Tag Archives: okcupid

Dating after a long relationship

Chess on the High Line

Lifehacker has a well reasoned piece about returning to dating at a older age. Its something nobody really wants to think about, married and happy then things go wrong. Before long you are separated or divorced and you are pondering what to do.

For me I decided to get back into dating as its very easy to slip into a endless cycle of regret and depression. To be fair I wasn’t really dating much beforehand just like the Thorin.

I’ve always felt dating was a weird experience in general, but somehow, coming back to it in the last few years feels different. I was married for several years in my late 20s, so I missed out on the earlier days of online dating sites. It was also a much more carefree time, when if you liked someone, that was enough. But now that I’m in my 30s, the rules and expectations are completely different—making it a lot harder to get back in the game.

I have said it before many times, this is why when talking to people in long term relationships, its hard to explain why things are different now.

…you have billions of other human beings at your fingertips through a variety of channels. As always, you can hit up bars, clubs, and shows. You can venture off to parties and barbecues. You can also go online and have access to loads of single people in your area. It’s a far cry from even high school, when your dating pool was largely pretty much your friends and their friends.

Online dating gives you more options than ever. Not just in people, but in sources. Dating sites like OkCupid, Tinder, Match, eHarmony, and Plenty of Fish all give you access to other single people in a matter of seconds.

I have a talk inside of me all about this and much much more. I gave a 10min overview at Best of British, which you can watch on youtube.

There are some really good points raised

The Deal Breakers Have Changed, and They’re Much Bigger Deals.
Yes the deal breakers are serious now, if something isn’t right for you. There are enough other people to give try. There is the downside to this of course, paradox of choice and people seeking the greener grass on the other side.

The “Game” Is Different, and Bluntness Is King
No body likes time-wasters and you need to be blunt and to the point otherwise things will drag on.  It doesn’t mean you have to be super rude, just honest and direct. People will thank you for it deep down, even if its painful at first. Of course you got get a think skin and be prepared for honest and direct feedback too. This is why getting over the fear of rejection is so important.

Inside the mind of a catfish

Its funny most people haven’t really heard of the term Catfish. I wrote about the term a while ago and mentioned it a few times in passing.

Now you don’t become the wikipedia of online dating without bumping into a few here and there. But I have been lucky to never really fallen for it, but I have been known to play along waiting for the moment when they suggest I give something up. Be it money, photos, phone number, address, etc.

I quite enjoy fishing the catfishers, trying to get into there minds about why they do it. There’s certainly warning signs, just like the scams. In my experience its started with a message out of the blue like “How are you?”, “You like what you see?”, “hey daddy!”, etc

Before long they try and move away from the original platform to something more free like text message, snapchat, facebook, etc. Most of those other platforms don’t really have the protections of the original, and you have to tell them something about you. For example the latest catfish suggested a number of ways to keep the conversation going. Usually romantic or dirty talk, nude pictures, etc.

I did the usual googling, image search, etc to see if I could find where things are coming from. But found nothing, it was actually Chris which found and linked the pictures to the twitter account.

With my latest catfish, we moved to Facebook but messaged only in the other inbox (aka I never added her as a friend). Lots of pictures were shared from a glamour model with the same name (NSFW! Thanks Chris), but I shared not a single thing.

Unlike most catfish, there was a push to hook up quickly. This kind of surprised me, and I agreed to meet up. Outside Tesco metro supermarket in Salford Quays (weird location but there was no way I was going to director her to my flat, she/he suggested it). Unlike other times before, I thought I’d better inform people just in-case.  Anyway the long and short of it, was I popped by Tesco with Chris and nobody showed up.

I thought there would be a no show (she/he/it never replied to messages after yesterday) I assume the fun was done. But to be fair in the past, when they have turned up and sometimes we’ve had a fascinating discussion about why they lied and used somebody elses profile.

It is a shame I didn’t get the chance to find out who was behind the scenes but they have been blocked and reported now. Like I should have done, many of you are saying instead of entertaining there warped scene of fun.

I did elude to this happening before multiple times (you will be surprised how many messages) . Usually I find there stolen/ripped pictures or trip them up on something. One such time was with a woman I’ll call Cat. I found her pictures easily enough and started calling her a scammer. She got very defensive and I convinced her to meet in a public place.

Here’s a extract from my ever elusive fictional book…

We met up in Piccadilly Station. As you can imagine, she was nothing like her profile pictures. I could have had the pleasure of telling her so over and over again but it didn’t seem right. I asked her how she was going to pull off the fact she was nothing like her profile suggested. She said she was so frustrated by me calling her a scammer and she decided to meet.

She was overweight, young and had a friend in tow. She was like one of those girls you see hanging out with skater guys at the park. Over baggy clothes, piercings, slightly frumpy with a bag load of self confidence issues.

I wanted to rip into her about using someone else’s identity but I just couldn’t do it. She was young, foolish and her friend even more so. After a cup of coffee, a pastry and a quick talking to it was time to leave her and her friend to it.

Simon suggested I could seek out catfish but unlike the MTV show, offer support and get into the meat of why they do it. I’m obviously not the man for that but its a interesting thought anyway. Although I do worry some people can’t help themselves, not that counts as a excuse!

The science of popularity in dating

I recently watched Hannah Fry: The mathematics of love and I thought it was fascinating, especially the part about beauty, which is taken almost directly from OKCupid’s mathematics of beauty.

It was only a few weeks before I ended up  at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester, on their evening sexology event. They had a number of free talks about sex related topics but they also had speed dating.

It’s speed dating, but not as you know it. Although we can’t reveal the exact details of this experiment, you can combine romance with research in this one-of-a-kind speed dating night. It’s fast, fun and you might just find love…

Let's Talk About Sex

The speed dating was like the many times I have been before but this time, there was a number of small differences and a big twist which reminded me of the mathematics of love/beauty.

Unlike other speed dating events, we only got to meet/date 8 women in total. Everybody also moved around each time. I thought I spotted the twist by the women I met (most were from the University of Manchester or MOSI staff), I was expecting something along the lines of my experience first time I ever went speed dating in London.

Let's Talk About Sex

But … I was pleasantly surprised when after filling in my matches form. I was treated to a form with the popularity of the 8 women I had seen. To make this clear, out of the 8 women I had seen, there was a number of ticks next to them, so you could see how popular they were.

The hypotheses I guess being, would you change your votes if you knew the person you picking is very popular. Or even the opposite way around? This got me thinking, would I change my picks? I generally decide on women based on, would  I want to spend some more time with them beyond the 3mins we had?

I decided recognising what Hannah Fry and OKCupid served up, I’m going to play along and only go with the matches who really excited me in the 3mins. Looking at the tickets, there was a mix of unpopular and very popular, not much in the middle.

Right now we (Chris also took part in the exact same thing) don’t know how the matches work out, but I’m expecting the results in the next few days. Lets hope it worked out after filling out a 130+ questionnaire in the name of science, during the process.

Afterwards there was just enough time to catch the last talk which was about pole dancing. I do wish I could have gone to the other talks but they all ran parallel to the speed dating.

Let's Talk About Sex

Generally the whole event was great, but I got the feeling although the speed dating was well thought-out. There was a problem with getting people to commit to the speed dating, but regardless it worked out nicely. As I said before it was the most scientific dating thing I have ever been to, and I have been to quite a few in the past.

Well done to MOSI and I look forward to the next one! Great work… When is the next one?

Breaking the rules of online dating with bristlr

At Silicon Drinkabout last night, I was introduced to John Kershaw who created a social network/dating site for people with and like beards – Bristlr. (yes this is the uniform dating style thing, basically for anybody)

  • Tell us where you are, and if you have a bear
  • Got a beard? We find people looking for beards
  • Want a beard? We find people with beards worth looking for
  • Send messages to people you match with
  • Your life now contains more beard love, you’re welcome

John seems to have got quite a few people on-board with no advertising or promotion. Its a interesting site and hits a niche really well.

How does it make money? Well funny enough me and John talked about this at length. Unlike most dating sites, he won’t be collecting and selling the data  of the users. His privacy policy seems to follow through on this

Bristlr

We take your privacy seriously. We won’t sell your data. That’s a dick thing to do.

When you use Bristlr, we collect a fair chunk of data about you, but it’s the bare minimum required for the website to function. All of the information is collected explicitly from you.

As this is the internet, our servers collect loads of info like your IP address and some browser details. We do use standard internet tracking and monitoring software, namely Google Analytics, to tell us about who is using the website.

If ever we need to use your personal information for any reason which isn’t essential to the running of Bristlr, we will ask for your consent.

We may disclose your personal information if we are required by law. But we would be super fucking unhappy if this happened.

There is a premium option (there always is!) which shows you the people you’ve yet to match with who have “liked” you.  But realistically, its the price of a coffee or theres the pyramid approach with a referrals..

Bristlr Matches screen

I’m signed up, giving it a try and of course you can give it a try too for free. Theres a referral if you like to enable me premium for a bit  http://www.bristlr.com/?referral=cubicgarden

Online dating? Why so serious?

Why so serious?

In passing I also found the hierarchy of seriousness in the Guardian’s post, interesting following the last post

At the top is something like Guardian Soulmates or Match – the ones you pay for. At the lower end are the likes of OKCupid or PlentyOfFish (POF) which are free, more casual and less “Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?”

Although I do agree about the statement, I think of it as more like a spectrum. You have your Match and Guardian Soulmates on one end and your Social dating apps like Tinder at the other end. Around the middle is something like OKCupid.

The more serious end of the spectrum is full of people wanting kids and marriage quickly. Theres also a certain amount of desperation you can feel coming from that end. Its very much what people use to make jokes about when they thought of online dating.

The other end is less serious and more casual. Yes you get casual hookups that end too but also you get people who are more laid back and less pushy about being in a relationship. Right now my circumstances would favor somebody from this end.

The mistake people make, is thinking all the quality is at the non-casual end of the spectrum. I’m not economist but dating is a bit of a numbers game. I guarantee the number of people you meet at the social dating end is far greater, even if its to meet and think never again. I would also contest that you will get more tech savvy young professionals and geeks than the other end.

Do you really think Facebook will be around in 15 years?

me on facebook

I still have this strange relationship with Facebook. I don’t really like it but I end up using it because lots of friends are on it and for them its a core part of the Internet (rightly or wrongly). My volleyball teams also use Facebook to book sessions (yes so popular is volleyball in Manchester) and I do get comments from many more friends when I post things into  Facebook.

In the past I used Facebook as massive dumping ground and didn’t really care to login. My view that Facebook is the modern equivalent of the walled gardens of AOL. Although I still stand by this, I have also noticed my usage increasing too.

So when I read the piece titled I Left Facebook, And You Can Too. I reflected on my own increase usage.

Imagine, for a moment, that you must quit using Facebook forever, starting right now. No more posting to Facebook or checking Facebook for the rest of your life. But don’t worry, you can still e-mail all those friends. Does that make you feel panicky? If you’re panicky, it’s a clue. Maybe you’ve been on Facebook for most of your life, so this kind-of-addicted feeling seems normal to you. It’s not normal. I was talking with a woman in her 50s this weekend, who said to me, “I wish I could quit Facebook but it’s so addictive: ‘Oh, this person said this, that person said that, and oh, this person is taking boating lessons, let’s look at all the pictures of the boat,’ and then before I know it two hours have passed and I don’t even KNOW the person taking boating lessons!” This is what it feels like when your connections with a platform are being strengthened, as opposed to the connections with the people you love: you can spend two hours on Facebook looking at the boating lessons of people you don’t even know. This is very convenient for Facebook.

I barely look at the timeline/newsfeed as I’m generally just looking at the notifications. I can feel the lure of the notifications in facebook, this is why I removed Facebook from my mobile phone and only had it on my tablet (plus it was a massive battery hog). Then very recently I removed Facebook messenger from my phone too.

One of the things I have been thinking about recently is, Facebook as a dating site? The evidence is lots of people meet through facebook and lets be honest, its not any worst than the dating sites? The same sites which say they don’t really know what they are doing

Anyway the question I pose, is if Facebook will be around in 15years? Their move to split up the mobile app is frustrating but I can imagine a Facebook dating app in the next few years. Along with their photos app (I said it first!).
The next 15 years, I expect it will still be around but I’m expecting the innovators dilemma to come into effect at some point. And even splitting up the experiences into more niches won’t save them.

OkTrend pipes up…

I Hate It

3 Years later, Ok trends (OKCupid’s blog about trends across the Okcupid service) pipes up with a new entry, titled We experiment on human beings. In a cynical  move to get in on the facebook controversy. Maybe they are feeling the heat from Facebook and its enviable rise to take over online dating.  So threaten, they decided to let everyone know they are still around and relevant ? Maybe I’m being too skeptical?

However there are some interesting parts… to this rare and burst of information.

A while ago, we had the genius idea of an app that set up blind dates; we spent a year and a half on it, and it was gone from the app store in six months.

Of course, being geniuses, we chose to celebrate the app’s release by removing all the pictures from OkCupid on launch day. “Love Is Blind Day” on OkCupid—January 15, 2013.

All our site metrics were way down during the “celebration”, for example:

But by comparing Love Is Blind Day to a normal Tuesday, we learned some very interesting things. In those 7 hours without photos:

And it wasn’t that “looks weren’t important” to the users who’d chosen to stick around. When the photos were restored at 4PM, 2,200 people were in the middle of conversations that had started “blind”.

Those conversations melted away. The goodness was gone, in fact worse than gone. It was like we’d turned on the bright lights at the bar at midnight.

Basically, people are exactly as shallow as their technology allows them to be.

I think OKCupid is right on this. The technology drives the way people decide to use it. This is why its critical not to drive people into a gamified  model or cognitively overload them with information.

I also wondered what happened with OKcupid’s blind date app? Not so frank this time about the lack of take up! I’m pretty sure it received a flurry of activity but now no ones actually using it at all. Nice idea OKCupid but your own results prove it, no ones using it and its time it was retired me thinks…

I’ll be interested to see if more stats will be coming out of oktrends in the near future. They took away the paid for dating one and who knows what else they are going to do to

 

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…