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OK Cupid launches Crazy Blind Date (crazyblinddate.com)
197 points by rms 1561 days ago | hide | past | web | 204 comments | favorite

This is crazy... So crazy I can see it actually catching on. I'm quite interested to see how many people start using this.

I also like how they say "[each] Crazy Blind Date account is tied to a phone" I'd argue that's a very false sense of security/safety, as it's trivial for anyone to obtain a different (or temporary) phone number. On that point though, I guess you're just as safe with a blind internet date as with one you "electronically know".

And heck, let's be honest with ourselves. Maybe it will work better if you, the technically-inclined HN reader, is not allowed to pick-and-choose who you're going to date next, but your next date is chosen based on your interests and some "magic". After all, isn't that how love is supposed to work?

I'm not sure if a "literal" blind date is a good thing. Most "blind dates" that people go on traditionally come through friends of friends. That means they aren't vetted just for interests and such but the datee/victim can be reasonably sure they are also vetted for personal appearance. Let's face it - this is huge. Depending on the friend, they can also be vetted based on a few of the hundreds of idiosyncrasies that a person has.

I've been out of the dating scene for quite some time but I don't think personal profiles have advanced all that much. Especially when people are notoriously bad at actually describing themselves in an accurate way. After all, we all think we're normal. The truth is rather different.

Instead of computer programs, why not just develop a site that lets your friends (your real friends) pick your perspective blind date? That would be the million dollar idea right there, IMHO.

OkCupid probably has a very good idea of how attractive a person is based on how many profile views and messages they get. I'd be very surprised if they aren't using that data to match roughly equally attractive people. Perhaps they are even taking personal preferences into account with probabilistic matrix factorization that is often used for recommendation systems. Basically if person X shows interest in A, and person Y shows interest in A and in B, then this makes it more likely that person X will like B as well. Whether A and B are movies, products on Amazon or people on OkCupid, PMF can exploit this kind of data to match people to products or to other people.

The biggest problem with algorithmic blind dating is probably not actual average quality of dates, but rather (perceived) risk of going on a bad date. People trust their friends a lot more than an algorithm.

>I'd be very surprised if they aren't using that data to match roughly equally attractive people.

I can confirm this is true. Last year, as an experiment, I made a dummy account with a picture of former NFL quarterback Kyle Boller but the same profile/personality as me. His matches are significantly more attractive than mine. He also received this email a few weeks after registration:

We just detected that you're now among the most attractive people on OkCupid.

We learned this from clicks to your profile and reactions to you in Quickmatch and Quiver. Did you get a new haircut or something?

Well, it's working!

To celebrate, we've adjusted your OkCupid experience:

You'll see more attractive people in your match results.

This won't affect your match percentages, which are still based purely on your answers and desired match's answers. But we'll recommend more attractive people to you. You'll also appear more often to other attractive people.

Sign in to see your newly-shuffled matches. Have fun, and don't let this go to your head

"You'll see more attractive people in your match results."

Reading this email actually disturbed me. A computer program is telling you that you're attractive, and that it's going to hustle "more of the attractive people" to you.

"the attractive people"

I'm only 20 years old and still have plenty to learn about ladies and relationships, but I know I can do better than have a server cluster tell me who is "in my league" and who are "the attractive people." Holy shit.

I am 23 and I think it's pretty cool. It makes sure that the attractive people are not swamped with messages and driven off the site.

Yeah. Attractive people are fairly consistently approached or hit on or treated differently or what have you every day in real life. Remove the approach anxiety that the other 90% who DON'T approach these people but want to by creating an easy forum for approach, and you have an overwhelming amount of messaging. I don't blame girls for being quickly disillusioned. Even as a guy, I feel like the pickings are slim, and I'd much rather date a friend than meet someone through OkC.

Imagine if "attractive people" walked around with body-guards who only let other "attractive people" with body-guards come up and talk to them.

I can see the value in it for this website as a product, I think what really hit me was the way it's worded.

> Imagine if "attractive people" walked around with body-guards who only let other "attractive people" with body-guards come up and talk to them.

So what you're saying is you've never been to, say, a particularly hip bar or club in a big city.

Yes, the attractive women do have people who keep losers (like, say, the typical HN nerd) away. That's exactly how the real world works.

I don't know what the typical HN user looks like, but anybody can work at being attractive regardless of their career or interests.

It's sort of a self-fulfilling role anyway. Staying away from an attractive woman makes you the loser. Having the mindset you just described does as well.

"self-fulfilling role" is another term for "blaming the victim." You know, that guy in a wheelchair could totally walk--he just doesn't want it enough.

Ok, well if you find your ability to appeal to women comparable to a paraplegic's ability to walk then I am truly sorry. Certain things like attractiveness do come with effort.

It is easy for the attractive to say that; like most traits, people don't like to believe dumb luck helped them. It makes a much better personal narrative if it was their own hard work. That doesn't mean it's backed up by any fact.

May I suggest you create an OKC account in a big city, set to female?

I tried this, and it was an enlightening experience; women's experiences on OKC are completely different from men's.

When I signed up for OKCupid however many years ago that was, it told me explicitly that a human being made that decision, not an algorithm.

I thought everyone got that as a marketing gimmick since I received it too.

Nope. I never got the email. Make a fake account with a generic ugly photo and that account will never get the email either.

The attractiveness status can change BTW: http://www.quora.com/OkCupid/Is-being-one-of-the-most-attrac.... It is a running record of how attractive you are compared to other users.

I got one of those emails and I don't consider myself to be particularly attractive. I just assumed they sent them to everyone.

I believe this is a very, very wide net. They send it out to the upper 50% is what I've heard.

That's too funny. Why would anybody stay on the site after gaining that piece of information?

> OkCupid probably has a very good idea of how attractive a person

They do. They will tell you when they think you attractive. You get a message like "Congrats, you're in the top X% of attractiveness on OKC, we'll start showing you more attractive matches now." This is something only those attractive people know about.

I know this is true, and it has always hurt my feelings a little bit.

I tend to find the women OkC matches me with plain, average, or unattractive. So if their algorithms are correct, what does this say about me?

The company I work for (a face recognition software company) has done some research on assessing attractiveness from photos of faces (as have some other research groups and no doubt other companies). Maybe using this to assess yourself would be useful. Or you could just put yourself on hotornot.

Women on OKCupid tend to rate men disproportionately low. There is an OKCupid blog post showing the distribution of the ratings they give men, and they are strongly skewed towards the lower end of the scale. This is one of the many reasons I don't use online dating sites.

Since the algorithm is based on percentiles, if all women uniformly rate men lower than men rate women, how would it have any effect?

There's less dynamic range between ratings when they're all in the low end of the scale?

Ok, that's true, and could potentially have the side effect that matches presented to women are more random (more noise in the data).

Even then, it seems like the effect would be kinda weak, no? And no individual guy loses out, except possibly to someone who was just about as attractive as him anyway (and he's equally as likely to gain).

Yep. Here it is. As a guy who's by most empirical measures not in the top 50% of attractiveness in the first place, this makes me depressed about human nature.


Male attractiveness is a lot more malleable than female attractiveness. Go to the gym, learn how to tell if clothes fit you and what colours suit you, always shower and shave, and get a decent haircut. You have now jumped 5-10% in attractiveness. Those are the biggest relatively easy gains. Posture isn't that hard to fix but it's hard to keep it fixed. After that there's the hard shit, becoming a more interesting, fun or rich person.

Nix the shave part. Beards are in.

Or maintain/trim your facial hair. Scraggly ass fashion hair looks crap.

OKC pictures can probably be a tad misleading since they are often taken with poor quality camera phones and people will deliberately try to take photos at more flattering angles.

Also a lot of men will just spam these sites and send a message to every woman within X distance of them.

OKC actually did a blog post [1] about attractiveness by camera model, and (unsurprisingly?) photos taken by more expensive cameras were rated as more attractive than those taken by cheap camera phones.

Obviously there's dozens of confounding variables (if you have an expensive camera, you're more likely to know how to take a good photo), but still.

[1] http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/dont-be-ugly-by-accident/

But there's several ways to dissect this data. For example, the number of unsolicited messages that a man gets and the number of followups (and perhaps, how fast those followup messages occur) is probably a good insight to how "attractive" he is.

Now if you think its harder to determine this for females because the amount of noise that they get...then the computer can factor in the number of "attractive" men (as judged above) who fawn over you, either by messaging or stalky profile views.

And of course, number of profile views (over time) and by repeat viewers (indicating the number of obsessed secret fans you have) is probably a good baseline to start from.

This is true, but it depends how much more (or less) attractive one is made to look by their photos than how they actually look IRL.

I did a similar experiment years back on hotornot years back. Took pictures of myself from various different angles and watched the scores after a few days.

A self shot face picture got me about a 5-6. A side profile head shot got me about a 4 and a shot taken by a photographer friend with a good camera and my shirt half undone got me a 9.5 or something.

Okay but obviously we know that's not a real picture, but instead a hyperbole of a photo. Still proves your point, I suppose. It's fun meeting people in real life then finding them on Facebook and seeing their complete lie of a profile picture that makes them look 3-4 points higher on a 10 point scale than they really are.

I'm pretty sure that it's a real picture... I could be wrong, though.

They definitely sort people into attractiveness tiers of some sort. You'll get a message mentioning that you're in the top half the first time their metrics indicate so, and it claims that this affects what members are presented/suggested to you. I'm not sure if this is based solely on the star ratings members can assign, or if they take other interactions into account.

I wouldn't be surprised if they do more subtle things with the same data as well.

why not just develop a site that lets your friends (your real friends) pick your perspective blind date?

In the UK there is a site[1] which does something similar. There was quite a bit of buzz to start with but I wasn't sure it was even still going until I searched for it.


I hate to say this, but Facebook already has all the data they need to do this. And now that you've mentioned it, it seems like a no-brainier for them to implement.

At the startup talk this year Mark mentioned that he thinks there's still a huge space available for services based on meeting new people rather than connecting friends and it's a space they're not interested in.

Of course that tune could change if something started to take off.

How long before Facebook would start charging you to get more attractive "blind" dates?

There's a Seattle startup doing this with your facebook graph: http://likebright.com/

I don'y know about that... the handful of blind dates I've been on setup by friends, the only thing I seem to have in common with the women in question is that we are both over-weight.

why not just develop a site that lets your friends (your real friends) pick your perspective blind date?

Crowdsourcing dating. It's an interesting idea, but I'm not convinced it would work. The prospective date would have to be a friend of all the friends 'voting'- if you have that many friends in common you probably already know each other. Or even if you don't, your social circles are close enough that a bad date could be socially awkward.

I can imagine a large percentage of first uses being friends intentionally trying to send their friends on horrible dates as a gag. Having a 2-sided suggestion may work well, where you can suggest a date, D, for one of your trusted friends, F. Any of D's trustees can see D's suggestions, and vote to confirm. If the vote is successful by some metric, F's trustees can perform a similar vote. If this final vote succeeds, D & F are presented with the opportunity.

You'd be surprised. In the course of 4 years at university, I somehow never once crossed paths with my roommate, despite the fact that I knew all of her friends and our school is incredibly small.

Not crowd-source, friends. As in people you know and have a beer with IRL.

People that might actually care about the outcome and aren't just looking for laughs.

Well it's crowd-sourcing using a specific crowd. And I think that a group of people getting together to judge the personality and looks of two mutual friends would be really quite socially awkward.

People do this all the time!

If someone says "A would be good with B" and the other person doesn't think B is attractive, they say "No, I don't think A would like B".

That actually exists already. It's called LikeBright, and it hooks up to your Facebook, pulls mutual friends, and has you vet them for each person, basically asking "would you see these two people dating?" And if you have a mutual friend, and that friend has vetted you, you can just go ahead and message.

totally agree, my best dates/relationships always came from meeting through friends. it takes the pressure off and you know they are not freaks/psychos, and you already have friends in common. hence, Link4Love! still new but check out the video, make sense right?

2-3 years ago OKC tried this CBD here in SF. I tried it, but couldn't get 1 date out of it. Most of the times, there was no response; and the one time we decided to meet somewhere, she didn't show up. Then OKC shut it down.

On asking women friends, the general feeling I got was that women were much more leery of going on a blind date, figuratively, blind about the other person.

However: that was my experience with women in their 30s. Will it be the same for women in their, say, early 20s? Who knows. As it is we're seeing a massive shift in social interactions with SnapChat, FB Poke, etc. People are sexting more, for instance.

It is a good idea, which, if executed well, can have legs.

More like four years ago.

I used it back then, twice, getting two dates out of it. The first was reasonably fun but we probably weren't really right for each other and we didn't do a second date. The second resulted in a three month or so relationship. (Oh, and both I and my dates were hovering somewhere right around 30).

So my experience, from admittedly few data points, is that it was at LEAST as successful as normal internet dating, maybe much more successful.

I think that it matched me well on one fairly crucial axis: women who were interested in actually going out and seeing what you thought of a person. I found that a big killer of potential meetings on OKC proper was this death-slog of trying to assure perfect compatibility prior to a face-to-face meeting.

All this said, I eventually found my fiancee through non-internet means.

If they're smart, they'll allow the women to see the men's pictures, but not vice-versa. It's not fair, but it will help solve the very real problem of women being leery of blind dates.

Women have much more to lose on a blind date then men in general, as it only takes one creeper to ruin blind dating for someone. As others pointed out, traditional blind dates are set up by people who know something about both parties, so I'm not sure how well this will take off.

As for SnapChat et al., are people using it anonymously between strangers? I had thought that the usage was mostly for people who already knew each other but wanted disposable messages.

Are you saying women can't be overly clingy or frequently misinterpreting non-spoken communication?

No, women can totally do that, I'm more referring to things that threatens your safety or integrity, like someone assaulting or stalking you.

And just to head off the inevitable shitstorm at the pass: No one is saying that assault or stalking cannot happen to men. It does happen, and is tragic.

However, women are more systematically threatened by such things in our society, and modify their behavior to avoid such things to a far greater extent than men do.

Personally I see it more of a game that women play to frustrate men as much as possible and this is a consequence of being overly picky.

I'm not saying its right to behave hurt, or act aggressively. But it is rather screwed up when women collect points between each other for intentionally misleading guys or falsely leading them on to reject them. [Builds the ego]

I think it makes sense that women are built from an evolutionary perspective to be picky, misleading, tough to successfully engage with, test out a guy and dump him later, etc.. Evolution is all about the people who have the most or most successful children being the templates for future generations.

For guys it is viable to be easy to get with and spread your genes about. For women, each child represents a huge resources cost. Therefore very high levels of pickiness and making men go through trials and tests and rejections is the best method for them to make the best choice. Evolution doesn't care about your feelings. If a woman has to throw a dozen good men into the friend zone along with another hundred just to get one good one, then that is the best method from an evolution standpoint, and that's what will become the genetically preferred behavior.

If I throw out any peanut that looks even slightly funny, the odds that I'll get a good peanut are a lot higher than if I only try to figure out exactly if each peanut is good inside the shell or not. In other words, don't take it personally. :)

> For guys it is viable to be easy to get with and spread your genes about. For women, each child represents a huge resources cost. Therefore very high levels of pickiness and making men go through trials and tests and rejections is the best method for them to make the best choice. Evolution doesn't care about your feelings. If a woman has to throw a dozen good men into the friend zone along with another hundred just to get one good one, then that is the best method from an evolution standpoint, and that's what will become the genetically preferred behavior.

This line of though for evolutionary biology is generally rejected and has no factual basis.

> I think it makes sense that women are built from an evolutionary perspective to be picky, misleading, tough to successfully engage with, test out a guy and dump him later, etc.

The majority of people will date many partners and most relationships end in a breakup. This isn't special to any particular gender.

No feelings hurt my friend. For the most part, I agree with you. But I don't buy the whole "men are only motivated to sow their seeds" bit. In the short term: Yes [it does help promote genetic diversity], in the long term: nope.

There are biological hazards for doing so [STDs], and there are a few benefits for having a long term relationship with one person.

The scale of the pickiness is the problem. I don't mind women being picky locally, but when they spread rumors and attempt to destroy a guys reputation amongst large networks... thats the problem.

> The scale of the pickiness is the problem. I don't mind women being picky locally, but when they spread rumors and attempt to destroy a guys reputation amongst large networks... thats the problem.

Anyone can be as picky as they want for an intimate partner, to suggest that someone lower their standards to please someone else is really offensive. Also, rumors are a totally legit form of social defense, even if rumors can have downsides, but the solution to that isn't less talking and lowered standards.

The even claim that a guy can or even threaten to blacklist a girl within his social networks is ludicrous.

Of course he can. Didn't you ever go to high school or work in a gossipy office? It doesn't take too many people saying, "She's a slut/ice queen/crazy bitch/diva" before it becomes conventional wisdom in a social group.

Guys for the most part have a short term memory for those kinds of things. We don't have that much use for it.

What? Are you generalizing to an entire gender?

Wow. That sounds like you've just found a clique of terrible people. I have bunches of of female friends in a couple different social circles and have never seen this behavior.

The closest I've seen is a woman being friendly with a guy while being oblivious to the fact that he's flirting with her and then not knowing what to do when she realizes he's got a crush on her. Until he actually asks her out, I'm not sure there is a way to resolve this that isn't wicked awkward. Just saying, "Hey I'm not attracted to you.", out of the blue is kinda odd.

Honestly I'm suprised I didn't enrage someone on the last comment.

But the two major ways that women really mislead and manipulate is: 1. Claim a guy is creepy and then try to villify the guy 2. Friendzone

I'm not talking about legitimate safety has been put at risk cases for "creepy." I'm talking about the majority of cases where the guy misread the girl's communication, there was a miscommunication which hes being blamed for, he was socially awkward, the girl labeled him that way because she misinterpreted or felt like labeling him that way, or it was generally an awkward situation.

The other, friendzoning, is an intentional passive rejection of a perosn. Women aren't stupid, they know that a guy is interested in them, but can/will choose to put them in the friendzone.

Both of those situations are communicated to other girls to hurt the guys' reputation. By the time the guy realizes the scope of it, hes screwed. Its a really shitty thing, but it happens every day. The next time you're with your female friends and they're talking about, look at it from this way: Who are they telling, and whats the result of that later.

This sort of paranoid attitude can't be helping your prospects. You make this out to be way more adversarial than is healthy.

Have you ever considered that sometimes the reason a girl passively rejects a guy is because she doesn't want to hurt his feelings but hopes he will take the hint without her having to be more direct? I.e., she doesn't want to make things more awkward herself, and doesn't have perfect social skills either (most people don't!). What makes that super awkward is when the guy won't take the hint, or has seen too many "a dude just won't give up and finally wins the girl over" movies. It's a low probability outcome, better to just move on. Be friends if you want to be, or don't if you don't.

And neither men nor women are perfect at knowing when someone's interested, for that matter. Women are better at it, as far as I've seen, but it's not 100%, and then there are also creepy guys who hide that they're interested for weeks or longer, and then complain about "friendzoning" after springing it awkwardly out of nowhere. Don't be that guy!

Lol, I'm not angry about it. Its more of an annoyance that its accepted. At some point the woman needs to grow up and let those who she's been keep on in the friendzone know whats up. I don't give a fuck if they believe that theres some kind of risk to it. Its a crappy thing to do to people and you shouldn't do that to someone who doesn't get the clue.

Women are 10 fold better at determining who is interested in them. They are also loads better at determining who is congruent with the attitude/personality they're projecting. Women are also really good at hiding how they feel.

Have you ever considered that women are totally OK with just being a friend with someone and that the person who feels they are in the "friendzone" should just be OK with a friend relationship? The idea of the "friendzone" is so misogynistic, this idea that women do this to men as a form of punishment or gaming is ridiculous.

> Women are 10 fold better at determining who is interested in them. They are also loads better at determining who is congruent with the attitude/personality they're projecting. Women are also really good at hiding how they feel.

This is not true whatsoever. There is nothing inherent to gender to say that someone will be more socially aware than someone else.

Again, is there a way to do this that isn't really really awkward? In order to "not do this crappy thing to people", she has to First detect interest from some guy (how?), then somehow verify that she isn't accidentally misreading your body language or tone of voice or whatever (again, how?), then somehow bring up the topic of you being attracted to her without being awkward or presumptuous (yet again, how?), and then reject you (this part is straightforward).

By contrast, you have to: Notice that you are attracted to her (which is easy) and ask her out on a date. Though kinda awkward, this is much more straightforward. I recommend doing it early so if she rejects you, you've not gotten attached to the idea of her (fail fast and pivot!). They're your emotions dude; You've got to take some responsibility for communicating about them and managing them.

> Women are 10-fold better. uhh... have you ever picked up an issue of Cosmo or watched a "women's show"? They're full of women angsting about how to tell if a guy likes them or not and giving each other terrible advice. Women, being people, like to pretend they know what they're doing when they're in public even when they don't. This all seems like just an example of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_error .

That reminds me so much of high school and college. I've had a rule of avoiding the shallow and manipulative types (of either gender), or at least minimizing my contact with them once I realize it. I've realized I don't have to put up with it. It has meant that some places are offlimits to me because I don't want the hassle, but the quality of the people I spend time with has improved.

I tend to drop contact with these types very quickly. However in some locations they can very well outnumber the non-manipulative types.

It is not manipulative to decide you don't want to sleep with a guy.

Its not, but it is manipulative to have an unbalanced relationship where he thinks he can eventually have a chance.

Personally, I don't want a woman that says yes to everyone. But, I don't want one that harasses every new person they meet.

It's 'unbalanced' for a woman to spend time with a guy if she doesn't explicitly say "we'll never sleep together"? There's certainly something unbalanced in your worldview, but it isn't the relationship - it's the guy who appears to constantly think he has a chance with anyone who hasn't explicitly told him that she'd rather see humanity die out.

I also don't want to date either a doormat or a stalker, but I have no idea what that has to do with anything.

I think we had a misunderstanding. The friend relationship is unbalenced when the guy wants a FWB/Girlfriend|boyfriend relationship, and the girl wants another girlfriend/platonic-friendship. In the situation the girl knows this to be the case, and continues to entertain the idea.

I'm not suggesting that you're obligated to date/reciprocate or entertain the guy's fantasies. Just let them know whats what and don't encourage that kind of unbalanced relationship. Props if you can pull that off and give feedback about why you wouldn't bang him without giving him an impression that he has a chance or attempting to destroy him.

My suspicion for the last part of that is becoming a wing-girl for him and helping him to see that there are other girls out there.

It's beginning to sound like you are talking about a specific situation where you feel you were wronged, because a girl actively lied to you about what she wanted out of the relationship. That sucks, but you should try not to generalise this to 'women are like x'. And if this has happened more than once, then either you are consistently misreading social situations (feeling led on when the woman has no idea you are thinking that way) and /you/ need to fix that, or you are consistently trying to get into a relationship with terrible people (on the off chance women are actually constantly leading you on), and /you/ need to fix that because what you're dealing with there is not 'women' but 'terrible people'.

I don't have that issue anymore, because I'm better able to tell when a girl is interested or not and when I get the slightest hint of that happening I gtfo of there. I've seen this happen to lots of other friends.

It's not the job of women to cater to every guy's unrealistic expectations of having an intimate relationship with them. This puts the onus on women to police the behavior of men instead of having men simply treat people with respect and heed boundaries.

It just sounds to me that you're saying it's tough for a guy that doesn't understand the cultural norm. The States seem to favor ambiguity over being very straightforward. I feel that there are definitely benefits to this approach, but if you don't learn to navigate it, things will be more difficult.

I understand. My posts aren't really a complaint where I'm just whining that I can't do anything and I'm giving up. Its more a rant of stuff I have to work around.

Have they come up with a way to incentivize following through with plans, or reducing the fear of spending time with somebody you haven't had some contact with? There seems to be a very low social/emotional cost to abandoning plans you make with a stranger that you have not vetted. I can imagine a very high abandonment effect, as you experienced.

Since regular online dating is completely broken - this approach seems better but still doesn't get it quite right.

I actually think the situation is even worse with women in their early twenties (that they'd be even less likely to use a service like this). Anecdotally it seems women 28-35 are much more willing to try different methods of dating than younger ones (or are even looking to actually date in general).

"regular online dating is completely broken" - hogwash! Facebook is the dating site of choice. Women use it to get a feel for guys they hear about/meet through their friends. By checking their social interactions, their friends, their education etc they can get a good idea of the person. People are as good at this as they are picking out a face in a crowd, several million years of evolution has ensured this.

the women under 28 don't bother with any of this because they are typically in social situations (like college) where they meet people all the time and getting dates is trivial. Their only concern is their appearance and safety. They want to appear to their peer group to be dating well and with guys that add to their status, which is where facebook comes in.

It may not be workig for you, but online dating is not broken at all...

I guess I wasn't clear - obviously Facebook works brilliantly for this (and the relationship status piece was one of the driving forces behind its college adoption).

By 'online dating' I was referring to actual online dating sites like okcupid, match, eharmony, plenty of fish etc.

> Anecdotally it seems women 28-35 are much more willing to try different methods of dating than younger ones (or are even looking to actually date in general).

This is hardly surprising, because by that time, they're well on their way to becoming "invisible" to men.

This is silly. Single women 28-35 are more likely to try different methods of dating because people in their late 20's and 30's are likely out of college (where there's a large pool of possible mates that are easy to find) and more likely to be settled into a life situation (where their circle of friends/acquaintances is stable and does not generate many potential mates) and more likely to be bored/done with the club scenes.

So, just like men, single women 28+ are more likely to want the internet to generate a pool of people that they might possibly date.

In case you haven't noticed, between ages 15 - 25 or so, even a somewhat above-average-looking woman wields sickening power over men. They're approached anywhere, any time, and they only have to.. exist.

Eventually this power wanes and she'll get approached less and less. This is the time when she might actually have to do something to find a man, and this is the phenomenon we're talking about.

Your word choices are offputting and, honestly, seem borderline misogynist.

Young women do not "wield sickening power over men." Some number of them may get propositioned by strangers a good deal (though, I would suggest, less than you seem to believe). That's not the same thing.

And, in any case, "not getting as many propositions from strangers" does not equate to "becoming invisible to men."

And, finally, your argument, such as it is, seems to be based on the belief that younger women derive most of their romantic partners from that mass of unsolicited propositions by strangers. This isn't particularly true, and it kind of staggers me that you seem to imagine otherwise.

If women 28+ are more interested in online dating, it seems very likely that this is principally because of a decrease in the number of qualified potential mates in their extended social circle, rather than the decrease in the number of unsolicited propositions by strangers.

Before I address anything you said, I'm curious.. Are you a woman? Or are you a Nice Guy?

> Since regular online dating is completely broken

It is?

I'm 26.

I've had one young woman on OKC make the first move and ask me out, so I suspect you're right that 20-somethings are more willing to date online. (Since I'm sure everyone is curious now: Neither one of us wanted a second date. Yeah.)

Magic? Most likely not...

"The competition to attract the most desirable mates is ferocious. Consequently, those most valuable are perpetually in short supply compared to the many who desire them. People who are themselves high in mate value succeed in attracting the most desirable partners. In the crude informal American metric, the 9s and 10s pair off with other 9s and 10s. And with decreasing value from the 8s to the 1s, people must lower their mating sights commensurately. Failure to do so produces a higher probability of rejection and psychological anguish. ..." [1]

[1] http://edge.org/response-detail/23862

That's so incredibly cynical. Maybe I'm the only one putting favoring other attributes higher than physical looks? Or I'm just butt ugly and can't get any of the good looking ones?

They would need one HELL of an algorithm to pull this off.

I tried OKC. A few good dates, but also several women who were 20-30 pounds heavier than their profile pictures.

I've talked to women who use OKC. In the first week, any reasonably attractive woman gets 30-150 message, 95% of them creepy/lame/from old men.

You can still find good things on OKC, but you need to learn how to filter. Women set up harsh filters against the flood of spam, and men have to learn i. How to get past those filters ii. How to tell if a woman is really herself

Women face more risks than men. Most men aren't crazy. But all it takes is one crazy man to really mess up your life. And crazy men are more likely to use something that lets them bypass traditional filters.

Meanwhile, this lets women that won't get hit on in real life bypass the filter of physical appearance.

If this could be made to work, it would be incredibly popular. But it has a ton of hurdles. You'd have to evaluate safety and attractiveness algorithmically, or you'd end up with a ton of lame/scary dates.

> Meanwhile, this lets women that won't get hit on in real life bypass the filter of physical appearance.

Surprise! Most women (even unattractive ones) get hit on in real life.

well said, it's amazing how little some people on hn know about the real world!

I'm shocked, shocked, to discover that commenters on an Internet forum know little about dating. What's next, people posting pictures of cats with captions?

> "You'd have to evaluate safety and attractiveness algorithmically"

OKCupid already does this (the attractiveness part), and I have to say, they do it startlingly well. Attractiveness is crowdsourced, and this is present even in the default (non-blind) experience. Ever wonder what that "Special Blend" default search results sort option is all about? It's actually weighted by the user and your own attractiveness.

That's very interesting. I had been wondering whether they were hiding matches from me for the 'attractiveness' matching; empirically it seemed unlikely.

Are you saying that, if I never use 'Special Blend', I am unaffected by the attractiveness-matching system?

How do you know that that's what special blend is? I haven't been able to find anything conclusive from OkC regarding that.

So I guess you could boost your attractiveness by making profiles of the opposite sex and interacting with yours?

People have done this, and one guy actually documented the experience. I forgot the reference, but the idea was to appear more picky and popular by getting lots of messages and not responding, in order to get the "responds very selectively" red light. The effect turned out to be a lot more views and messages.

This doesn't consider the algorithmic effect of doing this, though. Although it is probably very achievable.

I imagine this will be very popular with people who just want to have casual sex and aren't too fussy about who it is with.

Not that this isn't necessarily a good a market, but IIRC something similar was tried with a straight version of the gay app "grindrr" and didn't go down so well.

> Women face more risks than men.

If a woman takes the standard safety procedures--meeting in a public place, not divulging too much info, exchanging a few messages to see if the dude is a weirdo--the average woman faces the same risk that a man faces. That risk is that the date will be a waste of time, usually in the order of about 3 hours if you include transportation time and an inability to schedule anything else during that time. In the end it can amount to almost an entire evening used up. That's an investment that both sexes make.

Do you say this as a man or a woman? Because while this describes my male worst case scenario, I think a female worst case scenario could go much worse.

The blind date idea makes it seem like there won't be messages exchanged. Which is why it's riskier.

From this Forbes piece: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2013/01/15/would-y...

""" In truth, the most radical part of Crazy Blind Date (whose name and basic concept OK Cupid toyed with in an earlier form more than five years ago) may be the way users are asked to express their satisfaction or lack thereof. After a date’s conclusion, the participants are invited to rate each other by purchasing “kudos.” Spending a few dollars implies that a date was enjoyable...

Why pay good money to improve the dating prospects of someone you might never see again? Because there’s more than generosity at play here. The user who never buys kudos for his or her dates will find himself increasingly shut out by the algorithm in the same way that your own friends would eventually stop setting you up if you rejected enough of their suggestions. “It’s a soft payment for access,” says Yagan. “How much you donate determines your product experience along the way.”

""" Who will become successful at getting dates then? Those with the most kudos purchased? And, what does that do to the quality of dates one might expect to have?

I was really sad when they killed the original web-based Crazy Blind Date a few years ago -- I was single and in the Bay Area at the time, and it seemed just random enough to be awesome.

Would strongly recommend this to anyone in the market. Although hopefully it gets promoted in places other than just hacker news, or there will be obvious issues.

I know a surprisingly large number of tech people who have gotten long-term girlfriends or married via OkCupid. I only ever met actually crazy people (although interesting and fun for a few months), but somehow it seems to work for other people. I'm not sure how well it works outside the Bay Area, Seattle, Boston, and NYC, but in those markets, it's pretty good.

I met my wife via OkCupid, in Seattle. So it certainly worked for me (with more than a few of the standard dating misstarts).

I'm glad to hear you "met" a few Miss Tarts before you settled down. ;-)

You need to get that sort of thing out of your system before you finally settle down.

Maybe it was a joke, but you missed the implicit hyphen between mis and starts. So, not Miss Tarts, but rather Mis-starts.

Maybe @nmcfarl meant to say near-misses? or rather, just misses. But not as in ladies, but as in horseshoes.

The first time I read the sentence I misread it, giggled like a school boy, and quickly replied to the post tongue-in-cheek.

However, HN did not appreciate the joke, and to be honest it was rather inane. I should try to remember that puerile humour belongs on Reddit and not HN.

Yeah, I read the title and thought "but Crazy Blind Date isn't new". I didn't realize they killed off the website. I wonder if they always planned on converting to mobile.

Oh they've promoted it. They shut down all pictures on OkCupid for the day to promote the new app. People are PISSED. Hah.

I had the exact same idea, right down to using ratings to improve the random match, so this is pretty awesome in that I get to see how this will play out for free.

The main idea here is that it's a behaviorial approach to optimizing mate-matching. The way it works now (e.g., on okcupid) is that you fill out a profile and answer some questions. You expose some signals in your profile which you think are correlated with what makes you a good mate (interests, income, etc.), and go about finding such signals in other people's profiles. The match % is also such a signal. However,

1. People lie, or at least exaggerate the truth/selectively filter

2. They might not lie but simply be wrong: they think they want x but actually want y

3. The match % is a completely made up algorithm. I mean, it kind of makes sense that people who agree on things they care the most about would make good couples, but unless you measure this in a scientific way (i.e., controlled experiments), you have no idea.

4. Even assuming that you can actually get a good signal from the profile, it is drowned out by the noise. Suppose that some girl and dude are perfect for each other. What are the chances that he will find her profile and that she will read his message?

The solution to 1-3 is to measure the thing you want to optimize, instead of optimizing based on intuition. The solution to 4 is to set people using the thing that you measured. So, after each blind date, you ask the participants, "would you go on a date with this person again?" Imagine being okcupid and being able to say, here is a person I think you'd be interested in dating, and I can say with 95% confidence that you will have a good time. If they can get to that stage, they'd be able to make good money.

There are some issues with this, of course. You could argue that the thing they should measure is whether the date leads to a happy long-term relationship, but that's pretty much infeasible for various reasons. Also, as a dating website, they'd be perversely incentivized to keep you single forever. Anyway, I am super interested to see how this does.

> So, after each blind date, you ask the participants, "would you go on a date with this person again?"

Does anyone know if Crazy Blind Date actually does this?

One of the great mysteries of OkCupid to me is that they do not attempt to collect this information. There is no "I met this person" button which then asks how it went and whether the match represented themselves accurately.

It seems like this would be an extremely valuable data point. There must be some reason that the feature doesn't exist, but I don't see what it is...

IIRC, when I closed my account in 2010 after meeting someone off-line, one of the options for "why are you leaving" was "in a relationship with someone I met on OKCupid" and I think it had an option for selecting who.

So between that and knowing if you're still messaging new people after messaging someone else for a while, I think they pick up a lot of it.

They might just do some sort of mining on the messages. I imagine it'd be simple enough to pick out conversations setting up a meeting and then just measure if the messages continue after that or not.

That would give a lot of false negatives, and most likely false positives as well. I presume a lot of first dates, if they are successful, include exchange of an external mode of communication, killing the use of OKCupid messaging between these two people.

True, I hadn't thought about that. (Haven't ever gotten to that point on OKCupid...)

Personally, I think Grouper's model is more likely to be successful.

They take a group of three friends and pair them up on a blind group date with another group of three friends. The safety in numbers aspect is, I think, a smart addition.

Issues I have with Grouper (having not gone on any "groupers" yet):

* You must have 2 single friends in the vicinity willing to join you in paying $20 apiece for a single drink on relatively short notice

* The photos they showcase on the site make it look like, as a friend put it, "a six-way sexcapade"

As a startup founder who recently moved to a smaller town, I have vanishingly few friends who are both single, male and fun enough to tag a long to something like that.

And from anecdotal evidence, I've heard of single people bringing non-single friends (from both male and female sides) on Grouper. Those aren't so fun when the match-ups don't go in your own favor.

That actually sounds like a really fun time and that some good friendships could come out of it.

I met my wife via a blind date set up by a friend. No dating algorithm would have ever put us together. However, I think people do get too wrapped up in superficial likes / dislikes as a filtering mechanism, when it's been my experience that those on the surface things really have little correlation with you who might end up with long term. So "forcing" people to get to know each other by actually meeting might have some value here.

However, I think people do get too wrapped up in superficial likes / dislikes as a filtering mechanism

And the nature of dating sites is to foreground this method of "analyzing" potential dates, which I think has to be a huge weakness in the whole model. This is to say, it's the only thing people can do on these sites.

Interesting, because in some ways it's the opposite of OK Cupid. As multiple (brilliant: http://blog.okcupid.com/) blog posts attest, people do judge each other heavily on looks and their stated interests.

I assume the app is still using OKC data, and just hiding it. I'm not sure that I would trust the OKC algorithm enough to rely on it, and the question is ever-present in my mind- if you're already on OK Cupid, why use Blind Date? Either you think it'll be a laugh (the best option, probably) or you haven't been at all successful at getting a date on the main site. Perhaps there is a reason for that.

> "or you haven't been at all successful at getting a date on the main site"

Which is to say, most of the userbase. Most people, of both genders, have trouble getting dates online - pretty much anyone not in the top quartile of attractiveness for their orientation, weighted by race, height, looks, etc.

Getting a lot of messages != getting a lot of dates. Most of OKC, as it is with most dating sites, is copypasta spam. When there is no flow limit, it's individually optimal to spam as many people as possible, so that's what happens. People in the top quartile get their pick of the litter - everyone else gets either no messages, or an inbox full of "sup gurl".

We've sort of kind of gotten past the stigma of online dating. We haven't really gotten past the stigma of failing at online dating. I mean think about it, how pathetic is that? You flunked dating in real life and now you can't even do well on a computer.

We also know, as you pointed out, that people are highly judgmental online. I'd amend your comment and say that you've massively understated the level and scale of this judgment. Almost all messages are instigated based on looks alone, damn what you wrote in your profile. OKC's insistence on collecting your whole life story and having you answer hundreds of questions may help their matching algorithm, but it doesn't help you - as it gives opposing users irrational reasons to reject you "he doesn't like seafood? dealbreaker!"

People are fucking nuts when online dating. They are more judgmental, more racist, more classist than they are in real life, and at every step of the way they will use all of the above to sabotage themselves from finding someone they might actually get along with.

Blind date - properly implemented - will IMO achieve much better results for most of the dating population, but selling people on it is really the tough part. Online daters want absolute control and information, even if they will use this information to sabotage their own chances.

[edit] I also happen to think that OKCupid users would get much better results if there was a substantial rate-limit on messaging. But once again, selling it to the userbase is the tough part. People want utter freedom on your system, and any restriction - even ones that will help them - is seen as draconian.

There's also the added complication that a lot of people actually use online dating more for ego re-enforcement than actually looking for a date.

Someone who is single and struggling in RL dating might like getting 100 "dam ur hot xx" messages but they probably don't want to date the sort of people who send them.

I think a lot of the apparent neurotic preferences of online daters stems from our usual goal of using the internet for instant gratification. Linkbait headlines, meme images, "mind-blowing" photos, and of course, porn. With online dating, the closest thing providing a similar rush is finding a person who's really hot in their photos. Writing off people for any foible or plain appearance is just a habit from ignoring anything remotely unstimulating on the internet.

People are fucking nuts when online dating.

I don't disagree, but I think that people are nuts when dating, online or off. I'd argue that it isn't optimal to spam as many people as possible with 'sup'- most (female) profiles on the site say "don't message me just saying 'sup' or 'you are hot'" for exactly that reason.

I think online dating allows people to be slightly more obvious about judging people the way that they always do.

> "I'd argue that it isn't optimal to spam as many people as possible with 'sup'-'

Oh, it most certainly isn't. It's individually optimal to send as many people as many carefully worded, personalized, charming messages as possible.

Of course, this isn't actually possible, so people will fall back to either carefully-worded but identical copypasta messages. Or, "sup".

The behavior of people in online dating fascinates me (and I work in the field nowadays too, so I guess that sort of makes sense). It's incredible the lengths people will go to to sabotage themselves in the pursuit of success.

> "but I think that people are nuts when dating, online or off"

You're right, but we're arguing over degrees. People are pretty nutty when dealing with strangers, particularly in a sexual/romantic context, but this is magnified many fold when online. Small biases in real life become massive online. Someone who might have a back-of-the-mind thought "oh, he's short" IRL will make it a dealbreaker. Someone who might have a back-of-the-mind "oh, he's black" IRL will make that a dealbreaker also. People's preferences become polarized to the point where, IMO, it's actively harming their experience.

I think that's the polite way of saying that people innermost biases are in full play online, where they are (consciously or subconsciously) tempered IRL. People are, by a remarkable degree, more racist, more classist, and more judgmental than they behave in real life, to a degree they're not even fully aware of. A more cynical person might say that's a truer expression of the self, but I don't think it's that simplistic. In many ways the traditional online dating setup magnifies biases and makes mountains out of mole hills, and in that way works against the interests of the user.

OKCupid doesn't really help matters. They have statistical information on what signals actually matter in attraction and success of a relationship, but they will give you orders of magnitude more (irrelevant) signals on top of all of that. Blind dating may not work out, but I do think that "blinder" dating is necessary for online to work.

If spamming and message quantity is the big problem for women I wonder why OKC doesn't just limit the number of first contacts or non-reply messaged a user can send out in any given time period. Add a notice to users encouraging them to use their first contacts wisely and to take their time in composing messages, you might see an improvement in messaging health.

One problem is that a huge number of people are simply terrible at expressing themselves via the written (or typed) word. Without wishing to flatter ourselves , the level of discourse experienced at HN is far higher than you will experience on the internet at large.

This leads to problems with both badly written, short and generic profiles (which makes writing well crafted clever messages to the person difficult) and people who find writing a message that really sells them as an ideal dating partner impossible. Not to mention that most people are uncomfortable writing about themselves in a personal way for a stranger.

I imagine the problems with rate limiting might be that users on a free site could well just sign up multiple accounts to get around this limit which would probably be yet more annoying.

A word of caution about OK cupid. The emails they send out for your QUIVER MATCHES actually have your login credentials embedded in the URL. Meaning, if you right click, copy link address, and send the url to your friend, THEY ARE NOW LOGGED INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.

I learned the hardway, I pasted one of these links into an 80+ chat room full of 4chan rejects on IRC.

Login credentials or an authentication token? It's pretty standard to use an auth token in situations such as emails to protected content, considering that users profiles are blocked to non-members. To allow you to do a follow through from an email link it is necessary to introduce a way to automatically log yourself in through a click. You'll see the same email behavior from most websites you have an account for and you've allowed to send you emails. The trust chain that this is generally considered OK is that the email has gone through a two way verification for that account you've signed up for, so a uniquely generated auth token emailed is akin to a forget password at that point.

The security failure was mostly on your part, but also on the sites for not conveying a notice that email links that automatically authenticate you are in emails.

Sharing any directly copied link information from an email to a set of anonymous users, especially as unreputable as you have stated, is unadvised.

Assuming they haven't updated it since I was there, its an auth token that expires after a specific amount of time (I want to say 2 weeks but its been a long time)

I predict - men will think it a good idea, women won't - idea will tank.

I agree with this assessment. Also, I am a man, and I think it's a bad idea, too. The whole point of online dating was to be able to judge beforehand how awkward the situation would be. It's very hard to duck out in the first few minutes ("Sorry, I'm not remotely attracted to you, but I'm sure you're a lovely person")

I think it'd be quite easy actually. You have no mutual friends, and you are both going into it with the exact same feeling. If either person is disinterested, it should be expressed immediately, as both parties are better off.

That works with a pair of highly-logical people, but for anyone else it would seem extremely offputting and awkward. Even when I go out of my way to not bullshit people, "sorry but I'm just not feeling this" without at least a reasonable conversation first (even just half an hour) would be tough.

Having said that, I still signed up. What do I have to lose - an hour on HN, and three bucks on coffee? If it's awkward it's awkward; everyone could do with getting better at handling awkward situations.

Just order the lobster and steak and you'll be fine...

After reading some of the comments. What do you think about this approach?

1) Woman sets up the date. Place and time.

2) The system sends an invitation to several men until it gets 3-5 positive responses.

3) The woman chooses one of the candidates.

The advantages for the woman is that she controls the terms of the date. She doesn't have to sort thru tons of messages.

The advantages for the man, is that you don't have to spend a lot of time sending invitations to many women. Invitations that are basically ignored

If the woman is picking the place, and the man is paying, there is a conflict of interest. Also, women much prefer the man to lead interactions up to and through the first date.

Sounds like an online version of the TV dating game shows. Would this only apply to the heterosexual crowd?

I don't know how it would work for non-heterosexuals. But I guess they don't have the same problems than heterosexuals.

From what I have seen, online dating sucks for men because it is very hard to get noticed. It sucks for women because they get too many choices.

One of my mates is actually working on something similar, check out 7pmanywhere.com

Nice!Consider it a validation that it may not be a bad idea. And it is seen from the woman's perspective. good!

I feel the question phase may slow things because you need another round. Also the fact that she can select another set to choose, may cause her to keep going and not actually make a decision. As far as monetization, I (a man) would definitely pay for each time I am in a selection set. But I need to know that she is going to select one of us.

Looks like it's not quite live. Nothing happens upon clicking "Get Crazy".

There appears to be a missing closing </style> towards the end of the page which means the scripts after aren't being loaded.

I noticed via a site retheme on OK Cupid. A few minutes ago the "Get Crazy" button had a box to put in your phone number in order to get the App download link via text message.

You can probably still access it via the web interface on OK Cupid, unless I'm part of a testing group instead of a launch.

Linked me to the play store when I was browsing on my phone.

Hmm, not too hopeful about this.

The idea of a "blind date" is scary enough when it's been set up by someone you trust.

I could certainly see creepy or slightly unhinged types making use of this and it getting a lot of bad press very fast amongst women.

I can also see it being popular amongst certain classes of gay and bisexual men who will try and use it to hook up with straight guys.

Wow, I don't know how I'd react if I was led on by some gay guy and thought I was meeting a woman... Not because I'm homophobic but because I know that these types of people exist. When I was in college I used craigslist one drunken night and something similar happened and it creeped me out hardcore...

Oh, it happens.

The worst story was a friend of mine who travelled over an hour on the premise of having a threesome with a swinging couple who he had met on a "casual dating" website.

He was given a home address but when he turned up he found a typical messy bachelor pad and a middle aged man waiting. He was told that the wife wouldn't be turning up for a while but to "make himself comfortable". Naturally he got the hell out of there.

It was a few years later before he actually told me the story, after I had finished laughing I asked why he had believed the guy. Turns out the guy had been copying photos from amateur porn sites and sending those as his "wife".

Naturally it should be pointed out that I'm sure the majority of gay people do not behave in such a way.

"Naturally it should be pointed out that I'm sure the majority of gay people do not behave in such a way."

They most assuredly do not. I am a gay engineer. I've never known anyone so blatantly deceptive, but if any of my acquaintances even thought about doing something like that, I would give them a dressing down that would make a drill sergeant cry.

Gay people are like any population sample. 95% of them are normal, decent human beings; 5% are wackos.

And those who use this will no doubt be the ones who can't get a date on the regular site (like, hm, me).

Which means your potential pool is limited to those who can't get a date in real life (which may be because they have just moved, are atheists in South Texas, etc) and who can't get a date on the site.

So I doubt this will be effective, but hey it is a nice try.

Probably takes only a couple of hours until someone publishes an app on Github to take a screenshot and descramble the user pictures.

The concept is interesting, although OkCupid actually launched this service in 2007 and it never really caught on. I'm guessing that they're betting mobile will change things significantly.

What I really don't understand is why the design is so bad. OkCupid has always looked reasonably impressive (at least in my opinion), and this new site feels flat and amateurish. The mobile apps don't look good either.

It almost feels like they've fallen for the new "me-too" trend of exceptionally flat design, inspired by Metro, but the execution here is just not good. The typography is particularly bad. Maybe it's just me, but I think it could really use some additional polish.

Seems like they're trying to keep an extremely casual image, although perhaps they went a bit too far. I did find myself basically squinting at things.

What I'm really confused about is the mechanics. Does someone have to select me, or is this some algorithmic match-up? It gives the impression that a computer will say "hey, you both said Thursday night and look reasonably compatible, you two kids have fun" but then also gives you the option to browse and select dates as well.

I actually used CBD in it's first iteration briefly several years ago. I only went on one date but it actually ended up being one of the best internet dating experiences I've ever had. Didn't work out in the long run with the girl, but we did date for a little while. The idea of actually creating a "profile" for dating I think ends up resulting in a good amount of disparity between the curated persona you offer to the digital world and who you really are, no matter what you do.

Wish these guys the best of luck with it. And if you are curious about the service, recommend giving it a shot!

As someone who is extremely indecisive and laid back on little decisions like "where do you want to eat" or "what do you want to do today", I love this idea.

Just pick for me, and I'll go do it. It's fun!

Based on my experience with OKC I am doubtful this will be successful. I went on a lot of first dates w/girls from OKC and most of the time ones that were supposedly 90% matches were the worst dates.

I met my girlfriend on there too, and we were only supposedly 70% matches according to OKC but she's my perfect partner.

In other words, the algorithm is kinda off. At least in my case.

Or an alternative could be a blind date game show if an in person meeting with a stranger is a bit much. We just launched a dating game show that solves many of the shortfalls of online dating. HN thread http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5060477 (disclaimer, co-founder)

There is a value in social services "smoothing out the details" for a user. Naturally, this step requires the user to feel comfortable about entrusting those decisions to an app and it remains to be seen if people want to do this with dates.

The horror stories (which are always smirkingly relayed - nothing tragic) I hear from girls about OKC messages don't exactly give me confidence in this part of the company's hypothesis. I would be happy to be proven wrong, however. In the end, even ChatRouelette attracted a wide variety of people (for a very short time). Maybe there is an opportunity to use a Chat Roulette/Airtime interaction as the precursor to a (not-so-blind) date.

The horror stories aren't exactly a raw result of what happened. Many of the stories may be inflated or have biases that you don't know about.

So many of the profiles on OkCupid are: 1. Fake [a girl is testing the waters to see whos on there, or it could be a guy seeing his competition] 2. The girl is using it to boost her self esteem [lots of messages about guys complementing her are going on] Also, online dating [in her mind] may be "below" her. 3. Theres a low noise to signal rate. Guys learn very quickly that girls are very selective, and sometimes random about the messages they reply to. [There are a few possiblities for this] 4. Also there are girls who troll OkCupid. [They have no interest in dating or they're wayyyy over protective (practically requiring a background check before meeting in a very public place)]

So when you hear "stories" you have to be a little bit weary of the storyteller. [Even if you believe that the story teller is honest and good.]

You would be surprised. As a female who occasionally uses OKC to meet people, I've had the joy of being offered a price. Straight up.

And yes, it was too low.

When you see "replies selectively", go for it. We're not the trolls. We're the eyerollers waiting for an actual conversation starter.

My style is that I want to start a conversation rather than trying to be extremely direct. [From my experience starting direct is a horrible idea] When I see "replies selectively" the first thing that comes to my mind is that you're picking messages randomly.

EDIT: Even when being indirect on the first message you're still put in the same categories as all the other guys, its a random chance at best... screw that.

If I'm not mistaken, good on you for having a sense of humour. The girls I've met on OKC haven't had such of a thing. A lot of them mention they have a sense of humor in their profile, but completely lack it in the message.

Honestly it depends. Personally, I don't engage with people who want children because thats just an inevitable nail in the coffin. Everyone has their own red flags, there's no science to it really.

I only get roughly 1 response for every 7 messages I send, so clearly I'm not the only picky one, and its not just the ladies holding out ;)

Thats cool that you're sending out messages! Rock on. I find it horrendously amusing when seeing divorced women with kids on OKC. Typically they have a strong statement about "YOU BEST BE A MAN AND BE ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF MY KID!" Thats a huge red flag.

My favorites are the "mens rights activists" who completely shit on women, complain about how "nice" they are, wear ill fitting fedoras, and then wonder why no one responds :)

There have to be normal people on OKC somewhere, right? ...right?

You sound like you'd have some interesting stories.

I think the the MRAs are well meaning, but they have a very odd execution. Shame that Fedoras has given hats on mean a bad name.

I want to believe there are normal people on OKC... I want to but when it comes to recreating the profile I keep just giving up.

> When you see "replies selectively", go for it. We're not the trolls. We're the eyerollers waiting for an actual conversation starter.

s/actual conversation starter/attractive man/

What you say is not replicable in the data. Send the messages famously made fun of in every "guide" to OKC: "sup" "hey girll" "omg ur cute"...from a profile with an extremely attractive man's picture (stock photos will do.) Watch replies roll in.

Yes, but its the anomalies that are most likely worth meeting up with ;)

Don't take this as trying to hit on you. But, I wish more girls on OKC had that attitude.


Good evening. In tragic news today, a woman was killed by her "Crazy Blind Date."

If that happens, their choice of names sure is going to seem regrettable.

Tested CrazyBlindDate last night. Recognized a friend from okcupid labs (despite the surrealist facial shuffling) and clicked to set up a date. It gave me two options to meet him at Philz in SF - 3:14am or 3:44am. So clearly there are still some bugs to work out. That said, the mobile app for CBD feels much more modern than anything I've seen okc release recently.

My prediction: burner phones or Google Voice leads to some very bad scenarios. Stick with blind dates from friends.

I always enjoy the blog posts they do analyzing big chunks of data. Hopefully they will do one regarding this.

There must be something off about the Android version. I've never seen that high a proportion of 1-star ratings.


Our now-dead app got absolutely slaughtered in the ratings (IMHO rightly) simply over our use of Facebook auth. Took forever for our ratings to rebound to this[0]

[0] http://monosnap.com/image/ULCknIobEcO6KarrfxwmHdHJC

Makes sense, I would probably rate an app 1-star also if I had to use Facebook auth to use it - as I don't even have a Facebook account. I've noticed apps that require a Google login seem to do fine on Android though, probably because you need to have a Google account to use Android (or close to).

Did you re-launch the app under a new name to get new ratings after removing Facebook auth? Seems like the sensible thing to do...

I put up a small visual traceroute app up on Google Play recently - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rc.vtrace2 - and it was selling decently (7 sales within the first few hours), but then someone put a 2 star rating and, of course, nobody has touched it since. It's pretty interesting how much impact the first few reviews actually have on an app.

I lost that argument; we ended up killing the app entirely (and the company itself eventually went south)

It seems like about half the people are getting an "internet connection not found" error, and the other half are furious at the idea of a blind dating app.

This is great if you have a smartphone and only want to date people that have smartphones.

I'd actually trust the OK Cupid guys to do an interesting take on this.

Their blog has been a fantastic source of interesting articles of the things they have discovered with their unique dataset.


Well, it was certainly interesting, but it was only about a dozen blog posts and it stopped in April 2011.

Technically, this is a relaunch: it used to exist a few years ago. I'd assume the relaunch is an answer to Grouper?

And...it doesn't accept my Australian mobile phone number, nor does it accept my Spanish mobile phone number. :(

I think they mean re-launch, because this is something they had done a long time ago. With the same name even.

I threw a wish in the well, Don't ask me, I'll never tell I looked to you as it fell, And now you're in my way

I'd trade my soul for a wish, Pennies and dimes for a kiss I wasn't looking for this, But now you're in my way

Your stare was holdin', Ripped jeans, skin was showin' Hot night, wind was blowin' Where you think you're going, baby?

Hey, I just met you, And this is crazy, But here's my number, So call me, maybe?

That is one of the first songs I learned on my new ukulele. Only 3 chords in the whole tune!

A friend of mine actually started something like this, it's called meetcute.org

I'm surprised no one mentioned coffeemeetsbagel.com yet.

Launches? I used it in Boston ~4-5 years ago.

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