OkCupid without the explicit data?

I was reading through OKCupid’s interview on the Wall Street Journal. I highlighted a few things which got me thinking about whats wrong with OKCupid.

WSJ: Could you explain the “substance over selfies” focus?

MR. SEIDMAN: If you look at what we have seen in online dating in the past four to five years, there is a huge increase in speeding up: Let’s get people to go faster, let’s get people to spend more consideration over booking a restaurant on OpenTable tonight than choosing someone to connect with on an app.

We said, we are actually going to double down on what is fundamentally true for a large part of people dating, which is, I want to meet someone based on who they are, not what they look like. One of the ways we do that is during sign-up we take you through a minimum of 15 iconic OkCupid questions. These go through religion, culture, sex and gets to what you are like.

Our questions emulate what is happening in the real world, like a conversation you would have at a bar or dinner party.

There are a lot of people who have strongly held beliefs but no overlap, and we don’t want to waste their time. We push people into not just answering these questions but creating profiles that are more than just their photos. The real issue now is, how do we make that easy and enjoyable on a mobile phone?

We recently renamed our swiping product from Quickmatch to Doubletake, because we realized the name doesn’t support the values of our community: We don’t want people to be quick, we want them to be slow. We look at it proactively through the lens of product and marketing, so when you get to OkCupid it’s clear it’s the place for you.

Nice in theory but as I pointed out a few times, the days of when people would spend time filling in the questions; has kind of gone. Even OkCupid doesn’t really put any emphases on the questions. Instead they seem to be pushing for more implicit data collection. Which leads you to a place where swiping left and right works in favor of both parties I guess? Although I obviously have a total distaste for this mechanism.]

Ok Cupid's top bar in mid 2017

The mobile app and website are more similar but its interesting to see the questions pushed to the far right of the page now. Even the top menu now is just Browse Matches, Double Take and Purchase A-list.

So my take away thought especially with the recent changes around visitors is frankly this whole thing about creating a community around online dating, is just PR nonsense.

Career Skills = Dating Skills

Interview?

I’ve always said theres parallels between the core skills and outlook in dating and a career.

Here is 5 career skills which work for dating too.

Set a goal. When you are looking to get ahead in your career, you set some goals to get to the desired place you want. When you work towards something, you feel more productive and optimistic about the future, whether it is career, a fitness goal, a hobby, or even dating.

Get organized. Who can proceed without a plan? The sooner you get organized, the better. Research your options for online dating, such as which dating apps to try. Put time aside in your busy work schedule to actually date and have fun. Enlist a friend to help set up your profile, take pictures, or keep you on track by checking in to see how your dates are going.

Put yourself out there. You can’t move forward in your dating life if you’re fearful. Dating requires a certain amount of courage, and a certain amount of playfulness – remember, not everyone is going to be right for you, so don’t take rejection so seriously. It will happen, and you move on. Instead, focus on trying to have fun, not trying to meet or be the perfect date.

Let go of old ideas and attitudes. Are you too old-fashioned to ask a guy out? It’s time to get over those old dating stereotypes. You are confident in the office when you ask for what you want, or when you manage a project – so why not be a boss in your dating life? Make eye contact with the hot guy at the bar (and hold it!), or try making the first move. Message your matches first. Don’t want for him to ask you out – do it yourself.

Be clear about what you want. In our jobs, we are aware of our goals, and we work towards them. Likely your boss knows your next steps, or at least has an idea of what you want to eventually be doing. This applies to your dates. If you start dating with an attitude of “let’s see where this goes,” you’ll end up stuck in a dead-end relationship, much like a dead-end job when you don’t know what you want. Get focused and stick to your goals. Envision a future that you want. It will pay off in the end.

If I was to list these things, what would I be talking about?

Dunedin Internship Speed Dating 2012
Really interesting the link between self confidence, your career and your dating life.

For example if I was to say here’s some tips, would you know what I was talking about?

  1. Come prepared
  2. Eliminate pressure
  3. Don’t expect too much
  4. Get comfortable
  5. Remember: desperation isn’t cool
  6. Focus on developing a relationship
  7. Respect their time
  8. Keep in touch

Now knowing me and what I talk about most of the time, you would be forgiven for thinking this is good tips for speed dating or your first date. But actually your wrong! Nope this is taken from 8 Tips For A Successful Networking Coffee Date. But to be fair most of the advice is transferable between your career, self confidence and dating.

Even more to the point is, The Dating Game: The Similarities Between Recruiting and Online Dating.

Recruiting these days seems a lot like online dating. After all, recruiting is performed mainly through online resources like LinkedIn. You check out a profile, maybe a person’s picture, and assess or judge how the candidate writes about him or herself. Does it make sense? Are there spelling errors? Could they be a good match? How would they fit in? I wonder what they’re like in-person? Are they the same as they portray themselves?

Hmmm, this sounds awfully familiar to me. Ever heard of Match.com, okcupid (personal fave), or eHarmony? Online dating is becoming increasingly popular, and so is sourcing and hiring candidates online from Linkedin.

Absolutely… I rest my case for now.

Northology podcast ep 8 with Ian Forrester

Ian Forrester

Not long after blogging about Northology and the other great things happening in Manchester, its great to be on the show.

This week Nathan talks to Ian Forrester, a Senior Producer with BBC Research and Development, about his move from London to Salford, his work with BBC Backstage and how narrative and story telling is changing.  He also talks online dating, bar camp, geek dinners and many other things he’s involved in.

The interview was a quick thing and before I even knew it was over. Which means I didn’t quite get everything I wanted to say into the interview.

Judge for yourself by listening here or subscribing here.

Perceptive publishing?

The reader

There was a reason why I decided to use Media oppose to TV or Radio.

The core concept of Perceptive Media can be applied at many different levels and different outputs.

How would Perceptive publishing work? Well if you imagine you have a ebook which can be read on a system which is also connected to the web and/or has sensors of its own. Imagine if that ebook reader has API’s which can exposes certain data to the ebook its self.

The way you hold the ereader, landscape, portrait, ambient temperature, time, geolocation, ambient noise, etc, etc. I have a feeling Perceptive Publishing may actually be a lot easier than Perceptive Broadcast…

You get the picture… and so do Oreilly who have put Perceptive Media into their Tools of Change conference in October.

I was interviewed about Perceptive Media and how it could work in publishing…

In the early days, Perceptive Media is being applied to broadcast technology. What potential applications for Perceptive Media do you envision in the publishing industry?

Ian Forrester: We have only scratched the surface and do not know what else it can be adapted toward. In BBC R&D, we watch trends by looking at early innovators. It’s clear as day that ebook reading is taking off finally, and as it moves into the digital domain, why does the concept of a book have to be static? Skeuomorphism is tragic and feels like a massive step back. But Perceptive Media is undoing the limitations of broadcast. It certainly feels like we can overcome the limitations of publishing, too.
Tools of Change for Publishing (http://s.tt/1nB8P)

Unofficial BarCampMediaCity interview

I’m interviewed on the unofficial MediaCityblog today for BarCampMediaCity.

Here’s a slice of the action…

Next month will see Media City host it’s first ‘Bar Camp’ – an informal conference with discussions, demos and activities all organised by the attendees.

BarCampMediaCityUK will take place at BBC North on the 17th and 18th September, and is the brainchild of Ian Forrester, Senior Producer at BBC R&D.

We caught up with Ian to find out exactly what a Bar Camp is, and what people can expect from BarCampMediaCityUK….

Q. In a nutshell, what is a ‘Bar Camp’?
A: BarCamp is an international set of user-created conferences (or also known as unconferences). They are open, participatory events and the content of is provided by the people who make the event. Everyone helps shape the event and make it a special event.

Q. What kind of activities and sessions do you expect will be taking place at BarCampMediaCityUK?
A: The nature of BarCamp is that anything can be discussed. People can give a presentation, lead an open talk, give a workshop or tutorial, almost anything goes within the allocated session time.

In the past there has been talks about how to mix the perfect cocktail, how to ride a segway, what is openness, how to inspire your employees to more practical things like a debate different modern programming languages, making use of twitter for marketing, working from home more effectively, etc, etc.

You can read more at the unofficial mediacityblog

Molly interviewed for bbc backstage

I shot this video with Molly earlier in the week, which I shared with Backstage but I received a great comment which I thought was good enough to quote here.

Interesting interview, thanks.

It's interesting to hear Molly's views on how it can be technologists versus the business with regards to standards. I think this has been true of everywhere I have worked, and it's understandable. I think the points about businesses understanding the ROI from standards is also valid, they are waking up to this, however the biggest set back seems to be legacy issues and timescales. Often there are old systems that are difficult to replace, but also a great many of the contemporary tools that offer faster creation
do so at a cost to the code quality. Can we please get some good standards compliant .Net components?

Also the mention of uneducated educators. This is so true for a great many areas of IT still it is shocking, even university level courses are behind the times, especially where IT is not the primary focus. I remember how quickly as a class at uni we knew more than the lecturer about Photoshop. The problem is made worse when the teacher is too proud or arrogant to acknowledge their lack of ignorance. Which gets me onto a whole seperate rant about the quality of teaching staff and the under appreciated nature
of the job. It should be a desired occupation (like being a doctor) where the rewards are high, but you are held to account harshly for not being up to the task.

I haven't really seen the use of divs as table cell replacements, but it has been along time since I made the transistion from table based layout to CSS driven layout. I can easily believe it though, they are such different ways of working and require you to think so differently about you build a website. I've been made aware of this transistion again recently when learning Flex and WPF, where although some principles carry across, there are different rules and what you thought was the best way of doing it isn't
necessarily the case.

Thanks for the interview though, I hope Molly can engage the business guys at Microsoft

Elsa from Elsa

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