Online Dating

February 1, 2007

When I think about the future of technology, I think about online dating, games and porn. (unfortunately, I only have experience with the last.) This article on online dating makes a lot of vague assertions, but the important point is that lots of people want a better online dating site. The current model of online dating is simple: post an ad and browse other ads by a limited set of parameters. These parameters are enormously important. Most people date/marry people very similar to themselves w/r/t these criteria. Looks, age, race, religion and education are extremely important. But you are still left with thousands of prospects, so how do you narrow it down further? Taste in culture, sense of humor, and general personality profiles are useful, but not as much as the previous criteria. I think when people say “opposites attract”, they mean, for example, a white Christian girl who likes pop music with a white Christian guy who listens to rap music. As if they’re from different planets! But why do they get along? Sometimes people click for weird reasons when they meet face-to-face. To help that along, an online dating site should have “speed dates” over Skype. Spend 3 minutes talking about a randomly chosen topic and you’ll have a better sense of the other person. I read somewhere that women make snap decisions within 30 seconds, so 3 min. is long enough. Does anyone do this? A few Google searches haven’t turned up anything. [ed: someonenew.com does it]

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