Shawn Hessinger

E-Chat Recap: Dating Data Lacks Sufficient Dimension

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Ariella
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Re: Online Kismet
Ariella   3/24/2012 11:20:10 PM
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An online dating inforgraphic was just posted on Mashable

Pierre DeBois
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Re: Online Kismet
Pierre DeBois   2/22/2012 7:32:37 AM
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Ariella's point is an excellent one, Shawn.  One advantage of the profiles is that you get to choose  what kind of personal statistics that you want to deal with.  Prefer a smoker? It's on the profile versus having to raise the question in a conversation.  Even in business networking some questions, while essential to specific decisions, can be awkward to ask - When was the last time you've seen a business development manager openly ask a prospective contect at an expo if they can pay? The same amount of balancing inteerst and interrogation can happen in dating. Profiles provide a personal vetting process.

Pierre DeBois
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Re: Online Kismet
Pierre DeBois   2/22/2012 7:22:17 AM
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Shawn,

I think the answer for many people lies somewhere between increasing the odds and a belief that "no algorthm that really pick the best for me".  People like to believ in something more emotional than being quantifies.  They may allow it to some degree based on the widespread availability of analytics, but most people want to believe that their personal decisions influenced the chances for love, even in a dating site.

Lyndon_Henry
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Analytics plus singles bars?
Lyndon_Henry   2/21/2012 10:26:41 PM
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Unfortunately I missed participating in the poll. In any case I came out of the E-chat slightly less skeptical about the dating services and their analytics than I went into it.

For people that can relate to basically blind dating (and it's not totally "blind", I found out), it's probably an improvement, especially if they need something to overcome any inertia. I've also referred several times to putting yourself in what Dr. Phil calls a "target-rich environment", and probably narrowing down the field to lots of people with common interests can do this.

On the other hand, there's still a lot that can be said for the singles bar (in which not all are singles, of course, but leaving that aside...) Seems to me that the new business model for an innovative dating service would be to combine the analytics with its compatibility selection process with specialized singles bars, where all the people meeting the compatibility criteria would have a chance to do whatever they do there besides getting sloshed. At least they'd have a chance to give the old "It' factor a chance as well as improve the possibilities for the Click.

Wonder how a name like Love Analytics would work for a singles bar... My mind is already starting to invent the new cocktails...

Shawn Hessinger
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Re: Online Kismet
Shawn Hessinger   2/21/2012 8:33:52 PM
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Hospice and Ariella,

Another thought brought up during our chat about a better way to think of the benefits dating sites actually do provide. As I quoted him in the wrap up blog above, AllAnalytics.com blogger Cordell Wise suggests:

It could be a problem of defining the objective function. Do you really expect a successful relationship from a dating site, or is it enough to increase the odds of such?

Hospice_Houngbo
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Re: Online Kismet
Hospice_Houngbo   2/21/2012 6:08:42 PM
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@Callmebob


It sounds like your friend's perseverance has finally paid off. But most people don't have this stamina and they would have given up after the first frustration. That is what makes us say that dating sites are not the convenient places to find one's soulmate.

Shawn Hessinger
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Re: Online Kismet
Shawn Hessinger   2/21/2012 2:45:13 PM
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I think you said it best during the chat, Ariella:

To be fair, it is better than a singles bar, and the singles events that a friend of mine described to me sound like nightmares. Introverts, in particular, would probably find it easier to initiate contact online. One just has to realize that the real test will come in person.

Ariella
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Re: Online Kismet
Ariella   2/21/2012 2:33:39 PM
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@Callmebob, yes, that's exactly it. Your own story reminds me of an episode in From Time to Time, in which one character deliberately gets in the way to prevent two people from meeting and marrying. He has the best intentions, of course. 

Callmebob
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Re: Online Kismet
Callmebob   2/21/2012 2:13:59 PM
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@Ariella - Can't disagree with you. All love matches are happenstance, 1 sample about my friend proves nothing and is strictly anecdotal. I met my wife on a street corner (No, not that kind of street corner) in a city of 12 million. So 1 in 12 million are not very good odds and is on par with the lottery. If I had been 30 seconds delayed, crossed a different street, or stopped to tie my shoe I could still be single today. To me, it's all about reducing the odds. If it helps, try online dating. If it doesn't, go to the MOMA and wait for someone to ask you to explain that Jackson Pollock painting you've been staring at for hours.

Ariella
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Re: Online Kismet
Ariella   2/21/2012 1:46:51 PM
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@Callmebob We all love happy endings, but from a scientific perspective, such testimonials are not real proof of greater effectiveness. As you point out, on the intital run, your friends got somewhat frustrated with the process of online dating. It was only because he gave it another shot that he met someone who clicked with on it. The same could happen at singles events, too. You could get overwhelmed at one and then return to a second one where you happen to meet up with someone you like.  Or you could keep mulling around bookstores until you strike up a conversation with someone you want to keep saying -- a tactic I'm told some singles adopt. Anything could work, but the fact that a particular tactic worked for someone you know is not conclusive.  It would be rather like  as a lottery winner bought his ticket at this store, I can conclude that this is a lucky location.

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