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27 June 2011

OK Cupid, in its profile, comes across as the witty, literate geek-hipster, the math major with the Daft Punk vinyl collection and the mumblecore screenplay in development. Get to know it a little better and you’ll find that it contains multitudes—old folks, squares, more Jews than JDate, the polyamorous crowd.

Yeah thats pretty accurate. Good article
posted by memebake 27 June | 15:21
Seems a little contradictory. First it says that there are more women than men on these sites (and the men tend to go for younger women anyway), but then it goes on in several places to talk about how women get tired of getting so many (shallow) messages from men. Which is it? (In my personal experience, the former is the case.)
posted by Melismata 27 June | 15:36
yeah... i'm so gangsta i actually posted the article without reading it. but now that I did it actually feels like an appetizer more than a main course, it doesn't really go anywhere. I think the eharmony lab portion is also reminiscent of gladwell's writing on something similar in Blink and Gladwell's mastery over this NYer form of writing is exceedingly evident in comparison.
posted by Firas 27 June | 15:44
I tried OKcupid for a bit recently. I live in a big city: this probably won't apply to small towns where the situation is very different.

One of the things I tried was setting up another account as a Woman Seeking a Man. Profile was empty. I originally had a Mad Men-ized cartoon image, but that was deleted almost immediately.

Basically in about half an hour a woman will get as many profile visits and messages as a man gets in two weeks. The site feels like a hive of activity for women, but a ghost town for men. The rule is that generally men approach women, most approaches will be rebuffed, so the optimum strategy is: send a vast number of generic messages to as many women as possible.

I didn't do that: I only approached women who match me quite closely and I had stuff in common with. I managed to get two dates in three weeks, but it took a vast amount of time, and I found it emotionally draining. I couldn't get the rmless2 protocol to work. It might work in the US but not the UK. Or, it might work if you're good looking and your profile pic is a sufficient advertisement, but I'm fairly hideous: since my only real asset is my vague competence at grammar, I need to use words.
posted by TheophileEscargot 27 June | 16:09
yeah exactly TheophileEscargot. I saw your thread saying you're going to try okcupid some time after my thread saying it's degrading and with the whole "vast amount of time" (on what though?) I think you see my point. I'm not going to spend all this time writing a hopefully compelling profile and then hang in there sending a scattershot bunch of messages and hope/pray that I might get something back. I mean... I don't even want to put whoever I'm trying to date on a pedestal like that you know, in the background it's like like oh I'm vying for your affections, I hope you respond to this !!! it's corny. Why am I writing a sentence for someone who might or might not reply? At least when I say "hello" to someone in real life I can get feedback RIGHT THERE even if it's a cold shoulder.

Also, don't talk yourself down like that.
posted by Firas 27 June | 16:16
I've been out it for over a decade but the male female interaction sounds about how I remember it. I never had a woman initiate a contact and from what my (now) wife said, it's because women are just deluged with messages from men, most of whom never bother to read the profiles.
posted by octothorpe 27 June | 16:52
Hmm. Maybe it's due to where I live and the fact that I'm in a sort of small minority for my locale (godless, liberal and childless in my 30's), but I've actually had quite a few women initiate conversations with me on both OKC and Plenty Offish. I still reckon the whole thing is a giant crapshoot, though (Full disclosure: I just disabled my account yesterday due to the way things are going with the new ladyfriend who I did meet via OKC, though I messaged her first).
posted by ufez 27 June | 18:27
I met my wife online (married 3 whole months, YAY!). I don't think you can make any generalizations about dating sites other than they contain people looking for other people. I was lucky, and met just one person from my foray into online dating, and she approached me. I don't think it's any different than meeting a partner anywhere. In the end, it really amounts to pure luck.
posted by eekacat 27 June | 20:08
"Revealed preferences" makes me cringe to imagine. Myopic, intermittently depressed, twitchily insecure, ambiguously Semitic-looking frustrated academics... why must you be so attractive?

I use okc, though not at the moment with any strong interest in dating due to my (continuingly crappy) schedule. Besides my clever trick of being female, which does indeed win me a couple of dozen visitors a week whether I want them or not, I do a few things when active.
1) I answer many match questions, publicly (except for explicit/potentially embarrassing ones), and with two or three sentence explanations. My wit or complete lack thereof then makes me stand out in the Activity Feed.
2) I visit many, many profiles, and rate as a 5 any guy who seems like an interesting and decent person, with whom I can envision myself having sex. I keep the standards high for the first and low for the second, because my impression of their attractiveness will improve with time.
3) If I care at all about getting a response, I only write to the high-rated guys who show up as having rated me highly. Some of them still won't write, but many do, at least once.

All rather moot for the time being.
posted by notquitemaryann 28 June | 03:38
I stand by my previous comment.
posted by JanetLand 28 June | 05:46
I had some success during the limited window when I used it. Only had one date, and I wasn't nearly forward enough (you're supposed to smootch on the first date, right? or it's not really a "date"?) We made tentative plans for a 2nd, but she had a funeral come up and we never reconnected, but I'm sure I could have eventually made it to a third date with someone.

I actually got a few messages from women. I guess I am in that magical window where I'm not too cute or too clever to bother with (or too arrogant; I mean, I'm arrogant in my profile, but in a jokey way, so...?). A perfect 7 or so.

Sadly for ladies looking to settle for someone slightly better than mediocre, I'm now taken (by someone I met not on an online dating site, but LiveJournal of all places. Uh, before it was basically an online dating site, and way before it was casa del furries).
posted by Eideteker 28 June | 15:16