Like Pro-Wrestling, online dating is not a con

The argument is raging thick and fast between the scientists in the logical world and the owners of dating sites who claim to use strings of logic – algorithms – to pair individuals on matchmaking personals sites. But are the scientists who are ranting against the calculations missing the point entirely, and just playing into the mainstream big-hitters marketing plan even more by giving these algorithms credibility by even warranting that they exist, at all?

The simple point of fact is that, if a single believes they have an element on their side to help them find love online where they have failed to do so in the real world, they are more likely to be open to committing to someone who they believe is a scientific match, even though they have proven to themselves, by getting their online relationship to the stage of dating offline, that there is a chemistry there between them with these huge strings of logic to testify the fact.

Any businessman knows that it is easier to sell to a qualified lead than to cold call and expect the same return. Singles join for the dream – there is no selling involved; they already want your product and are prepared to pay handsomely monthly for it – and the expectation is that they’ll end up getting married through one dating site facility or another. Okay, it might not be to the single they hooked up with as a result of a string of calculations on a server in deepest Texas, but you can bet, being so sold on the idea and having the chance to ‘get to know that person’ through the medium of chat is perhaps half of the courtship battle done and dusted.

But the wording of the marketing is very cleverly put together. It doesn’t actually come out and say that: 542 couples per day get married who met on eHarmony because of a string of useless data. It states that so many people tied the knot because of the dating site. With there so many people in the US, the chances of two singles meeting otherwise would be very slim without this facility.

So, you have to ask yourself: Is algorithmic online dating a con?

Or rather, like Pro-Wrestling, nothing but show? Excellently choreographed to provide entertainment of the highest level, and fit enough to run with the best? I think it probably is. A con, no. But if you go into it with your eyes wide open, you’ll probably have a better experience for it. The scientists can argue about the algorithms all day, but, the bottom line is, do dating sites bring two people together into a loving relationship? You bet your candied ass it does.

A survey of US dating singles reveals their outlook for 2012

Here in the UK, we have this impression that everything in the US is bigger and better than on this side of The Pond. Thanks to a survey of 5,000 of its singles by Match.com, we’re about to find if their online dating scene is vastly different to our own or remarkably similar.

The survey, launched to gauge the temperament and outlook of its US dating membership for the year ahead, is typically vociferous of the American public, airing their thoughts on politics, relationships, sex, love and, of course, online dating.

The questions ranged from liberal to conservative and being as intimate as to enquire about the participants’ current sexual proclivity to what are the absolute killers when it comes to deciding whether on online relationship is worth doing or dumping.

The first thing that is fundamentally different between the singles in the US and in this country is that political affiliation really counts for something. It is almost as if the US maxim of The Land of the Free is truly in-ground into its singles citizenship – as if everyone with an opinion truly believes they can make a difference; compare that with the level of indifference exhibited by the youth of the UK and it underlines why this study matters and what the British youth can learn from their peers on US dating sites.

The roll call for the contributors to the survey is, in the context of online dating, impressive to say the least. Some of the most recognised names from the world of dating site science were instrumental in both formulating the quiz and assessing the results from the 5,000 participants.

And rather than just posting the results and saying: that’s that, deal with it, each of the renowned dating site scientists will be opining their views on the elements relavent to their own field of study over the coming weeks.

In our next couple of articles, we’ll take a look at some of the surprising results that have been published and will follow up over the coming weeks with the dating site’s scientists views and assessments as they are published.

Dating site scientists? You do the math.

cont’d from: What makes your dating site tick?

As the dust settles on the Miami iDate event, the first of three scheduled for 2012, the online dating industry’s top brass either go home to lick their wounds or pat themselves on the back after collecting yet another scoop of awards. Those who’ve lost out this time will have another chance to gain favour in the summer in Europe or back to the US again in fall as the US party season begins in earnest.

At a time when so much of their underbelly has been exposed, one full week in Miami at the end of January, the dating industry couldn’t have picked its moment better for the world’s media to find fault. And there was, reading between the lines from the first reports finding their way out of Florida, plenty of petty backstabbing and one-upmanship to be had, if you looked in the right places.

For any of the global dating site membership that actually care about the cogs behind the whole online dating process (which is probably not many, to be fair), they’ve only got a fortnight left to be annoyed at any of the dating sites before ‘all is forgiven’ when they land a date via their service for Valentines Day.

As well as the huge wads of cash that seem to be floating about from investors looking to get their claws into any promising new venture, the other most sought after possession from this year’s iDate Conference was: how does your algorithm work? For some dating sites, they are just not prepared to divulge what strings of x, y and z conditions must be met before a perfect match appears, as if by magic, after filling in their questionnaires. This has led to open floor criticism, questioning how some dating sites can claim scientific matches when there is no evidence available that there search criteria is based on any kind of formula.

Whereas other matchmaking site owners have been quite open and more or less stated that, even though research into vast ranges of questions to ask its dating site membership has been executed beforehand, it is the singles who actually find love on line themselves by the answers they give. There is no giant mainframe computer in the background banging, ticking and whirring like Deep Thought – a simple percentage match is your answer, then the rest is up to the single to pick from those closest, mathematically-derived results.

Much more to come on the fallout from iDate 2012, Miami as and when the reports hit the press; stay tuned for the specifics about your chosen dating site.