There were not one but two recent articles that crossed my path recently about online dating. It got me thinking about a subject I’ve come back to at least two different times (one and two), the idea of a social dating site. There is just so much information available on social sites that can lead to better relationships that’s largely untapped. If you could bring noticeably higher success rates to online dating, there’s almost no limit to the money that could be made. Anyway, these two articles made me rethink the way I had shaped my idea on the subject and I thought I’d share some thoughts. If you get rich off of them throw me a couple bucks.
The first article I noticed is from The Wall Street Journal and is a complaint about how dating sites work. It astutely points out that only about 0.5% of spousal attraction comes from personality. Instead, most attraction that lasts a marriage comes from shared conventional habits and shared or complimentary problem-solving techniques. It also talks about Try to figure those out from an eharmony profile. The article also explains that online dating encourages people to over analyze. It sites a really interesting study where college students who taste tested strawberry jam came up with very different results when they were not only exposed to a tasting but also a “profile” (seeds or no seeds, consistency, etc…). Think about what stupid peripheral information like whether or not a girl likes football does to your judgement of a potential date.
The second article is from RWW and talks about some of the latest new dating site innovations that are out there. One in particular caught my eye. It’s called Blind Video Date Game. It’s based on using your webcam to conduct a live session of the old 60s show, “The Dating Game”. I like it because it attacks that second problem, how do you make dating a little more intuitive and a little less structured.
What I think is still out there is the opportunity to address “conventional habits and problem-solving techniques”. There has to be a way to scrape that from social profiles. I’m sure if you looked for words or even the “voice” of most of my Facebook updates and Twitter posts you could tell how I address problems. If you looked at my Foursquare checkins you could see many of my conventional habits. Then instead of just exposing me to random people on the dating game you could expose me to people who I might be a good long-term fit with. Sound reasonable?