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.

What makes your dating site tick?

It’s very good timing, when you think about it, holding the iDate super conference at this time of the year. While most of us are still trying to figure how we’re going to do this year differently (after a month has passed us by, already) the powers that be in the world of online dating have had their first of three big pow-wows and thoughts are already turning to 2013, with most of this year’s news either in the pipeline or already done and dusted, it seems, even before we hit Valentine’s Day.

The first of many reports, insights, diagnostics and headlines are already in the editing rooms of the glossies, announcing victories for the best dating site for x, the matchmaking site to watch out for this year is y and the quickest way to get laid is on any one of these three dating sites at point z (or should that be G?).

Beneath all of that glamour and glitz lies the very real truth about dating sites and that those at the top of the pile are not all as loved up with each other as perhaps we were led to believe, going on cruises after the event with one another and toasting the dating industry’s success with a bottle of DP ’59 as they sail off into the sunset together.

Now that the industry is getting on for a global nett worth, according to one report, of $4bn, it has attracted bigger investors than ever before. Attitudes have changed in the business world as well as the real world and online dating is a very sound investment if you’re looking for somewhere to shift your oil and gas stocks to improve your pension realisation fund. And it’s starting to tell.

Not that the larger of the dating sites are short of a few bob. Free online dating service OkCupid was sold to Match.com last year for $90M. Folks – that’s a business that doesn’t charge its membership but relies on advertising for its revenue and it commanded $90M – staggering. Howaboutwe, the quick hook-up dating site that you can carry around on your android and be dating in minutes from wherever you are, has found a quick and easy $15M to fund its growth.

No, the real truth is, as the pie gets bigger, those who are elbow-deep in it already want to dive right in and shovel up as much of that filling as they can.

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