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


Why internet dating makes me angry

Rosie shared with me a post from Girl on the Net, titled The ‘science of dating’ and why it should make you angry

When Rosie shared it on Twitter, I did what I usually do. Add it to Instapaper for a more relaxed time and so I can read it on my Kindle. Days later, I found some time during a lunch break, while eating my soup and started reading. I was unprepared for how much I wanted to scream “YES!”

I’m aware of Girl on the Net, but there’s so much great points in the post I can’t help but say “I knew I wasn’t crazy!”

Here’s a few of the points which had me shouting yes inside!

Relationship advice, on the other hand, screams absolutes no matter how little data the authors have. I recently received an email advertising a site that claimed to give me the “science” behind dating – by “science” it looked like they meant a survey they did of 100 single women. From this tiny sample not only did they draw conclusions like “all women want you to text back within 48 hours” but also that they could tell which of the survey respondents was a “hot babe”.

If only people would see relationship advice as just that… Advice! You can take it or leave it, but its certainly not something you can quote and put money on. The advice is also Anecdotal, which leads on to…

Anecdotal evidence is always popular – whether it’s Peter, who managed to overcome his fears about talking to women after reading The Game, or a few quotes on a forum for pick-up artists assuring us that this magic method helped our hero get laid three nights in a row, honest. The anecdotal evidence of dating advice is rarely challenged in the same way as we’d challenge it elsewhere

Anecdotal at best. But the problem is people treat it like fact. The fact is my advice is as good as their’s. They will never admit it but it is full of holes and bias, just like mine.

This is why, when Northern Lass 32, said in the Guardian… I was the human dating Wikipedia. I quite liked it.

Wikipedia isn’t always correct and is very human with its mistakes, lack of citations and verification. While this is fine for me, not claiming to be a expert. Its not so good for those who claim to be experts and know exactly what you’re doing wrong.

I’ve found things which work for me, but I can only suggest they may work for others. I try and caution the advice I give. But ultimately I could also be seen as adding to the dubious information state. Never meant to, I always felt I was just opening peoples eyes to the possibilities which they never took.

…this onslaught of dubious info will prevent us from doing what’s natural – meeting people and having relationships with them – but it certainly hurls a few obstacles in the way of people who might be struggling. What’s more, it matters because all such misinformation matters: it demonstrates to people that you can package waffle as wisdom and make money from it. It teaches us that anecdotal evidence, vague appeals to authority and ad hominem are perfectly valid ways to win an argument.

I feel the difference here is, I am always welcomed to be challenged and I am by friends and strangers. Like testing a new formula or concept, I welcome push back. Oh and get it from those who say I’m too picky, too data centric and trying to quantify the unquantifiable.

Ultimately there is simply not enough clearly non-bias open data to give sound advice about online dating. Unfortunately in the void of this, the dating company’s get away with making insane statements and the dating experts go unchallenged. And as Girl on the net makes very clear…

…above all it matters because it paints a skewed and inaccurate picture of reality: in which women want nothing more than a free lunch and an open door, and men must jump through hoops and clap their flippers like performing seals in order to secure a gesture of love.

Sobering words for us all to think about…

The Joy of Data

Via infosthetics,

It was only a matter of time before the mind-changing talk of Hans Rosling would find its way to the television medium. A reincarnation of this talk will be part of "The Joy of Stats", a new television documentary that soon will appear at BBC. This documentary will explore various forms of data gathering and statistical analysis, such as a new application that mashes police department data with the city’s street map to show what crime is being reported street by street, house by house, in near real-time; and Google’s current efforts at the machine translation project

From what I seen of the programme, it should be called the joy of data not stats.

Statistics and hints for Werewolf

Werewolf at BarCamp

A Game of Deception, Paranoia, and Mob Rule

I was looking around for more information to link to on the upcoming werewolf night. And anyway found one of the best resources for Werewolf playing. But what I found very interesting was the statictics page.

one wolf)
3 players: humans win 0
4 players: humans win 0
5 players: humans win 0.334
6 players: humans win 0.250
7 players: humans win 0.466
8 players: humans win 0.374
9 players: humans win 0.544
10 players: humans win 0.453
11 players: humans win 0.593
12 players: humans win 0.508
13 players: humans win 0.630
14 players: humans win 0.548
15 players: humans win 0.659

two wolves)
5 players: humans win 0
6 players: humans win 0
7 players: humans win 0.133
8 players: humans win 0.083
9 players: humans win 0.229
10 players: humans win 0.157
11 players: humans win 0.299
12 players: humans win 0.215
13 players: humans win 0.352
14 players: humans win 0.264
15 players: humans win 0.395

On the tactics front, I was reading lots of stuff but it seems like this all makes sense to any player. Notice who supports certain people when voting and debating. Notice who doesn't say anything and who speaks a lot during the daytime. Consider who acts differently and under what conditions.

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