July 31, 2005
The first signup screen at Match.com is deceptively simple. What username do I want and what is my birthdate?
Both questions, however, pose interesting challenges. With regards to the username, it’s not clear what the consequences are of getting stuck with a dorky name. [Yes, you're stuck with the username forever and other users get to see it, so put some thought into making one up.]
But the date of birth question, that’s interesting because some less scrupulous people will be tempted to lie. Men will like so they can date younger women, and women will lie so men will find them more attractive.
I’ve noticed that some online dating services let you change your date of birth after you’ve registered. This is not something I’d program into a dating site. There’s no reason that a person would be changing their date of birth unless they're lying, and lying isn’t something I’d want to go out of the way to encourage.
July 30, 2005
The first step in finding a date online is choosing an online dating service. For this experiment I will be using Match.com. Why Match.com? Basically, because it’s the biggest online dating service, so more readers of this blog will be familiar with Match.com than any other service.
Of course I’m aware that Match.com has less than stellar reviews. Currently the average rating is only 2.00 out of a possible 5.00. I primarily see three reasons for the low rating. (1) The review site tends to attract the most disgruntled users. Those who are satisfied have less incentive to take the time to write a review. (2) People go into online dating with unrealistic expectations. For example, going into this as a thirty-eight year old somewhat nerdy male, I might think that I’m going to find a super hot girl in her early twenties eager to hook up with me. That would be pretty unrealistic (and sadly so, but more on this in a future post). (3) The reviews probably do reflect the fact that the dating services are run by money grubbing corporations more interested in making profits than actually helping people meet each other.
The main issue I have with Match.com is that both parties must be paying members in order for two-way communication to take place. What kind of woman is so desperate to meet some guy that she is going to pay to read emails? A hot woman can just walk into a bar and sit there and she’s guaranteed to have eager men hit on her. And get some free drinks at the same time.
But, according to what I hear, women in Manhattan are pretty desperate to find boyfriends once they hit their thirties, due to all the men preferring women in their twenties and a male/female ratio more unfavorable to women than just about any other place in the country. And everyone who lives in Manhattan is pretty rich, so even the women can afford to drop some money to pay for a Match.com subscription.
Soon we will learn if the theory in the previous paragraph meets the reality.
July 29, 2005
This blog started with the idea that I would update it frequently with news about the online dating industry. Unfortunately, that became boring for me rather quickly and it has been a year since I entered any such updates.
However, it occurs to me that I’m single and could do with meeting some members of the opposite sex. So why not write about my own experiences actually using an online dating service?
To give you some necessary background, I'm a white male in my thirties who recently moved to New York City.
I will also leave this open to comments. I know a lot of people who visit this site want to say stuff that doesn’t fit in the review format, so the comment sections to the blog posts may be the more appropriate place to do it.