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Planning a _good_ Dating Site

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  • Shlomi Fish
    I am a [male] seeking a [female] between [20]-[30]. Super. But what if I have any hair colour preference? Or area of residence? Or wish to have some common
    Message 1 of 9 , May 11, 2005
      "I am a [male] seeking a [female] between [20]-[30]."

      Super. But what if I have any hair colour preference? Or area of residence? Or
      wish to have some common interests? Or don't want her to like the Opera
      because I find it so boring? Come on. Even Paul Graham said the state of the
      art in dating services suck.

      Here's my plan:

      1. Each user edits his profile that contains any information he'd like to put
      there (relational). He will have a lot of aiding but optional JavaScript, to
      facilitate filling the form. (possibly while having a no-javascript version
      of the form for accessibility). Not AJAX mind you, just plain old HTML
      controls and buttons.

      2. He can specify his or her:
      - Hair colour
      - Age
      - Gender (dah!)
      - Sorry but there would be a separate site for both genders' homosexual
      tendencies. I'm not outcasting anyone, I'm simplifying an already complex
      topic. Naturally, however, the user may serialize his information into an XML
      record, with a specified well-documented schema to transfer to other sites or
      store for prosperity.
      - Area of Residence.
      - Eye colour (more minor than hair but nonetheless).
      - Areas of interest, hobbies, etc.
      - You get the drift.
      - Links to homepages. (as many as say 10)
      - Links to weblogs. (as many as say 20)
      - E-mail address.
      - Disabilities, allergies, etc. [1]
      -

      3. He can specify his preferences for his S.O. as:
      - Preferred hair colours.
      - Preferred age.
      - No preferred gender - derives from sites' context.
      - Other locations that are OK.
      - You get the drift

      4. He can maintain a blog about his romantic activities, thoughts and feelings
      (or anything else he find appropriate) with nested comments.

      Now how will matches be found? It's simple and complicated at the same time:
      using a customizable weight function. There will be a default one and some
      pre-defined customary ones, and users can share their own customized searches
      (exported to text) on the Internet.

      Here's a workplan for deployment:

      1. Working prototype using Ruby-on-Rails and PostgreSQL or Firebird - 3 weeks.

      2. Deployment of the working prototype in one's native country, and for a
      niche . (instanenous. Requires

      3. Re-implementing the code in Perl or Python and generalizing it (no, Chen,
      speed is not the issue here. Popularity, language sentiments and
      ubiquitousness are.). - 6 weeks.

      4. Collecting the necessary data from Public Domain data (interests tree,
      possible job/position trees and areas, etc.) - 2 weeks. (a matter of a few
      Perl/etc. scripts at most part).

      5. Deploying on a larger scale for an international audience - instaneous.

      Success percent: ?

      So, what do you think. Got a match?

      Regards,

      Shlomi Fish

      [1] Sorry Omer, but matching a deaf person with a blind one will not be very
      effective. So is matching a smoker with someone who is allergic to Nicotaine.
      This field is optional, of course.

      ---------------------------------------------------------------------
      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Homepage: http://www.shlomifish.org/

      Hacker sees bug. Hacker fixes bug.
    • cyphunk
      I m not quite sure I see how your dating site would differ from the others. While on the topic, perhaps try making a dating site that connects people based on
      Message 2 of 9 , May 11, 2005
        I'm not quite sure I see how your dating site would differ from the others.

        While on the topic, perhaps try making a dating site that connects
        people based on any of the following:
        * Similarity in musical taste using audio scrobbler rss feeds:
        http://audioscrobbler.com/user/cyphunk
        rss feed: http://ws.audioscrobbler.com/rdf/history/cyphunk
        * Similarity in general blog feeds.
        For this the user would export an OPML file from their favorite blog
        RSS reader.
        * Similarity in bookmarked sites
        User would upload their bookmark or favorite files.
        * Similarity in frequented sites
        For this you would need to write an extension for firefox and
        ie, which would monitor the url history record.
        * With the information from the history (above) find people that have
        similar search terms

        Of course, this assumes your preference is not such that you are looking
        for someone that doesn't even use a computer (yeah, wouldn't that be
        lovely... honestly).


        Shlomi Fish wrote:

        >"I am a [male] seeking a [female] between [20]-[30]."
        >
        >Super. But what if I have any hair colour preference? Or area of residence? Or
        >wish to have some common interests? Or don't want her to like the Opera
        >because I find it so boring? Come on. Even Paul Graham said the state of the
        >art in dating services suck.
        >
        >Here's my plan:
        >
        >1. Each user edits his profile that contains any information he'd like to put
        >there (relational). He will have a lot of aiding but optional JavaScript, to
        >facilitate filling the form. (possibly while having a no-javascript version
        >of the form for accessibility). Not AJAX mind you, just plain old HTML
        >controls and buttons.
        >
        >2. He can specify his or her:
        >- Hair colour
        >- Age
        >- Gender (dah!)
        >- Sorry but there would be a separate site for both genders' homosexual
        >tendencies. I'm not outcasting anyone, I'm simplifying an already complex
        >topic. Naturally, however, the user may serialize his information into an XML
        >record, with a specified well-documented schema to transfer to other sites or
        >store for prosperity.
        >- Area of Residence.
        >- Eye colour (more minor than hair but nonetheless).
        >- Areas of interest, hobbies, etc.
        >- You get the drift.
        >- Links to homepages. (as many as say 10)
        >- Links to weblogs. (as many as say 20)
        >- E-mail address.
        >- Disabilities, allergies, etc. [1]
        >-
        >
        >3. He can specify his preferences for his S.O. as:
        >- Preferred hair colours.
        >- Preferred age.
        >- No preferred gender - derives from sites' context.
        >- Other locations that are OK.
        >- You get the drift
        >
        >4. He can maintain a blog about his romantic activities, thoughts and feelings
        >(or anything else he find appropriate) with nested comments.
        >
        >Now how will matches be found? It's simple and complicated at the same time:
        >using a customizable weight function. There will be a default one and some
        >pre-defined customary ones, and users can share their own customized searches
        >(exported to text) on the Internet.
        >
        >Here's a workplan for deployment:
        >
        >1. Working prototype using Ruby-on-Rails and PostgreSQL or Firebird - 3 weeks.
        >
        >2. Deployment of the working prototype in one's native country, and for a
        >niche . (instanenous. Requires
        >
        >3. Re-implementing the code in Perl or Python and generalizing it (no, Chen,
        >speed is not the issue here. Popularity, language sentiments and
        >ubiquitousness are.). - 6 weeks.
        >
        >4. Collecting the necessary data from Public Domain data (interests tree,
        >possible job/position trees and areas, etc.) - 2 weeks. (a matter of a few
        >Perl/etc. scripts at most part).
        >
        >5. Deploying on a larger scale for an international audience - instaneous.
        >
        >Success percent: ?
        >
        >So, what do you think. Got a match?
        >
        >Regards,
        >
        > Shlomi Fish
        >
        >[1] Sorry Omer, but matching a deaf person with a blind one will not be very
        >effective. So is matching a smoker with someone who is allergic to Nicotaine.
        >This field is optional, of course.
        >
        >---------------------------------------------------------------------
        >Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
        >Homepage: http://www.shlomifish.org/
        >
        >Hacker sees bug. Hacker fixes bug.
        >
        >
        >
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Omer Zak
        ... [... snipped ...] The important thing in planning a good dating site is not the technicalities but the psychological/sociological issues. People consider
        Message 3 of 9 , May 11, 2005
          On Wed, 2005-05-11 at 14:12 +0300, Shlomi Fish wrote:
          > "I am a [male] seeking a [female] between [20]-[30]."
          >
          > Super. But what if I have any hair colour preference? Or area of residence? Or
          > wish to have some common interests? Or don't want her to like the Opera
          > because I find it so boring? Come on. Even Paul Graham said the state of the
          > art in dating services suck.
          >
          > Here's my plan:

          [... snipped ...]

          The important thing in planning a good dating site is not the
          technicalities but the psychological/sociological issues.

          People consider having to use the services of a dating site as admission
          of failure or lower self-worth. So they prefer to keep this secret.
          This is probably in the spectrum as males going to prostitutes after not
          scoring any female in a party or a pub; or women falsifying their age
          downwards.

          So the ideal dating site would allow visitors to come, browse, see the
          "goodies" but without revealing themselves. Of course, this conflicts
          with the need of the dating site to get visitors to make themselves
          available as "goodies".

          Another considration is to reduce the chances of rejection midway by
          allowing people to pre-filter the goodies before they invest time and
          emotions in a new acquaintance. Therefore a dating site should be
          specific about the target population, such as "religious", "Jewish",
          "having a disability", etc.

          But there are already dating sites for those target populations. Since
          they are subject to the network effect, establishing a new dating Web
          site is not a good idea. But negotiating with the operators of an
          existing dating site to add support for your pet target population
          should be a good idea.
          --- Omer
          --
          Every good master plan involves building a time machine. Moshe Zadka
          My own blog is at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tddpirate/

          My opinions, as expressed in this E-mail message, are mine alone.
          They do not represent the official policy of any organization with which
          I may be affiliated in any way.
          WARNING TO SPAMMERS: at http://www.zak.co.il/spamwarning.html
        • Omer Zak
          As I reflect about the difficulties of single male geeks in finding female mates, I have the following idea. One of the organizations of geeks, of which I
          Message 4 of 9 , May 11, 2005
            As I reflect about the difficulties of single male geeks in finding
            female mates, I have the following idea.

            One of the organizations of geeks, of which I know, is the Hamakor
            (http://www.hamakor.org.il/). This organization seems to be typical in
            having unbalanced male/female ratio.

            I suggest that those single males who are members of this organization,
            explore the possibility of organizing joint events with nonprofits
            having the following characteristics:
            1. Professionals (like teachers with at least B.A. or social workers).
            2. unbalanced female/male ratio (having much more females than males).
            3. Typical male geeks, who are married, would be married to females
            having this kind of profession (like the old adage about Technion
            engineers tending to marry teachers).

            Such joint events would allow people to get acquainted with each other,
            while neutralizing the "first impression effect". They will be able to
            gauge each other's real worth in terms of working and playing together
            in events - rather than trying to impress each other in blind dates.

            The events should involve large number of volunteer organizers from both
            male-dominated and female-dominated organizations.
            --- Omer
            --
            Every good master plan involves building a time machine. Moshe Zadka
            My own blog is at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tddpirate/

            My opinions, as expressed in this E-mail message, are mine alone.
            They do not represent the official policy of any organization with which
            I may be affiliated in any way.
            WARNING TO SPAMMERS: at http://www.zak.co.il/spamwarning.html
          • Nadav Har'El
            ... Maybe Paul Graham, like you, never actually tried to look at those dating sites? I suggest you do. I know for a fact that there are a number of them that
            Message 5 of 9 , May 12, 2005
              On Wed, May 11, 2005, Shlomi Fish wrote about "[hackers-il] Planning a _good_ Dating Site":
              > "I am a [male] seeking a [female] between [20]-[30]."
              >
              > Super. But what if I have any hair colour preference? Or area of residence? Or
              > wish to have some common interests? Or don't want her to like the Opera
              > because I find it so boring? Come on. Even Paul Graham said the state of the
              > art in dating services suck.

              Maybe Paul Graham, like you, never actually tried to look at those dating
              sites? I suggest you do.

              I know for a fact that there are a number of them that do provide every
              one of the features you ask for, and more. They let you search for other
              people that are "close" to you in their features, or even better: they let you
              specify which features to look for, and how important each feature is
              for you. So, regardless your own charactersitics, you might specify that
              you're looking for someone who's a non-smoker (saying that it's non-
              negotiable), tall (important), lives in your part of the country (important),
              BA or up (minor importance), don't care about hair color, and so on.
              But at the same time, the girls also have these search profiles set up,
              so while a certain girl might fit your search, you don't fit hers (say,
              because your hair is not blonde), so she doesn't come up in your search
              results.

              This is basically exactly what you asked for.

              Just remember, don't just ask for "preferred hair colors" and stuff -
              also give the option "I don't care about hair color". Some of us don't
              think that love depends on trivialities like specific hair colors or
              height.

              > 5. Deploying on a larger scale for an international audience - instaneous.

              Forget about it. If you're interested in Israel, make sure everything on
              your site is 100% Hebrew. And remember that Israelis will not want to date
              people from Sweden - think local.

              > Success percent: ?

              Your biggest problem will be to start building the user base. Nobody
              will like to add themselves to an empty database. To convince people
              to enter, you'll need to ensure them privacy (which means the software
              may be free, but you mustn't share the data unless under strict guidelines!),
              and a very good interface.

              A good selling point will also to ensure people that the site will remain
              100% free forever. Many people feel "cheap" if they need to pay for finding
              a date, but using a free service which you feel is only a search infrastructure
              and you do the searching yourself, is in some ways less embarrasing.


              --
              Nadav Har'El | Thursday, May 12 2005, 3 Iyyar 5765
              nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
              Phone +972-523-790466, ICQ 13349191 |We could wipe out world hunger if we knew
              http://nadav.harel.org.il |how to make AOL's Free CD's edible!
            • Nadav Har'El
              ... This is all really silly. How many married couples you know have very similar musical tastes, or similar blog feeds? Heck, in most married couples I know,
              Message 6 of 9 , May 12, 2005
                On Wed, May 11, 2005, cyphunk wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] Planning a _good_ Dating Site":
                > While on the topic, perhaps try making a dating site that connects
                > people based on any of the following:
                > * Similarity in musical taste using audio scrobbler rss feeds:
                > http://audioscrobbler.com/user/cyphunk
                > rss feed: http://ws.audioscrobbler.com/rdf/history/cyphunk
                > * Similarity in general blog feeds.
                > For this the user would export an OPML file from their favorite blog

                This is all really silly. How many married couples you know have very similar
                musical tastes, or similar blog feeds? Heck, in most married couples I know,
                only one of them is computer savvy, and the other would not have a blog at
                all.

                So this is a really bad way to match people up, unless you insist to be
                matched up with only someone who's nearly identical to yourself... This
                is perhaps a good way to find friends to talk computer programming with,
                but probably not the best way to find a spouse.


                --
                Nadav Har'El | Thursday, May 12 2005, 3 Iyyar 5765
                nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                Phone +972-523-790466, ICQ 13349191 |A smart man always covers his ass. A wise
                http://nadav.harel.org.il |man just keeps his pants on.
              • Shlomi Fish
                ... Hmmm... this is good. ... Right. You can always specify I don t care. In any case, I should note that one site I encountered (actually for matching
                Message 7 of 9 , May 12, 2005
                  On Thursday 12 May 2005 11:22, Nadav Har'El wrote:
                  > On Wed, May 11, 2005, Shlomi Fish wrote about "[hackers-il] Planning a
                  _good_ Dating Site":
                  > > "I am a [male] seeking a [female] between [20]-[30]."
                  > >
                  > > Super. But what if I have any hair colour preference? Or area of
                  > > residence? Or wish to have some common interests? Or don't want her to
                  > > like the Opera because I find it so boring? Come on. Even Paul Graham
                  > > said the state of the art in dating services suck.
                  >
                  > Maybe Paul Graham, like you, never actually tried to look at those dating
                  > sites? I suggest you do.
                  >
                  > I know for a fact that there are a number of them that do provide every
                  > one of the features you ask for, and more. They let you search for other
                  > people that are "close" to you in their features, or even better: they let
                  > you specify which features to look for, and how important each feature is
                  > for you. So, regardless your own charactersitics, you might specify that
                  > you're looking for someone who's a non-smoker (saying that it's non-
                  > negotiable), tall (important), lives in your part of the country
                  > (important), BA or up (minor importance), don't care about hair color, and
                  > so on. But at the same time, the girls also have these search profiles set
                  > up, so while a certain girl might fit your search, you don't fit hers (say,
                  > because your hair is not blonde), so she doesn't come up in your search
                  > results.
                  >

                  Hmmm... this is good.

                  > This is basically exactly what you asked for.
                  >


                  > Just remember, don't just ask for "preferred hair colors" and stuff -
                  > also give the option "I don't care about hair color". Some of us don't
                  > think that love depends on trivialities like specific hair colors or
                  > height.
                  >

                  Right. You can always specify "I don't care." In any case, I should note that
                  one site I encountered (actually for matching electronic pen-pals) was pretty
                  bad. All it did was offer a long list of the people who registered, with no
                  way to search on except for age or gender... %-) Now, naturally I'd like to
                  correspond with someone who shares some of my common interests.

                  After putting myself there, I received exactly one E-mail from someone who
                  wanted to correspond with it. I did not reply to it because I had suspicion
                  for spam.

                  > > 5. Deploying on a larger scale for an international audience -
                  > > instaneous.
                  >
                  > Forget about it. If you're interested in Israel, make sure everything on
                  > your site is 100% Hebrew. And remember that Israelis will not want to date
                  > people from Sweden - think local.
                  >

                  As I told a correspondant, you need to have a specific site for each country
                  or region of countries. The differences in culture, tastes, and other facts,
                  are too great to be able to create one site for each culture.

                  > > Success percent: ?
                  >
                  > Your biggest problem will be to start building the user base. Nobody
                  > will like to add themselves to an empty database. To convince people
                  > to enter, you'll need to ensure them privacy (which means the software
                  > may be free, but you mustn't share the data unless under strict
                  > guidelines!), and a very good interface.
                  >
                  > A good selling point will also to ensure people that the site will remain
                  > 100% free forever. Many people feel "cheap" if they need to pay for finding
                  > a date, but using a free service which you feel is only a search
                  > infrastructure and you do the searching yourself, is in some ways less
                  > embarrasing.

                  Well, I should note that this is just an idea I had, and have no intention of
                  implementing it myself. Also note that a person may not necessarily have to
                  search for people with interests similar to his or her own. He can search for
                  anything he pleases.

                  Regards,

                  Shlomi Fish (who is now looking for a girlfriend).

                  ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                  Homepage: http://www.shlomifish.org/

                  Tcl is LISP on drugs. Using strings instead of S-expressions for closures
                  is Evil with one of those gigantic E's you can find at the beginning of
                  paragraphs.
                • cyphunk
                  I guess the MIT s project which connects people based on their common hang out spots and routines (using Serendipity http://www.mobule.com/) is also useless:
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 12, 2005
                    I guess the MIT's project which connects people based on their common
                    hang out spots and routines (using Serendipity http://www.mobule.com/)
                    is also useless:
                    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-03/ns-tdg031704.php

                    While you might be right that it wont make a happy match, it is
                    generally what many people look for initially in whomever they meet or
                    date (that is, similarities that they can relate to). The first
                    question I ask of any potential friend is what type of music they listen
                    to. I'm not saying I am the majority, but it *can* work, I would believe.

                    Nadav Har'El wrote:

                    >On Wed, May 11, 2005, cyphunk wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] Planning a _good_ Dating Site":
                    >
                    >
                    >>While on the topic, perhaps try making a dating site that connects
                    >>people based on any of the following:
                    >>* Similarity in musical taste using audio scrobbler rss feeds:
                    >> http://audioscrobbler.com/user/cyphunk
                    >> rss feed: http://ws.audioscrobbler.com/rdf/history/cyphunk
                    >>* Similarity in general blog feeds.
                    >> For this the user would export an OPML file from their favorite blog
                    >>
                    >>
                    >
                    >This is all really silly. How many married couples you know have very similar
                    >musical tastes, or similar blog feeds? Heck, in most married couples I know,
                    >only one of them is computer savvy, and the other would not have a blog at
                    >all.
                    >
                    >So this is a really bad way to match people up, unless you insist to be
                    >matched up with only someone who's nearly identical to yourself... This
                    >is perhaps a good way to find friends to talk computer programming with,
                    >but probably not the best way to find a spouse.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • cyphunk
                    Also, the features I listed could be used for exclusion instead of inclusion. For instance, I d like to search for [inclusions criteria] but please exclude
                    Message 9 of 9 , May 12, 2005
                      Also, the features I listed could be used for exclusion instead of
                      inclusion. For instance, I'd like to search for [inclusions criteria]
                      but please exclude anyone from my list that frequents a7.org.il, listens
                      to Britney spears, etc.

                      cyphunk wrote:

                      > I guess the MIT's project which connects people based on their common
                      > hang out spots and routines (using Serendipity http://www.mobule.com/)
                      > is also useless:
                      > http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-03/ns-tdg031704.php
                      >
                      > While you might be right that it wont make a happy match, it is
                      > generally what many people look for initially in whomever they meet or
                      > date (that is, similarities that they can relate to). The first
                      > question I ask of any potential friend is what type of music they
                      > listen to. I'm not saying I am the majority, but it *can* work, I
                      > would believe.
                      >
                      > Nadav Har'El wrote:
                      >
                      >> On Wed, May 11, 2005, cyphunk wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] Planning
                      >> a _good_ Dating Site":
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>> While on the topic, perhaps try making a dating site that connects
                      >>> people based on any of the following:
                      >>> * Similarity in musical taste using audio scrobbler rss feeds:
                      >>> http://audioscrobbler.com/user/cyphunk
                      >>> rss feed: http://ws.audioscrobbler.com/rdf/history/cyphunk
                      >>> * Similarity in general blog feeds.
                      >>> For this the user would export an OPML file from their favorite
                      >>> blog
                      >>
                      >>
                      >> This is all really silly. How many married couples you know have very
                      >> similar
                      >> musical tastes, or similar blog feeds? Heck, in most married couples
                      >> I know,
                      >> only one of them is computer savvy, and the other would not have a
                      >> blog at
                      >> all.
                      >>
                      >> So this is a really bad way to match people up, unless you insist to be
                      >> matched up with only someone who's nearly identical to yourself... This
                      >> is perhaps a good way to find friends to talk computer programming with,
                      >> but probably not the best way to find a spouse.
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >
                      >
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