Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

Instead of spending time with my lovely fiancee, I've been thinking about dating sites. Before you romantics start yelling at me, (A) I'm cooking for her soon, and (B) this is strictly for work purposes: I'm trying to figure out if we can get people to do useful work while they flirt online (ideas about this are welcome). Just imagine: below the picture of a hot girl the site could say "This person is looking for somebody who can speak both French and English. You must translate this Wikipedia article to French before you can go on a date with them."

Anyhoo, related to dating sites:

  • One thing I'm wondering is how the very first person signs up to a new dating site. If the site is completely empty, it makes little sense to spend time filling out a profile. I guess the same happens with new social networking sites, but the problem is more pronounced with dating sites, since there is (still) some stigma in writing a profile, and since you get no benefit out of a dating site unless it has people who are not your friends. My guess: new dating sites put fake profiles to seem more popular.

  • Has anybody done a good study comparing online versus real world dating? I've seen a few, but they are all pretty much bunk: either they have ~5 subjects (note to the HCI community: let's please stop writing papers with only 5 subjects), or they are done by the dating sites themselves (sorry, eHarmony, I just can't believe your propaganda). The study I'd like is a long term one: if you meet online versus in the real world, what is the probability that you are still happily together 10 years later? My personal guess is that unless the study is done carefully, online dating would win big because of a sample bias.

I don't think my fiancee reads my blog, so let's not tell her what I've been doing all day.

22 comments:

  1. You seem to have a misspelling there...

    "anyhoo"?

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Anyhoo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Luis, this is impressive, even for you.

    I think that there may be some reCAPTCHA-like way to ask potential dates to prove their IQ through "Feats of Intelligence" (cf. Feats of Strength.

    As for sites making up fake profiles to get the party started, I'm sure of it. Some do so indefinitely; see the consumer complaints about Great Expectations.

    No idea about the study. My wife probably wouldn't be keen on my doing too much hands-on research in this area. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. > Luis, this is impressive, even for you.

    I hope that's "impressive" in the good way and not in the "you're so evil" way >)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think translating a wikipedia article into French to prove that one is capable of speaking French is a little bit too harsh. If you get a wikipedia article you know a little about that you have to translate, the quality of a translated article will be crappy even though he might be good at French. Maybe translating some forum posts might be more interesting..

    I believe a strategy like the one you mentioned in the last blog post may work for dating sites also. Make it something like a university student's only dating site to get the students join and then open it up to everyone later..

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree with Anon above that translating a wikipedia article into French may be harsh and can turn away a lot of people from said dating site (but not the most dedicated haha). However, if we cut down from a whole wikipedia article to something like, a small excerpt a few sentences long, then it wouldn't be so bad.

    It's also important to consider if a person plugs the passage into Google translator or Babelfish although I'm sure a quality assurance test can be implemented.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You might ask Semyon Dukach about his experience with his now defunct venture, GottaFlirt.

    ReplyDelete
  8. No need to create fake profiles with attractive-looking people. Unfortunately, the spammers do that for you. --max AT okcupid

    ReplyDelete
  9. I can see that established sites like okcupid have no need to create fake profiles. But the spammer argument doesn't hold for brand new sites, since it takes spammers some time to notice them (or for it to even be worth their time).

    ReplyDelete
  10. It would be cool if dating sites implemented some kind of attention bond mechanism.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Can you be a little more specific why online dating will win because of sample bias?? I personally think that since you are adding happiness in the loop so it should not be very simple. Also we need a special metric for measuring happiness :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. if girls ask for a translation, von Ahn would be a st8 up pimp!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Before signing up for eHarmony, there's a long survey to fill out to qualify to join. So why not just insert a few "intelligence tasks" into the survey? I assume if you don't have the "clout" that eHarmony has... that your new dating service wouldn't get too many people to answer a bunch of survey questions.

    As for how new dating services start... I assume they start up by buying access to existing single communities? They fake scale until enough people sign up...

    ReplyDelete
  14. kind of relevant? thought you would be interested:

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/personal/02/25/tf.online.dating.recession/index.html?iref=24hours

    ReplyDelete
  15. http://www.You4Dating.com 100% Free Dating website!

    1.Our Website - is a great way to find new friends or partners, for fun, dating and long term relationships. Meeting and socializing with people is both fun and safe.

    2.Common sense precautions should be taken however when arranging to meet anyone face to face for the first time.

    3.You4Dating Free Online Dating ,You4Dating is a Free 100% Dating Site, There are No Charges ever. We allow You to Restrict who can Contact You, and Remove those unfit to Date.

    4. You4Dating is Responsible for Creating Relationships per Year proving it is possible to Find Love Online. It will Quickly become a Leader in the Internet Dating Industry because of its Advanced Features and matching Systems,and most of all,Because is a 100% Free-There are No Charges Ever.

    5. You4Dating is an International Dating Website Serving Single Men and Single Women Worldwide. Whether you're seeking Muslim,Christian,Catholic, Singles Jewish ,Senor Dating,Black Dating, or Asian Dating,You4Dating is a Right Place for Members to Browse through, and Potentially Find a Date.
    Meet more than 100000 Registred Users

    6. Multy Language Dating Site.

    http://www.You4Dating.com
    -------------------------
    http://www.You4Dating.com
    -------------------------
    http://www.You4Dating.com .

    ReplyDelete
  16. Before signing up for eharmony, there is a long survey to fill out to qualify to join, so why not just insert a few intelligence tasks into the survey?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Apart from this post, I have gone through almost all of your posts these are really very advantageous and unique, keep it up please!

    Well, my name is Eva, I am enjoying my motherhood spending wonderful times with my baby. Whenever I get time I used to surf internet because I also run a dating website, according to my knowledge for the right person, online dating can be a very effective alternative to traditional dating. Not only does it provide the convenience of getting to know someone in front of your computer, but it also will help ensure that you meet someone who shares similar interests. It's important to keep in mind that there are a number of different things that one can do to increase the chances of successful dating in the online world.

    http://goxdating.com/

    ReplyDelete
  18. 1。那混合物是更缓慢的 ... 但是 Lexus 的即将到来混合版本 ' 将是比气体气体更快的唯一的版本如好地有多马力。不要自夸速度,但是我被吸引轮流开送行为 90,是警察给我一次休息。
    2。那不是很
    ... 只是通过在城市乘公交车往返我储蓄过来 $ 5000/yr 与我的以前的汽车,吉普车切诺基相比。超过 5 年,会是 $ 更不用说会进一步增强我的储蓄的最近的比率远足的 20K。这样除非你是在你的父母的地产上吸的一个浪费的儿子,你的声明是一束公牛。

    ReplyDelete