The Streisand effect is a primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of perversely causing the information to be publicized more widely and to a greater extent than would have occurred if no contrary action had been attempted. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, following a 2003 incident in which her attempts to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity.
The problem is that it wasn't wrong, and nothing has changed.
But in the end, I probably would take the article down, too.
I guess the same is true for okcupid and match.com.
We are not under similar circumstances though, so I enjoy pointing fingers at OKCupid for that.
the timing definitely leaves this difficult to believe
It's certainly not wrong, but something has changed. OkCupid now reports to match.com, which is among the largest paid dating sites in the world.
edit I don't know the specifics, but IAC owns Match.com, and also OkCupid, but does that mean that Match.com oversees OkCupid? My statement above might be wrong on that alone.
"IAC's Match.com Acquires OkCupid"
The site always had a lot of emphasis on tests and quizes - and had a main OkCupid test, which was used to introduce the site and categorise each new member into different persona-types.
I remember, in the test, there was the line "if you have any STDs please go .. " with a link to match.com.
I expect that's been 'cleansed' from the site too :)
It's similar to Coke buying Pepsi and then Pepsi removing ads that make fun of Nike. Sure, the post was a bit more factual than the average ad but it's not like it was a scientific paper either.
Regardless, I still disagree with the removal of the article.
"It turns out you are 12.4 times more likely to get married this year if you don't subscribe to Match.com."
The data to back it up is based on Match.com press kit:
"12 couples got married or engaged today thanks to Match.com"
What they're missing is that a lot of people get married or engaged while subscribing to Match.com, but not due to Match.com. Heck, my roommate did. It's not an exclusive arrangement. In fact, it's pretty likely that if someone is subscribing to Match.com they are also dating outside of Match.com.
Not true for OKC. Very poly friendly.
I'm not saying it didn't happen... but it might be kind of like saying "planes aren't safe, I had a friend that was in a plane crash."
I'd imagine how welcoming people are to others in poly relationships largely depends on where you are. People in El Paso, TX (where my friend and I live) are likely less open to that sort of thing than people elsewhere.
I like the corelation you can build from the site: By giving you bad matches to increase business, each person looking gets less likely to find someone because they have to send so many emails. Note that the 30% chance to get a response * 1/30 chance that an account is not active != 1/100 chance of a response. The 30% chance to get a response can already take into account that a bunch of people may not be active.
You can play with the numbers. I think the final guesses are not that accurate, but it does put things into perspective regarding the marketing numbers.
"Furthermore, the data that OKCupid gathered from Match.com's public filings and press kit were not completely accurate, he said, which he realized once he saw the real data."
"And even though the two sites are now playing for the same team, it'll be business as usual at OKCupid's Midtown office, he said. OKCupid will remain free and OKTrends will keep publishing the popular research it culls from its members. (Data from Match.com and its affiliated sites will not be included.)"
So, rather than putting up a correction to the previous blog post that due to fresh data showing something different; they decided to take it down. I suppose either because Match.com either refuses to release the data, the blog post is confirmed to be true or they wanted to appease the new owners.
Plus you're competing with OKCupid, which is to linkbait as AirBnb is to PR.
Patrick's point is that if you have the skills to get users in a business with network effects that strong, there are many more lucrative markets you could crack. EBay, for example. Online auctions is hugely lucrative, orders of magnitude more than dating, and EBay sucks in many ways. But their network effect is so strong that it's virtually impossible to break in.
(Online auctions is #10 on the list, BTW.)
Abandoned accounts and men->women spam.
I think a smaller dating site would prosper quite well if it could eliminate wasting people's time. eHarmony has a good practice in this regard, but eHarmony is also marriage, christian, straight focused - and excluded all others.
A dating site that disabled user accounts that hadn't logged in or responded, initiated conversation eHarmony style, and somehow limited the spam that men send, well... that'd be worth checking out. It would drastically raise the signal to noise ratio.
For spam: perhaps you can only send one message per day to new people, and one message per person per reply. Choose wisely.
Also, for every uploaded picture, grab the date it was taken and put that on the page. Might not stop hackers, but that's a small minority.
Other effects to combat: the ego inflation effect, where having many virtual 'options' makes you more selective.
Maybe even a 'ask a friend' feature, where you email a reply history to a friend and ask their advice (helps with network effects).
There's LOTS of room for innovation here, essentially.
Don't we all just want to be loved?! ;)
IAC, the parent company of match.com owns lots of web properties. It's not like match.com now owns okcupid and will use them as they please. Most likely, okcupid ads may become exclusively for IAC sites (match.com, blackpeoplemeet, asianpeoplemeet, [niche]peoplemeet, other dating properties) and they may make the subscription offers a little more prominent (right now they're pretty hidden on okcupid) but I doubt it'll go much further than that.
Free and paid are complementary. A big chunk of upgrades on paid sites come from people who were driven there from free sites.
If this post is correct that the free sites provide a better user experience, why would people move from them to the pay sites? Just out of a lack of information?
I didn't expect this link to overtake that article and discussion on the front page, though I should have given I discussed the same thing in regards to the Flickr Delete thing 6 hours ago!
The main argument seems to be that number of profiles and active profiles are different. It seems like the takeaway to me is to be cautious and try to learn the number of active profiles.
I personally would never date someone I met on a pay dating site, because desperation is an honest signal of poor quality. But that's just anecdote.
That's the same thing people say about free software. :-)
With that said, I think you may confuse desperation with efficiency. If I were single in this day and age, I would certainly use pay dating sites (assuming prices were reasonable). Not because I'd be desperate, but it widens your network considerably, and you don't have to waste time at bars, clubs, social mixers, etc...
And given the number of colleagues and friends who have met people online -- I'd say the superficial quality at least (looks, jobs, education, humor) seem to be higher than average.
In any case, the article provided no evidence either way. What would have been useful is for them to show proof that women on pay sites are less desireable than women from say, MySpace ;-)
V.v. free software, I think the better comparison is between a free dating site and free software; lots of people contribute to make it better. Certainly it's partially true with OkCupid; users do add a lot of the content, writing match questions and quizzes.
But he doesn't argue this effectively. In fact a free site would be worse in this regard -- especially for the scarce resource (women -- who I suspect are often free on paysites, as they are in some nightclubs).
As a female (which I'm not), I'd rather be listed on a pay site than a freesite, if the main issue I have is too many emails from guys.
It almost would appear that desperate women would be on free sites -- since paying a nominal fee for first level filtering would indicate a less desperate act than someone who opted for greater volume, even at slightly less cost.
In any case, I think we can both agree that the blog entry didn't really address in a satisfactory way the central thesis.
And selling a business with $6 million in investment for $50 million is likely to be lucrative enough, anyway (and you'd hope that they were turning some profits to justify the $50 million.)
If OkC were making 15mm in revenues why in the world would they sell for $50mm? That just doesn't add up. Their overhead outside of bandwidth costs wasn't that high, they employ 10-15 (I think) employees and have a small office in Chelsea or sommat. Their profits would be enormous if they were generating anything near that.
I don't think that strategy has been working out for them very well so far.
Match seems like a shady outfit that would not want to publicize this type of data.