DailyDirt: Online Dating, FTW?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Some folks look at online dating services as a tool for meeting like-minded people (with potentially romantic engagements). But as with almost anything on the internet, there are also people out there trying to game the system and figure out how the algorithms behind the date matching systems work. (Though, sometimes the process is a bit simpler.) Just to gear up for Valentine's Day later this week, here are just a few examples of people taking online dating to an extreme. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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  • identicon
    Michael, 11 Feb 2014 @ 5:16pm

    88 dates?

    I know Chris McKinlay has gotten a fair amount of press for supposedly "gaming the system" on OKCupid, but think about it: It still took 88 dates for him to find a decent match, and they're not even in a real relationship (just a long-distance one, with no end in sight).

    88 dates??!

    It sounds like "gaming the system" is actually far more onerous -- and way more time consuming -- than just asking out a random gal on the street, or in a class, or at work, or in a bar ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2014 @ 6:18pm

      Re: 88 dates?

      Well, he limited his attention to women who would agree to meet him in person after his first OkCupid reply of "You seem really cool. Want to meet?"; it seems like this is a pretty important feature that his model fails to account for...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2014 @ 5:40pm

    Has SNL done a skit on online dating yet?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DragonsKindler (profile), 11 Feb 2014 @ 6:44pm

    it worked for me, sort of

    I met my wife on an AOL chat room about 11 years ago. I didn't use a service or anything just BS'ing in a room, hit it off. She came from FL to meet me in PA. she ended up staying an extra 3 days. A week after getting home she called and asked if id drop everything and move down to FL. at the time I was like OK I have nothing holding me back up here and left with only what could fit into my suitcases. Computer tower came with too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Feb 2014 @ 1:44am

    It's a possibility. I've used such sites before and they may work indeed. I was in a relationship with one girl I met on such sites for a while.

    Regardless it can be a long and tortuous road. These places attract pretty much the worst of men, specially if we are dealing with adult sites (one of the oldest and most famous being Adult Friend Finder). And when the girl plays the active role the pics are either misleading (face only usually to hide obesity or something) or they are completely crazy. Amusingly in such adult sites the women think they are the only "pussies" in the world (ie: act cocky, nosy) maybe because they know the demand far exceeds the offerings.

    In the end my current partner (and we are together for more than 3 times the longest relationship I ever had) was introduced to me by a friend offline so the internet played just a small part in this matters for me.

    Still, my online experience was interesting and I don't regret it ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Peter Gerdes (profile), 12 Feb 2014 @ 4:50am

    Online Dating Forces Both Sexes to Overweight Pics

    Online dating has the peculiar feature that except for a few facts like job, serious criminal record, frequent drug use.... and THE PICTURE exhaust the things that most people refuse to give any slack about. If I shoot heroin every day and tell you I never do drugs you won't give it a try the way you would if I said I was vegan and kept coming up with excuses to eat meet.

    Particularly with sites like okcupid which caters to a certain social group the best strategy for both genders will often be to truthfully report those few facts misdirection is unacceptable (and paint them in a good light) and then mimic the posts of successful daters similar to you.

    This isn't so cynical. We all do it. A good gimmick, after all, is one that attracts alot of interest without drawing attention to the particulars that might push others away. So even if you are as likely to drop everything and try something new right now the way your friend is his successful description will make him sound fun but not undependable and you will see yourself in that. Besides, we really only have the vaguest grasp of how our descriptions are taken by strangers and we only find out from people they did well with.

    Excepting a few outliers most of the text can be fully ignored (and match questions often take so long your prospect has found someone else). That leaves the few sharp facts but anyone with a pedophilia conviction or serious addiction issues will look for dates elsewhere leaving the picture and job for evaluation.

    Yes, women look more at the job and pay some more attention to these incidentals...but the extent to which this is a desire not to be sleazy like those guys or a real preference is unclear.


    Besides this lady's fake profile said her favorite activity was convincing people she was pregnant. Most people probably found it funny.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Peter Gerdes (profile), 12 Feb 2014 @ 4:54am

    Can't Game The System

    There is no online system to game.

    You might game the dating system and date someone out of your league but that complex strategy calculation has been occurring so long the moves and countermoves are no longer strategies but are natural feelings about jealousy, clinginess, playing hard to get etc..

    All online dating tries to do is reduce the time needed to play this game in the modern world and eliminate some of the transactional overhead of dates that are extremely unlikely to work out by trying to offer enough info to screen out the obvious bad matches.

    Gaming the system is actually a form of improving the system!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MrPendent, 12 Feb 2014 @ 1:16pm

    I'm less than impressed with Mr McKinley's "accomplishment". Without a Ph.D. or python scripts, I met a woman online, went on a date with her, moved in with her, married her and we're celebrating our 18th anniversary together this year. YMMV

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    @b, 12 Feb 2014 @ 7:51pm

    88 problems (thinking too far ahead)

    Online dating sites just let you skip awkward questions, starting with "Are you single".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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