Like he said, he went on 55 dates, but only three second dates. The 55 dates really isn't too hard to do without the hacking, it's just a question of time. And the "three second dates" means his filter wasn't even that great -- he probably would have done better just simply browsing on the site, and only directly messaging the girls he found interesting in the first place.
But the real interesting thing here is the clustering into 7 types of women -- that's fantastic! I'd love to read more about that -- if he could write it up in a blog, OkTrends-style, I feel like it could get a huge number of hits. I think tons of people, including myself, would be interested in the details, especially if he did it for both men and women.
He probably learned more engineering and advanced math while I learned how to read subtle messages of profiles, project the right ones of my own and know what's worth talking about ahead of time by having conversation online first.
He probably got the satisfaction of 'hacking' the system, while I had more efficient expenditure of money (dates can get expensive on average for guys when you decide to at least offer to pay).
None of my OkC prospects looked like they would work out long-term, though I'm still good online friends with over half of them. I flippantly shut down my account 3 months before I would have to leave the country, because even if I met someone I didn't want to be in a long-distance relationship, so I decided to save myself the trouble.
And then met a girl the very next day (not kidding) that I really hit it off with when I wasn't looking, and we're planning to go traveling in Asia next month (it's been 7 months).
I'm a diehard hacker and nerd and all, but when things like this happen, it's hard to not wonder if the traditionalists do have a point when saying you can't figure these things out with numbers. At least not when people are gaming their numbers :)
The math is super-fascinating though, and I hope OkC team does some research into it and integrates some of the ideas: obviously they wouldn't want to support uber-profile optimization for multiple groups, but maybe help find the right groups, etc.
I do think his biggest win as a male on OkC was being able to generate all the inbound traffic he would want with no invested marketing on his part (besides writing his scripts). That's something even the most skilled male OkC connoisseurs find difficult to do.
Edited: to add last thought.
IMO that's something worth pondering. We're all good/bad at different things, while the world typically sets us up with one "standard" way of going about things. Establishing secondary, albeit less efficient routes, may be a lifesaver for many.
(apologies for the rather abstract writeup)
This, IMHO, is the best advice. I remember the Dalai Lama's advice about finding happiness. How do I find happiness? "Stop lookin, be happy", he said.
Same with dating. How do I find a date? Stop looking. More exactly, live life, and in time, you'll meet someone.
Part of the reason why is that someone sort of on the hunt isn't that attractive, because such a person isn't being totally natural, or themselves. The dating game becomes false. That is subtly there to see, and is a turn off. If not then what you get is potentially two false people under pressure to maintain something.
Yeah, I know, it can't work for all, circumstances, time, and all that. But so far, regardless of who I have passed this notion on to, regardless of their situation, in time, its worked. And worked solidly.
Unfortunately, this is something people do get fretful about, and then decide something has to be done.
That is a rather good philosophy in general, but for an average guy like me, the key to finding a good partner was exposure. By that I mean being active in a larger group of people that includes both men and women in a reasonable ratio, and where people communicate with each other.
Most of my time is occupied by my PhD studies in CS and I spend my free time with a good book or a movie. If I "stopped looking" with these hobbies and didn't do anything else, I simply wouldn't meet any single potential partner at all.
"Stop looking" may just mean "act like you're not looking", which is generally a good advice -- people are put off by subtle signs of despair in your eyes. But consider increasing your odds by raising your exposure, ideally while doing something non-desperate.
Suggestions: Some martial art that appeals to both genders; Mountain climbing; being more active on some gender-balanced discussion group or fan scene.
Sure, it works well in Disney movies.
It's true that happiness comes when you're settled with your lot in life. But you will instinctively rebel if you settle too early, on too little; this site is sort of dedicated to the art of not settling too early.
Life is not a journey pilgrimage with an important goal at the end, it is a musical thing and you are supposed to laugh and sing and dance along the way.
For the full text, check out this cool youtube animation made by the Southpark folks from his lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERbvKrH-GC4 (animation style is Southpark-like, content is Alan Watts)
You can enjoy your journey and be thankful for what you are having at the moment, not only the finish.
Translating this to our members of startup: concentrate on your activity, rather than focus on getting your first million.
That I disagree with, 4 years and hundreds upon hundreds of hours sunk into OKC, and I've had maybe 2 dozen dates from it.
Knowing how to optimize the site would be very useful. From pictures (OKC has MyBestFace that helps with that) to profile text. This guy obviously had good pictures (great pictures alone can make a profile, for either male or females), a decent profile, and the ability to write good opening messages.
Without at least 2 out of 3 of those, online dating becomes nearly impossible.
Each girl I ended up dating anyways for about a month or so because I had to move so often for work back then, but after getting to know them I found their question answers were largely meaningless, since it's a public site with their identity on it they of course lied and faked almost every question or purposely kept answers conservative in case somebody they worked with spied on their account and discovered their secret fetish or something.
This guy's method of mass visiting other accounts and never having to write opening messages is excellent though.
Don't just say "hi" or write a book, that just doesn't work.
Now I've been off the market for a couple years so things might have changed but more than likely they haven't.
1. Short messages like you said, 'hi, how are you?'. They basically get deleted instantly.
2. Long, thoughtful messages. I'd write a few paragraphs trying to make some jokes, and talk about what we have in common, and then ask a handful of questions about their interests. First problem, it's a lot of time on my end. Secondly, they need to invest a lot of time to respond. It's like those e-mails that you'll get to tomorrow, and then the day after, because you know they're going to be time consuming. Same thing, and eventually, they just say forget it, and never reply. Meanwhile, ask one fun question, and they can reply within a few seconds, and you're more liking to get a response.
3. Trying to keep a conversation rolling before asking them out. It goes downhill fast, and with every message, you risk them disappearing, or someone else grabbing their attention. I've lost count at the number of people I was talking with, everything sounded great after a handful of messages, then they fell off the face of the earth. Once again, ask them out after the first reply, and you don't have to worry about that happening.
In short, simple message, ask them out fast, and don't try too hard. Easy for you to write, easy for them to respond.
Bad. Would you like to get a coffee together sometime?
Good. I'm heading into town on Saturday, do you want to grab a quick drink at XYZ cafe early afternoon? They make a mean espresso. Anyway, I need to run for now, but let me know!
Something along those lines usually works for me. I might be analyzing things too much, but with the second example...
1. You're already going into town, it doesn't sound like you just sit at home, but instead you actually get out. Also, this coffee isn't the focus of the day, it's just a quick get together, and not a big deal for anyone.
2. You make decisive plans, which sounds confident.
3. You said you need to run, once again showing you're a busy person, with a life.
(On the other hand, updating your pictures genuinely can give you many, many more views, messages, and responses.)
I've read what most guys send my female friends on okcupid. Not just the random idiots, but what i would think would be otherwise intelligent people. It often comes off as desperate or creepy.
It's certainly true that it helps to be attractive. But I'm an average looking guy, but i have no problem finding dates on okcupid.
I've summarized the average guy profile here:
(humorously, this profile gets almost as many likes as my real profile)
Realistically, have someone of the opposite sex that is the type of person you want to attract, read your profile.
Ask them questions about what they like and don't.
That will solve your profile problems.
As for messages, this is harder.
The point is that you're not suddenly going to triple or quadruple your inbound message rate or reply rate by improving your written profile. This much is clear, and the fact that your average guy profile gets nearly as much positive attention as your real profile indicates as much.
However, smartly choosing quality pictures is probably the one thing anyone should do, and you're going to get far more value back for the investment than putting hours writing a profile slightly more witty and more interesting than your previous profile. It triples, or quadruples, or quintuples your reply rates.
ETA: Another way to look at it is this: someone who writes a boring profile and sends stilted messages will, at best, only be able to write a slightly less boring profile and won't in general be able to improve their crappy messages (with the assumption that the profile or messages don't contain stupid dealbreakers in the first place), no matter how much effort they put into the rewrite. If writing is an area of weakness for you, then rewriting isn't going to do much good for you. On the other hand, crappy pictures can be replaced in a matter of hours with something that anyone can tell is much better, even if you're not generally considered attractive.
I strongly disagree.
I have A/B tested written profiles on okcupid and elsewhere, and found it matters a lot.
" This much is clear, and the fact that your average guy profile gets nearly as much positive attention as your real profile indicates as much."
Actually, the attention is mainly from women who think it's hilarious :)
"However, smartly choosing quality pictures is probably the one thing anyone should do, and you're going to get far more value back for the investment than putting hours writing a profile slightly more witty and more interesting than your previous profile. It triples, or quadruples, or quintuples your reply rates.
I don't disagree with this either.
Far too many people have profile pictures that they don't look comfortable or confident in. For example, too many people dress/etc based on what they think people think looks good, instead of what makes them feel actually confident and attractive. They look uncomfortable as hell, and it's completely obvious to the outside world.
I think specifically in this context what is meant is 1) have good pictures 2) don't have bad pictures
Even OKc harps on pictures, because they know from their data that pictures are important.
(I thought they send this to everyone, but it turns out not to be true, it's related to profile clickthroughs. See http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2012/12/20/is-being-one-of...)
They also have the mybestface stuff, which helps a lot.
Annoyingly enough very similar to my profile! :P
But yeah. I have a good job, I go to the gym and workout, what the heck else am I expected to do? I'm working my ass off to make a positive impact on the world. Fuck if I am going to drop that so I can be a narcissistic asshole, quit my job, and fly around the world discovering myself.
As for the messages I send, I try my best to be original and different, for example,
What does make you laugh? The silliness of life? Those who take themselves too seriously, or those who take themselves not seriously at all? Both are amusing in their own way, though I cannot understand why one would pain themselves by taking life seriously!
Not to say life is without value, life most certainly has value, and helping others is the noblest of callings.
But, well, I own a 5 foot long remote controlled floating dolphin. I gave up on being 100% sane long ago. Technically I am sane, but I do enjoy having fun toying around with things. I also drive a bright orange car!
What about yourself? What is your alarm clock set to? I once set my dad's cell phone ringer to a rooster crowing. He was not pleased, although my mother almost fell out of her chair laughing.
(My current alarm is Violin music, in all honesty, it is not that good at waking me up!)
That message apparently didn't go over very well!
Other messages are sent such as
Hmm, a good cup of coffee may be easy to find, but I have had to teach myself how to make a good cup of tea! I find the ritual itself can be fairly relaxing. (Depends on the culture of the tea of course, some teas are easier to prepare than others!)
Is your work in the heathcare industry on something like replacing old people with robots? Someone should get on that. I know for a fact that the day I turn 60, I want a super strong steel alloy robot body.
Actually I might take that offer a bit sooner than 60, it'd be hard to wait!
Which also apparently didn't go over well either!
> But, well, I own a 5 foot long remote controlled floating dolphin. I gave up on being 100% sane long ago. Technically I am sane, but I do enjoy having fun toying around with things. I also drive a bright orange car!
What this says: I own toys, you should know about them! Also, I think I'm "crazy!" And I have an awesome car, look at my success!
It makes you sound kind of like you're filling your life with things because you've been socially rejected. If that whole block of indented text was your entire first message, then it's incredibly rambly and full of similar flags.
One of my most successful stream of messages went something like this: noticing that my potential date lived in Cambridge, I asked if they had explored the area (they said they were adventurous in their profile). When they responded with "Yeah, I've found some cool stuff", I then asked if they'd found the secret staircase that led to the lair of angry geese on the river?
This establishes both that 1. I've actually read their profile, and 2. I have some knowledge they would be interested in, and that they can share in.
Here's how I'd rephrase your second message:
I noticed from your profile that you enjoy a good cup of tea. Do you make your own, or have you visited a lot of different tea houses?
You're not overwhelming the other person with information, just asking a question that, if they've shown an interest, they're generally really happy to expand on. Don't treat your messages like emails or letters, but more like instant messages. Keep them short and easy to respond to, and let the other person tell you some of their story.
Edit: Also, don't ask so many things! It's hard enough for someone to want to answer a single question you ask them. Answering 3 or more is too much effort: if they wanted to start answering your first one, but kept reading instead, you've failed to convert, and by the third one they've likely skipped on to someone else's message.
(The $10 inflatable dolphin is supposed to be cute, ends up being really freaky looking, go figure!)
The dolphin was actually something I brought into work for my team to play with, we had a good chunk of the building watching as we flew it around our atrium. The problem is, it is hard to capture that I am the sort of person who is always thinking of ways to help make his team happy without writing really lame sentences like this one!
I do write more sane messages, to a girl who had mentioned that she liked eating animals,
What is your favorite mammal to consume? I've been on a lamb kick lately, lamb burgers stuffed with basil and spinach are so good! Put some goat cheese in the very middle, and life is divine!
and in other food related messages!
There is a place in the ID that sells durian milkshakes. The shakes are a bit on the strong side. :)
What other sorts of weird things have you had? I think squid jerky was one of the more interesting foodstuffs I've tried.
Overall, after 4 years of trying I've yet to find a good way to write messages. :/
I think squid jerky was one of the more interesting foodstuffs I've tried. What other sorts of weird things have you had?
You don't want to put too much information into messages. When you say less the other person will fill the blanks with their imagination, and people tend to be optimistic. They'll see you as they want to see you. Whereas your messages are full of a subtext that makes you seem over-enthusiastic and a bit "quirky!" (in other words: annoying).
Sorry for being blunt, just calling it how I see it from the few messages you have posted.
My sentence structure is almost always question first then statement, not the best form, but one that seems to come naturally to me. I'll work on flipping it around!
Then again I enjoy abuse of English in general, one the sign offs to a message I sent went as such:
With the names of artists hanging in the air, I shall end this message, with hopes of hearing a reply.
(That one did get a reply!)
I have done other hideous things on OKC as well, including getting into a short story writing contest with an English teacher one time. That was enjoyable. :-D
If the women you respond to aren't interested when you're being honest -- why bother sending them messages at all? (Lame, casual sex, I guess -- but there must be easier ways to go about finding that than hanging out on a web page?)
The problem is there are plenty of people with passionate, interesting lives, but who aren't good at communicating that interest, or have interests that don't appeal to (most of) the opposite sex.
In dating, where first impressions are everything, it's often more important to appear interesting than be interesting.
I've found that when people have persistent difficulties finding a partner, it's almost always because they aren't actually interested in the women they date, but have some platonic ideal of a woman that they think they ought to date and so are dating the wrong people.
> Basically, be interested in everyone
I think the main advantage of this is that it keeps your options open. It is a numbers game, after all.
I have a friend of mine who is short (generally considered a disadvantage) and who has one miserable picture, but his messages are good enough that he has a good success rate on OKC. (His messages also violate every guideline, they are at least 5 paragraphs long and very in depth!)
The problem is, it is disheartening in the extreme. Spending years going to the gym and getting in shape, get promotions at work, buy a house, all for naught.
Doing the math, I figured it'd take me a 3 or 4 dozen dates to get used to socializing with women in a dating environment. The problem is in the last 2 years my success rate at getting dates has plummeted, I used to be able get a date a week w/o issue, now, months upon months of work to get one date. Ugh. This obviously sets back progress of skill acquisition.
It is annoying, I am one of those people who is otherwise successful, but the amount of contact I had with women before joining my current team @ work was almost nil, so an entire skillset isn't there. OKC helps because it creates a way by which to meet women (for reference only one of my friends has any contact with women either!), but it involves what distinctly looks like black magic to be successful on it.
Recognizing non-verbal cross-gender communications. A subset of non-verbal communications in general of course, but there are (thankfully!) now good written resources on general purpose non-verbal communications.
Dance is just an easy thing to join: you could also go to underground music venues, join a co-ed softball/volleyball/tae kwon do team, take arts classes at a community college or join a book club at your library.
My confidence in social settings in general and particularly with women has been greatly improved. It's a great balance to programming and problem solving activities, too.
But yeah, dance classes have been recommended to me. I'm doing improv right now, which is already helping a good deal, it is a different set of experiences.
If you are at all able to approach a woman in real life and introduce yourself, do that instead. You'll get far more social interactions far faster (you don't even need to successfully ask anyone out to start improving).
As suggested elsewhere - joining a dance group or something is great for an easy environment for introductions. But even walking up to total strangers on the street and introducing yourself typically gets better responses than online dating. Where online dating beats "real life" is in using sheer volume to compensate.
I think that one big disadvantage for those who work in a highly technical field (engineer, scientist etc), contact with the ladies are quite few, this means opportunities for interaction will be significantly smaller.
I started using OkC to prove to an unreasonably paranoid (male) friend who was somewhat desperate to get a girlfriend that he should try it. He was based in Boston, myself in San Francisco. I would check profiles out from both locations and link him ones that I thought he might like. I was mostly just enjoying poking around the first month. I seriously approached the first girl that I did only because she played StarCraft. Ironically, the most dates (5) with a single girl off OkC I went on was with that first girl!
What worked for me there was picking a characteristic to look for that isn't "the sum of all features that would make my ideal girlfriend/wife" to find a person. And not something generic like "games" or "math" or "music." In my experience, even a specific TV show or music taste is not something people really relate over (I tried following a TV show to get along better with a girl I had a huge crush on who raved about it). If there's something specific you spend a lot of time on that you care about, try to find that. Talk about that. Try to find someone you would just love to geek out with, not because you're lonely and/or in need of a partner.
A lot of my other approaches were very similar to your messages. Asking lots of questions, showing an interest, proving I read their profile. Even though girls always demand you show you read their profile, dont ask that much. Just one question TOPS in a single message. Don't be that ridiculously interested in knowing everything about her so quickly. Just imagine the progression you had with getting to know your closest friend you know. It didn't start with you sitting across a table bombarding each other with questions. Pick one thing that catches your interest that you think would roll well. Go from there.
It's all about playing on your interpersonal strengths (everyone has something here). Mine is in being ridiculously passionate about a few topics (eg: education, women in technology, cross-culture romances) fairly popular among women in my preferred demographic. I am also even more passionate about game design and experience design, but I try not to get into that unless the girl expresses interest. And I always lay the disclaimer of how much I'm going to geek out when we get there. I too am uncomfortable with people-touching (although I very much wanted to not be!), so it took a while to get over that. Your weakness seems to be general communication discomfort around women. Takes a little getting used to. Of course you will get frustrated, but if you let any frustration show, it will heavily backfire. So try to keep a check on it!
However, as you can probably gather from my comment above, I think OkC (and online dating in general) is a difficult medium to make more than a superficial connection via. Context is everything. "Met online" just doesn't spark the magic. You need to have a better genesis story to even put you and the partner in the right mood.
PS: You're most certainly not unattractive. There's definitely a significant segment of women which definitely intersects the set that you'd be interested in that would find you attractive, and that's all that matters.
He released a 37 page eBook with an easy-to-implement blueprint: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HY351S2
I think it depends where you live. In some places you can have as many dates as you want, in others, it's even difficult to have someone read the messages you sent. I experienced both.
He'd already tried that, the article claimed. The problem is that he didn't know what was important to the women he was interested in, and so didn't know what parts of his life to mention in the OKC profile, to attract first dates from women he, as you note, might well have messaged anyway.
I think a large number of essentially useless dates bears this out
You know... there's a damn big chance you find someone worth having a relationship after 88 dates. Something tells me his technique was no better than just dating at random.
I wonder if the next generation of dating sites will match people based on facial expressions and body language (captured by a Kinect, for example), instead of all these stupid quiz questions.
There are some people that get into relationships much more quickly, but oftentimes those are the same people who get out of relationships really quickly, because they didn't choose a good match to begin with. There are also outliers who find someone great when they're not really looking, but they are outliers.
Think of it this way: someone who went on 90 dates before they found a match set their bar at the 99th percentile. Someone who went on 10 dates set their bar at the 90th percentile. Someone who went on 2 set their bar at the 50th percentile. These aren't exact figures - there's luck involved too - but they illustrate the trade-off involved.
If this is truly a numbers game, not sure if speed dating or something similar is a much better approach...
The match percentage was useless as a filter, but who cares? The new filter was my profile, and women who liked it messaged me.
Within a few weeks I'd been on several dates — I'm now married to the last woman I dated from then. She messaged me.
I don't see how his system was better than just using the site as it is intended, nor do I think it should be romanticized as much as it is in this article.
: Though it fails the categorical imperative. If everybody did this okcupid would be much worse off.
Hard to say the process didn't improve things for him, though - maybe he's distinct enough that compatibility for him is more rare than average.
The categorical imperative is not a consequentialist motivation. It doesn't say, "Don't do X if doing so would make Y worse off."
Also, here's my .02 re-posted from the comments section:
Rather than answer the questions that were important to him he decided to find a set of people he thought he would like then only answer the questions they care about, and not even the way he would naturally answer them, rather he used an algorithm to determine the weight that would be best to get the highest match %. The fact of the matter is he could've spent a fraction of the time just answering all the questions honestly and with his honest weights and he would've found high matches too. Furthermore, he could've narrowed it down to just the kind of people he wanted through a normal search and then filter their questions based on what's important to them (which is a normal question filter on OkCupid).
So in fact what he did was pretty bad, violates OkCupid's TOS in numerous ways and at the end of the day wasn't honest to himself as he created specific profiles for his targets.
Honestly, we should not be celebrating this.
To recap what he did:
1. Didn't want to answer questions, so let's find all the questions that are important to everybody from the categories of people he thinks he likes based on clustering and then browsing a profile or two of people in that cluster. (He did this by creating numerous fake profiles and having those bots answer all the questions so he could scrape his targets question)
3. Create specific profile for his targeted group. With words and information that he knew they would like.
2. Answer ONLY the set of questions deemed important to those people. He answered these with weights determined by an algorithm that determined the best weight to achieve the highest match% rather than honestly.
3. WIth new found 99% matches go on dates with these people and follow normal dating process.
Now that we see the above broken down we can see that it's really not good. In fact, he was only answering what they wanted, and created profiles for them. But he wasn't being honest with himself or with his answers. If we're trying to match with everyone, which is essentially what he did, it's not that difficult to do. The fact that he eventually found someone is great, but the information used was faulty. Obviously there's no way he would be 99% with that many people normally.
“People are much more complicated than their profiles,” she says. “So the way we met was kind of superficial, but everything that happened after is not superficial at all. It’s been cultivated through a lot of work.”
“It’s not like, we matched and therefore we have a great relationship,” McKinlay agrees. “It was just a mechanism to put us in the same room."
Yes, if the point was to get two people in a room I could possibly go with that argument, but he could've spent a fraction of the time answering questions and then following up with people and end up in the same room. This feels like a rube golderberg machine for a date.
In any case I'm of course happy for him, but it rubs me the wrong way that this lying, manipulation, and outright disregard for the other users is being celebrated.
You're also assuming that the set of questions he had algorithmically selected did not overlap with the questions that were important to him. This seems unlikely.
The only dishonesty here is that by (presumably) determining the breadth and detail of his answers by order of importance to the cluster, he is in effect answering the questions /as if/ they are as important to him as they are to the average representative of that cluster. But if everyone else was also answering the questions "more or less" at random anyway ("He’d been approaching online matchmaking like any other user"), this doesn't seem so bad (and is probably why his algorithm gave him so many failed dates, since the relevant questions wouldn't have been answered).
Honestly all he did was make himself way more visible. You'd probably get a good amount of dates by making a sign and sitting in Central Park too. Sure, it's a bit distateful, but no less manipulative than that (and much more clever).
My general concern is that manipulating of the data in this way essentially lowers the value of the data in general and thus becomes a cycle resulting in the actual features of the site being no longer useful.
And, on that note, exploiting the game has a strong tradition elsewhere too. Expecting that the data set is not already corrupted beyond recognition by people trying to manipulate their data to get ahead is silly.
I remember reading somewhere that there were actually more female users of these dating sites. So the difference would be purely one of behavioral habits.
Thinking about it, I can't think of a single animal species where the female is the one seeking out the males. Then again, evolutionary analogies are very un-PC around here.
POTENTIAL ROMANTIC PARTNER DETECTED
FEMALE FLIRT SEQUENCE INITIATED
EXCEPTION: HUMAN EMOTION FOUND
ABORT, RETRY, FAIL?
Maybe they don't with YOU.
Thinking about it, I can't think of a single animal species where the female is the one seeking out the males.
(See also tymero's comment below, and): http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20111222124528AA...
As for females initiating courtship in human populations -- I don't think it's just a nordic thing, I think it's an equality thing. I'm sure you'll find (sub)cultures most places where women are more active -- and I'm guessing that on balance those are (sub)cultures that are in general more gender-equal.
But, as I've lived (and dated, pitiful as my exploits are) mostly in Norway -- I might be biased :-)
Also, the "slutty northern European women" stereotype just comes from the way they behave abroad, when they lose some inhibitions since nobody from back home is around to pass judgment on them.
It's the opposite. In environments like parties and bars women subtly initiate most interactions. They maneuver closer and do the glance thing.
Same reason they ignore certain men - lack of attraction.
You suggest he should just trust OKCupid's algorithms to find people, but that's assuming that their algorithms are good in the first place, and that there isn't much competition from other men doing the same thing.
And when you don't care much, you can near-randomly pick an answer that turns out to be disliked by someone, and turn noise into a negative signal. So why answer that at all?
Post a "Blind Date" message in the M4W section of CL. In the message describe your self as honestly as you can, while still being interesting and flattering to yourself. Ask the women to describe themselves to you in the reply. Say one or two interesting things about your self, and what you are looking for. Request that the responding girl does NOT send you a picture, and wait for the messages to roll in :)
I picked up quite a few dates that way, all the girls were beautiful, smart, and very interesting to talk to. Because we weren't a "100%" match, we actually had some different points of view, which lead to fun conversations.
You might think this would lead to you perhaps going out with girls who are not very good looking. First of all, you can have lot's of fun with a girl, even if you are not sexually attracted to her. But in reality, only girls who are very beautiful and confident in their appearance would actually reply to this message.
In any case, it worked great for me. I met lot's of cool girls, and eventually found the love of my life.
"Amy Webb was having no luck with online dating. The dates she liked didn't write her back, and her own profile attracted crickets (and worse). So, as any fan of data would do: she started making a spreadsheet. Hear the story of how she went on to hack her online dating life -- with frustrating, funny and life-changing results."
I have no idea what our match percentage was, and there were a few things in my profile that were turn-offs for her, all of which appeared in my only picture on the site: Me, with a fresh buzz-cut, jogging up a hill with my dog. She's allergic to dogs, doesn't run because of her asthma, and prefers long hair.
All of that was superficial, and she was able to look past it. She engaged me mainly because of the descriptive content in my profile. I just went nuts explaining who I was, in a chatty, stream of consciousness manner.
In the end, I re-homed my dog with her own parents, and let my hair grow to 21", which I started growing out again after we'd been married for a year. That wasn't all her; I had hair that length in high school and chopped it off to help me stay employed.
What's my point? The content matters most. You can optimize your approach to searching for matches, and you can go on lots of dates, but you can't force a good real-world match. If it's there, you'll know. No mathematical model of searching, nor red-pill-esque approach to building self confidence will be more effective than an open exchange of ideas between a couple. Get to the messaging. Give her a chance to be disinterested, because that's a hurdle you'll need to cross at some point in the relationship... assuming, that is, that you're looking for love.
the scrapper was written in newlisp (save search result pages with curl, use regex to match and collect the ids). it's probably easier to write in other languages, but that's what i knew.
i used wget and curl to loop over the ids but it's too slow because they download the whole page. later i found out about 'curl -i' (header only) and a million ids was done in about hour or two (i moved my operation from my home's 64kbps to my colo datacenter mbps internet).
my account is no longer exist (probably banned); however, i do still have a screenshot of me having 3000 female-only-friends and 70000 non-hidden-females 'look back at my profile'
initially, i talked to any interesting woman; however, later i made a strict rule to only respond to women who wrote at me. there were just too many fake female-accounts.
i got a couple of dates from this feat; however, i met my wife in a traditional catholic youth retreat. when i let her know about this friendster thingy, she just laughed. now i'm happily married with a 15-months-old boy.
Math genius? More a spambot writer, but not for money, for an advantage.
When I was on OKC, about 1 in 20 messages would result in a first date; but you bet that more than 50% of first dates turned into second dates.
When women first meet you, it's almost like they're going through a checklist in their heads: is this guy a creep? A rapist? A jerk? etc. etc. (this is just the impression I got). If you don't trigger any of the alerts, you're golden.
One of the biggest mistakes nerds (like myself) make on their profiles and on dates is that we try to impress the woman with our encyclopedic knowledge of some esoteric subject. That's a sure turnoff.
Maybe we should have an "ask HN" on dating ... :-)
I was looking for very specific things (Catholic, educated, no kids, 25 or older, etc). I scrapped (slowly) the site content and threw all the fields in a database so I could query it locally :)
I filled out my profile as complete as possible about myself and who I was looking for. DateInAsia lets people know when you viewed their profile... so my Python script automatically viewed all the profiles that matched my search queries. Many of them viewed my profile in return and those who were interested messaged me. I met some nice ladies that way but it turned out to be a Filipina lady I met in an unrelated chatroom who I fell in love with.
My own more humble attempt at mixing geekdom with love :) but love comes in unexpected places not ruled by math
I think I read through just about every one of those 1000 profiles, but my girlfriend's stood out... in a way that I could not have discerned computationally. Our match percentage was around 60%, for instance. She was the first/only girl I messaged. Things are still going great!
By the way, I live in Cambodia... what the fuck am I supposed to do? Not date anyone? I guarantee you I would be more likely to end up with a mismatch of power if I stuck strictly to IRL dating.
I can see body type making a difference, because it's important to find your mate attractive. But even then, don't harp on it too much. I know a guy who refuses to date any girl who isn't a size zero. Unsurprisingly he gets no dates. If he just gave other girls a chance, he might discover that he's attracted to a wider variety of body types than he thinks he is.
It seems like a totally rational response to the insanities of online dating. Especially as a guy, you have to message hundreds of women to even get a handful of replies. Through automation, he's equalized the playing field so that, like women, he has the opportunity to filter only amongst those who have already expressed interested in him. No more time/effort wasted on women who never reply.
I actually was working on an automated framework for batch messaging and a/b testing on OKCupid (https://github.com/morgante/abcupid) before realizing I don't have time for a relationship.
Also a link to the kindle edition of his analysis:
Have several friends on the site, all with their real profiles. When you like a girl, have a friend with the most compatibility message her, and introduce you two. If such a "cool" guy vouches for you, how great must you be? She is intrigued. She hasnt gotten messages like this. And you go out w her. Not only that but you start w a warm introduction and something to talk about.
And if she doesn't respond to him, you can message her yourself, and bam - double your chances.
You could even say that the stock exchange is like a dating site but for investors.
Disclaimer: I'm married and never used OkCupid or any dating site.
Sure, but it's a lot easier to meet those 88 people if you can get them to message you. For most guys to meet 88 women via OkCupid they'd have to send thousands of messages, which would probably take years.
It sounds like rather than actually trying to use the service he didn't feel it was worth the time and rather spent enormous effort to figure out what questions he should answer and how best to fill out the profile.
I am glad it worked out for him, but I would recommend people to just focus on connecting with people when they are on a first date rather than worry about if they are a "match".
Also, anecdotally I believe men far outnumber women on these sites so that clearly skews the ratio in women's favor which means by law of supply and demand women choose on these sites and not men in most cases. I've gone on dates with women I met online and many of them told me it was not uncommon for them to receive hundreds of messages a day and here we have a brilliant PhD student happy with 20. Just sayin
I find it interesting that he did so much analysis based on interests, beliefs, etc. and he ended up getting messaged because of a search that was pretty superficial.
Edit:yes Amy Webb ted talk http://tinyurl.com/ktrb2f4
It's certainly not an optimal system for casual sex, but it does a reasonable job of finding candidates for any relationship more serious than that.
I mean, men using dating sites like OkCupid are mostly creepy people already, but actually writing programs to automate stuff on OkCupid?
That's basically fulfilling the prophecy that men are just in for the sex.
>I mean, men using dating sites like OkCupid are mostly creepy people already,
>but actually writing programs to automate stuff on OkCupid?
Do you realize what site you're on?
>That's basically fulfilling the prophecy that men are just in for the sex.
How in god's name did you reach that conclusion?