A discussion about my research into online dating for the Temporary Expert class at NYU ITP
I’ve been looking at studies examining race when it comes to online dating. One states, “The users of the dating service typically have strong preferences for a partner of their own ethnicity, and this effect is more pronounced for women than for men.” Another (diagram shown here) show a more complex system of preferences likely dictated by societal norms.
When I talk to others about my research into online dating, many of them convey their own stories to me. I’ve learned that this is an amazing way to glimpse into how others use online dating in their own unique ways: the experience of using these services when middle-aged, success stories where they end up getting married, horror stories (so, so many…), how they use X service for hooking up and Y service for serious dating.
This is part of why I want to cross-pollinate the features and dynamics of LGBT-exclusive networks with straight ones: different circles use these services in different ways. How does having “adult-only, unlockable” pictures and listed STI statuses affect the way straight people use, or shy away from, these services?
I’m interviewing a broad array of individuals on their memorable moments in online dating. Results to come.
Small Empires: finding love with 1s, 0s, and OkCupid
The Verge talks to OkCupid. This includes the creation of the company, how certain features came to be, and more.
Inside OKCupid: The math of online dating - Christian Rudder
Great summary of how OKCupid gets its numbers.
How I Gamed Online Data to Meet My Match: Amy Webb at TEDxMidAtlantic (by TEDxTalks)
This was a great talk about how she reverse-engineered online dating to meet her ideal man. She discusses her own research into how popular profiles are crafted (e.g. average of 97 words). There is another version of the talk here that gets into more specifics about her findings.
Data points she tracked during her dates early on:
This later grew into 72 data points - used to quantify how well someone matched her and establish minimum standards (separate from any metrics provided by dating websites themselves).
My final for Automata will be loosely based off of the original novel, Planet of the Apes. It is a wall hanging piece that tells the story of an astronaut who travels from one world to the other, encountering ape-like people, and escaping back home.