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Post 4: Which website?

like-a-hole-in-my-headI got my start here ragging on behavior I encounter on Ok Cupid. “So why doesn’t she try a different website?” you muse into that double latte your loving partner just made for you. After my non-exclusive, non scientific, admittedly biased, impatient survey, I’ve concluded that OK Cupid is the best site. At least it’s as good as any and better than many. (And my rantings are aimed at the posters, not the sites.)

For one thing, OK Cupid is free (although you can choose to be a paying customer and get a few extra bennies) In my geographic area and age group it seems to be widely used. Another plus is that it doesn’t pretend to do much. I like that, because I think the doings that other sites promise (secret algorithms, best matches based on tests and biases and how the chicken feet land on the table) are bogus.

But there are lots and lots of sites, most of which are owned by the same conglomerate—IAC’s The Match Group. (CEO Sam Yagan of this autonomous sub, hinted, in his recent interview with The New York Times that growth is imminent. “We are not just the acquirer of choice,” he said. “We are the only acquirer.”)

So we know where the big big matches are headed. Any securities lawyer can tell you about the way-crazy personality tests those companies are going to have to take. And hey, we all know, we want to take a multi-branded approach. Duh. Adweek September 15, 2014.)

There are the other big sites we all know about. There are specialty sites, notably Jdate (not enough Js here in Portland and I know those people. Let me assure you there’s nothing more disheartening than running across someone you actually know on a dating site.) There are sites for other religious groups. There are sites for: single pet lovers; single dog lovers; folks who like to strip uniforms off their sweeties; professionals; Over 40’s; Over 50’s’; married dating; naughty dating …

And then there’s Plenty of Fish (POF). At one time at least, this was the largest free site—that means you can message and receive messages free (You can also do this free on OKC.) You can upgrade—which means pay–but you don’t have to. And they offer a bunch of potentially interesting compatibility and relationship-type tests. Take these and the computer will analyze your answers and write boatloads of text that may even include suggested follow-on questions and behavioral advice-ish sort of stuff.

None of the men on the site take these tests, so it’s not like you’re really going to get to see this potentially valuable info about him anyway. It just seems like so much more info you’re asked to put into the company’s computers, and POF doesn’t have such a good privacy record already, so … POOF. My non-exclusive, non scientific, admittedly biased, impatient research tells me this site has a very unfamiliar, cumbersome interface (lots of back-button work required) and I can’t see how it can possibly be clearer to anyone else.

That’s more than enough of this market-type analysis. My fun is in highlighting annoying, weird, crazy stuff that really happens. (Actually, I’m more focused on routine misses and reveals.) Since I’m almost at the end of my patience for this week, let me just get this off my chest: men, proofread your text before you post it. Maybe have someone else look it over. We all make typos and they can be hard to catch. And a true typo may not be the end of the world (or the non-relationship.) But you cannot date a woman with a college degree if you don’t know the difference between two, to and too. Third grade teachers in the 1960’s did not answer your question “why do we need to know this” by explaining “so you can get a date when you’re 55,” but it’s twue, it’s twue. (Apologies, Gilda.)