. It used to be that you would find compatibility first and then learn more about someone else’s attributes. And now you see all the attributes and then you learn about compatibility later.

This is something which certainly makes things very different. I always say to people who say, its easy. Go find someone and your done. Well here’s the big difference… Attributes before Chemistry. We’re still grappling with this major shift, and to be honest I hadn’t really thought about it in these terms before. This is the internet’s effect on the way we meet. We truly do live in the age of algorithms, like it or not!

Even the likes of Speed dating, Singles party’s, etc are holding to a somewhat dying tradition?

What you want to remember in your profile is that you want to be very upfront and forthcoming in anything that is what an economist would call a coordination game. It’s where our interests are aligned and as long as we have the right information we’re going to make the right decision. So in my case I was very upfront and forthcoming in my profile about the fact that I had a large and badly behaved golden retriever, and the fact that I have two teenaged children. Because if somebody was against those things, then those were deal breakers. And in your case, you want to be honest about the fact that you’re a public radio producer because on the one hand that’s very attractive to some people, but it also indicates that you’re not going to be rich, at least in the short term. You don’t want anybody who wants you just for your money, either because you don’t like those types of people or because even if you do you’re not going to get them once they have the information anyway.

This for me is an argument why you need to be honest on your profile. Its not about attracting everyone but the right people for you. Define your dealbreakers too. Although I joke I wouldn’t date someone who shopped in Aldi, its not really a deal breaker. I would have to wonder about their taste buds when it comes to fruit and veg, but its no deal breaker. A deal breaker is someone who drinks to get drunk all the time, dabbles with hard drugs, strong right wing views, can’t think deeper than what the soaps are showing.

Of course deal breakers can change, for example a while ago a deal breaker was having a child. Not because I have anything against kids, but I just wasn’t ready for that. And I’d rather be upfront about that. Hence on my profile it says…

I have little time for the mainstream garbage of pop music/fashion/celeb driven nonsense.

I removed the sorry if that winds you up part. As I’m not sorry, it was never going to be…

The podcast or the transcript is worth a listen/read, theres some great down to earth advice for online daters and all from people who look at the hidden side of everything. Of course I’m very tempted to write them a email asking them to look at other parts of the online dating world including the crack of the dating, the 3day trial.

Joining the Plenty of Fun wagon again

I’ve decided to join POF again, thought I’d give it a try wondering if the lack of maths in OKcupid profiles might be changing the aspect of the site… looking at the site, it still looks a royal bloody mess. Not quite as bad as it use to be, but generally its always makes me really miss the smooth look of OkCupid.com.

Filling out the profile has been interesting. If you want to fill in extra fields in the profile, you need to be a paid member. Theres lots of other bits paid members get on top of free members, just like Alist on Okcupid. I had a bit of shock when I found my mention of Cocktails blanked out, because it might be a rude word. So it now reads “…enlightening conversations over****ails

Great!

I also filled in their 70 questionnaire/data capturing/Chemistry test. The results are pretty good (but of course we’ve all aware of how this can work)

Does this sound like me…?

As someone with high self-confidence, you feel quite comfortable interacting with other people. Indeed, you find the company of others very stimulating and enjoy meeting new people. Your relaxed demeanor in groups makes people around you comfortable too. Perhaps because you feel comfortable talking about yourself, others tend to enjoy being around you and perceive you as socially competent.

The confidence that helps you feel comfortable talking to people also spills into your own personal beliefs about yourself. Although you have several strengths, it’s likely that you also acknowledge and accept your weaknesses. But unlike some people, you take full responsibility for your actions—you rarely regret things you’ve done in the past and are not embarrassed easily.

Perhaps the defining feature that sets you apart from most people is the exceptionally high standards that you set for yourself. Your competence in social gatherings as well as at work should provide ample evidence for this. With these characteristics, it’s very likely that people come to you for advice and generally think of you as someone with leader-like qualities.

Hummm maybe POF have started to put more emphases on the algorithm side of online dating?

Anyway we shall see how things turn out, I’m hoping I don’t get those late night messages/bootycalls which I have no idea how to read or respond to. What messages you ask? You will have to wait till the book is written…

The quality of OkCupid has gone down for me?

Opimal Cupid

I love OkCupid, its been consistently good for me and for me been streets ahead of the other dating sites. But things are starting to change (as you’d expect). Besides Okcupid being bought by Match.com a while ago its been ticking on, however the industry and environment changed.

Little things changed like the end of journals have happen but the big fear was to switch to a paid subscription model, which hasn’t happened (yet).

So its largely stayed the same…?

However, not so fast… OkCupid lives on its matching algorithm and although you can debate how effective this is compared to other ways to match people… OkCupid stands out for its algorithm, as even Chris (found via Tim who also recommended I read reddit too), the man who hacked OkCupid points out.

OkCupid was founded by Harvard math majors in 2004, and it first caught daters’ attention because of its computational approach to matchmaking. Members answer droves of multiple-choice survey questions on everything from politics, religion, and family to love, sex, and smartphones.

On average, respondents select 350 questions from a pool of thousands—“Which of the following is most likely to draw you to a movie?” or “How important is religion/God in your life?” For each, the user records an answer, specifies which responses they’d find acceptable in a mate, and rates how important the question is to them on a five-point scale from “irrelevant” to “mandatory.” OkCupid’s matching engine uses that data to calculate a couple’s compatibility. The closer to 100 percent—mathematical soul mate—the better.

Hacking online dating is nothing new, we’ve all heard about Amy, the woman who hacked online dating?

Chris’s story is something special and quite elegent…

Chris McKinlay used Python scripts to riffle through hundreds of OkCupid survey questions. He then sorted female daters into seven clusters, like “Diverse” and “Mindful,” each with distinct characteristics.

First he’d need data. While his dissertation work continued to run on the side, he set up 12 fake OkCupid accounts and wrote a Python script to manage them. The script would search his target demographic (heterosexual and bisexual women between the ages of 25 and 45), visit their pages, and scrape their profiles for every scrap of available information: ethnicity, height, smoker or nonsmoker, astrological sign—“all that crap,” he says.

To find the survey answers, he had to do a bit of extra sleuthing. OkCupid lets users see the responses of others, but only to questions they’ve answered themselves. McKinlay set up his bots to simply answer each question randomly—he wasn’t using the dummy profiles to attract any of the women, so the answers didn’t mat­ter—then scooped the women’s answers into a database.

And thats the nub or pressure point.

For any of this to work you need people filling out the surveys… I for example have answered over 700 questions. The problem is I’ve seen a dramatic drop in the number of answered questions and more people with zero questions answered.

OkCupid works best on those answers rather than scraping the profile for data. Chris’s hack wouldn’t work without the data. I’d be very interested to see what kind of results you would get now compared to then…

Anyhow Chris’s story is fascinating, specially when you consider the method and drive. Don’t think I’ll be buying the book yet but if your a maths wiz go for it.

I don’t really know what to do about the data problem for myself. I’m tempted to try Plenty of Fish again, see how much its changed (or not). Frankly I have had little to no interest from Tinder, so maybe time to remove it from my androids. Hacking Okcupid isn’t a bad idea but maybe in a way to remove the time wasters.Heck I even had my first speed dating recently where I wasn’t matched with anyone. Luckily one woman was interested in seeing me, so it wasn’t all bad. I’ll save what happened with another one for my book.

I do keep reminding myself it might just be the season or time of year too. These things seem to cycle.

One of the many worst profiles on OKCupid

The OKCupid profile you won't believe

I think this came from Tdobson or Technicalfault. (Really need to start using Diigo’s annotation feature)

First thing… Good on Cracked for doing this.

I figured any profile with photos of a beautiful woman would get a few messages from men whose boners were willing to overlook her personality. The captions on her photos were just as draped in red flags as her profile was, so there’s no way they were totally clueless as to how awful she is, but sure, I figured, maybe she’d get a couple of messages a day from people with especially low reading comprehension.

She got 150 messages in 24 hours.

With my social scientist hat on (not really, but I wish I did have one) this shows what a large portion of the online dating market is like. Think i’m joking? Look at the popularity of Tinder and the recently redesign of the local feature in Okcupid’s own app.

All of the messages she gets is seriously screwed up. They are well worth reading for entertainment value alone. But every time I read them I can’t help but hold my head in my hands!

Seriously men of Okcupid.com grow some balls, what the hell are you doing messaging this woman!!!!! She sounds like a bunny boiler…  And even worst how can you contact someone so awful after she makes it so clear shes not interested. Worst still wants to do damage to you!

My faith in man kind is on the ropes (of course I’m only joking)

What ever happened to the OkCupid Journals?

A friend Louise on Facebook pointed me at 20 online dating cliches – and what they really mean.

We had a little discussion with another friend, who said this is a waste of internets. Although we are pretty much in agreement it got us talking about what we can learn from dating profiles. Which lead to us thinking about what happened to OkCupid’s Journals?

Journals was a really fascinating way to learn about the person you were interested in. It gave you an insight which is hard to replicate. Some what better than second guessing based on common dating cliches like My friends (and family) are really important to me and I love laughing.

Don’t get me started on Don’t get in contact if you don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re”

Now thats something I’m seeing less and less of…

Those old race fears come back to haunt online dating

09.WhatSay.Self.SW.WDC.28nov05

I’ve been meaning to write about race and dating for a while. Originally I was going to write for Singleblackmale but I’m not really bringing anything new to the party except my own thoughts.

Racism is not gone, not by a long shot. In the online world the xenophobia runs riot.

If you need evidence of this, I’d point you at the now classic OkCupid’s Trend about Race Affects The Messages You Get. Then a more recently thanks to Tim Dobson, some more uncomfortable racial preferences.

Its worth pointing out that like most online dating data, we (not just me) grab on to it in lei of anything else. The last one Are you Interested? Could be seen as a poor/bad attempt to get their name out in an already crowded field. To be honest I had only heard of Are you interested? In passing and never actually tried it or installed it. I was surprised they hadn’t gone for rui.com instead.

Here’s the upshot

Despite an increase in interracial marriages and birth of multiracial babiesone study revealed that racism is still a factor when looking for love online.Kevin Lewis, a sociologist at University of California San Diego, analyzed messages sent by over 120,000 users on dating site, OkCupid, finding racial prejudice affects dating decisions. According to Lewis’ research, all users falling within the site’s five largest racial categories (black, white, Asian, Latino, Indian) were more likely to initiate contact with users from their same racial background.“Most men (except black men) are unlikely to initiate contact with black women, all men (including Asian men) are unlikely to reply to Asian women, and although women from all racial backgrounds tend to initiate contact with men from the same background, women from all racial backgrounds also disproportionately reply to white men,”

Now you can pretend or not acknowledge these facts but trust me as someone who has emailed quite a few people in the past, there is something about the replies you don’t get. That silence even when you connect really well on many levels. Of course its not simply one kind of person, it just happens if your males and black, you will get less replies.

This is why I find the data really interesting as its response rates. You can craft an algorithm which connects people in what ever way but their reply rate will say so much more.

However saying all this, something else is at play

Lewis also found that people were more willing to reply to a user of a different race after that person initiated contact. Furthermore, they were more likely to start a conversation with a user of a different race after that interaction.Lewis said one qualifying factor for this could be simple preemptive discrimination. In other words, users are less likely to initiate contact with a person of another race because they’re not sure that person will be interested in them.“Part of the reason site users, and especially minority site users, do not express interest in individuals from a different racial background is because they anticipate — based on a lifetime of experiences with racism — that individuals from a different background will not be interested in them.”

The data were reading from the dating sites is the instant reply rates. As I was saying no one likes being rejected specially on the grounds of race, theres a self censorship or lack of confidence to put yourself through the pain again. However if you do its more likely to work out better than you imagined.

So although the reply rates are bad for certain races such as black people, and it seems hopeless sometimes. I would urge people to keep going. Its a bit of a numbers game and this is once again another reason why the free online dating sites win out over the top of paid dating sites. You need time and its no fun sinking more and more money and your attention into something which isn’t going well.

Keep going…!

Somebody once called me the wikipedia of online dating…

OK only one person has but its kinda of stuck.
Why do I recommend OkCupid? Because its a great dating site and highly recommended by many

OkCupid. This site tops the list, and maybe because their demographic skews younger and it’s a little more engaging with members than some of the classic dating sites. Most of the searches were conducted by men (68%).

Interestingly…

PlentyofFish. This dating site has a bit of a reputation, but that hasn’t stopped people from checking it out. Formerly known for its “intimate encounters” section, POF has recently undergone an image change to focus on matching people with relationship potential.

Pof… I heard on a film (was it thor2?) the other day. Its certainly starting to grow in popularity specially since they cleaned it up? Free online dating is growing and pof is positioned its self right behind okc in my personal line up. Glad to see I’m not the only one…

Tinder. This mobile app was made popular by college students, a sort of “hot or not” version of online dating. With its easy-to-use and convenient set-up, the app has taken off among singles who like to see who’s close by and wanting to meet a little more spontaneously.

Tinder also known as the grindr of the heterosexual world. This has really taken off and to be fair I can’t knock it. I hear its great if your female (like most dating sites to be honest). Unlike the rest of the mobile apps its damm simple and ties directly to your Facebook. Even bettering OKCupid in the regards you don’t need to fill in a profile. Wonder how long till my dating site idea happens, although tinder is pretty close already.

Whats in common with Tinder?

A while ago I wrote a piece for Single black male titled technology assisted dating.

A trip to the coffee shop or a bar is full of surprises. Who has not heard of the likes of Grindr? Grindr is/was extremely popular with the urban single gay males and it seems highly effective in meeting other people. You could see this as a digital wingman of sorts or a step on the way towards a technology assisted dating/hookup depending on what you’re actually after?

The likes of OKCupid and POF’s mobile apps use geolocation to find singles which match your profile. Grindr however seems to have that extra element of passive fun or hookup. So the question always has been? Wheres the hetrosexual version of Grindr? Those in the know, recommend Tinder. So I checked it out a while ago and recently gave it another try .

The thing about Tinder is its totally based on your Facebook profile. When I first saw this as a requirement, I read the privacy policy and though no thank you. But since I gave it a shot and found it weirdly interesting.

As said before the app requires (there is no other way to make it work) Facebook data. Once you hook it up every aspect of your Facebook data you get recommendations of people you may like. As I letter found out you can alter some of the settings in the app. Things like distance to search, sexuality and the age range.

The interface is a hot or not styled thing based on profile pictures from people around you. Its not exactly scientific in anyway.

However whats interesting is when Tinder finds something you like in common. This can be something you both liked or something you both have an interest in. It even points out any friends you both have in common. So instead of filling out loads of questions, its simply highlighting the commonality between you both.

Tinder app okcupids app

For example above, there are 3 common things me and Sally share. If I click the i, I can find out which things exactly. In this case Sally likes donnie darko, fight club, and the watchmen. If we had friends in common it would put a number in the other box too.

Once you’ve done all this, thats pretty much it. If the other person comes across your profile and also hearts you, then your both made aware of this connection.

Its simple but also quite effective, if your facebook profile is maintained and well used. The problem I have is I don’t really use Facebook and its apps much, so alot of it is more guess work than matching. Maybe I might consider updating and managing parts of my FB profile in future.

Using Facebook makes a ton of sense and I’ve always maintained that Facebook makes a great dating site.

So its pretty frictionless as a app and service. I have already seen people adding additional information like there twitter username and even email address to the one and only free text area. Which makes me wonder how there going to make any revenue from the app and us the users? Its also lot less realtime that Grindr, so I don’t expect to see people wondering around with the app open, so no real time adverts.

Is it all about the data and what they can sell on? Will there be a pro version on the cards? Will they start selling adverts? Or will they simply go for a walled garden type thing like most other dating sites? It would be good know before I can really recommend the service.

But as a whole, I’m quite liking Tinder and it will stay on my android devices for now. Its certainly not Grindr for us hetrosexuals but its something smarter and slightly clever.

Is free online dating catfish central?

26/365: A tribute to nosy aunties and aunty-like uncles...

I listened to Radio 4′s women and mens hour special about online dating. It wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t great either. Anyhow I kind of got into a discussion/debate with C_T_S to do with her (I would suggest) somewhat unique experience of talking maybe dating a person who was a catfish.

Now to be fair we have a small twitter history of disagreement. But when I put the idea of never paying for online dating sites out there, she responded with…

As a victim of an emotional fraudster on a free website, I’m totally the opposite.

The best dates I had were from paid sites, without question.

Fair enough thats her experience, but I still feel from my experience and others paid for online dating is a bigger con, as the panoroma documentary revealed recently. I do have friends who have met up via match.com and others paid for dating sites but I have many more who met via free dating sites and the likes of Facebook. I also have never had someone catfished me as such. I’ve had some timewasters but generally I’ve spotted the signs of any kind of scamming.

So the question comes into focus…

Is free online dating inherently more prone to catfishers than the paid for dating sites?

On the face of it, it would seem more likely, however it also seems likely that people willing to pay will be more serious about there dating? In my experience this isn’t necessarily true. I’ve been thinking about this and one such reason is because of the focus on time the sites add to the equation. A lot of people pay month by month (wish I could find the survey which talked about this). Knowing in the back of there minds that the month is coming to an end, the mentality could be to speed things along a little more. While on the free dating sites, you can sit back and relax. Take it all in and decide to go full on or not when it suits you.

So theres a slight paradox… Could there be a slight paradox around catfishing on free sites too?

But how do/can you judge sites for their catfishing potential? Of course none of the sites are going to shout about there catfishing…

I guess you could look at the way they monitor their users, usage policies, etc… But this is data which we just don’t have. Its interesting that OKCupid resorts to crowdsourcing. While others seem to resort to alerting the likes of eharmony via the spam/abuse buttons. Looking a little further theres quite a lot of stuff about this catfishing from online dating sites. Reddit has a dedicated OkCupid subreddit, with some very interesting related threads. On the Match.com front theres some stories in the subreddit relationships but not a dedicated subreddit, however theres relevant court cases and views.

I would suggest its still undecided due to the lack of data available…

The big problem with most online dating conclusions and results. I would also include the fact most men are willing to put up with some crazy issues. Maybe someone should do some research how men and women react to being catfished?

So much to research, so little data…

Dirty little fingers in the data bucket

OkCupid | NO MATCH

Well I got to say… Its good to see some of the online dating sites feeling the heat from BBC’s Panorama last week.

In “Tainted Love: Secrets of the Dating Game,” the state broadcaster’s flagship current affairs program, Panorama, claimed to have uncovered a wide range of questionable practices by the online dating industry.

These include deliberate use of millions of photos and private details taken from social media sites without consent and reused to set up fake profiles of imaginary potential partners to, in the program’s words, “tempt the lovelorn.”

The documentary featured interviews with former online dating agency staffers who admitted on camera how they’d used such data to create fake profiles and adopt multiple personas to reel in those looking for love — and to boost profits.

The report also claimed the sources of this illegally obtained personal material ranged from British celebrities, politicians and even children. On camera, one former employee said that other European countries (notably Spain) were the main target, with easy pickings apparently coming from platforms such as MySpace.

As part of the investigation, reporters posing as prospective dating agency business openers were able to buy 10,000 people’s details, including birthdates and sexual preferences. That dataset included a member of the House of Lords, academics and BBC staff, all of whom told the BBC they had never signed up for such services.

Even my choice OkCupid are being targeted. Which is good because to be fair, although I do like their business model (well its better that the rest), I will never forget that they have been bought by Match.com and things are slightly changing for the worst.

 

POF cleans up and advertises in unique locations

POF on OKC

Well I’m hearing Plenty of Fun, I mean Fish is cleaning up its hookup image

POF is blocking hookups based on age difference and message wording, resulting in immediate bans, Intimate Encounters going away, 17% of the time we can pick the exact person you will end up dating, 70% of POF use is via a mobile phone.

Markus says, “Unfortunately about 2% of men started to use POF as more of a hookup site mostly due the the casual nature of cell phone use.”

POF have made systematic changes too… Directly from Markus the founder

1. Any first contact between users that contains sexual references will not be sent. Anyone who tries to get around this rule will be deleted without warning. This rule has actually been in effect since last month and it’s made the site so much better.

2. You can only contact people +/- 14 years of your age. There is no reason for a 50 year old man to contact a 18 year old women. The majority of messages sent outside those age ranges are all about hookups. Anyone who tries to get around this rule will get deleted.

3. Intimate Encounters will go away in the next few months. There are 3.3 Million people who use the site every day, of those there are only 6,041 single women looking for Intimate Encounters. Of those 6,041 women, the ones with hot pictures are mostly men pretending to be women. Intimate Encounters on POF can be summed up as a bunch of horny men talking to a bunch of horny men pretending to be women.

In short the vast majority of people will not be impacted. This is because the vast majority of people are not going around spamming women saying “let’s have sex tonight”. I can’t change POF alone, I need your help to get the word out there that POF is all about relationships!

So I assume with the clean up, POF needs to shout about the change… Shout about it they do, so much than you can see the advert on OKCupid.com, another free online dating site. Weird but I guess it makes sense, OKC is a dating site with a lot of daters on board.