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OkCupid Relaunches OkTrends Blog – Reveals if Looks Matter

Love conceptOne of my favorite parts of OkCupid had been the fabulous data curated into blog posts by co-founder Christian Rudder on OkTrends.

For the past three years, OkTrends has gone into silence mode. Today, Rudder revealed data from their Internet dating user base showing that looks aren’t always what counts when it comes to communicating in an online dating site. Rudder announced, “We Experiment On Human Beings” as the title of the long-awaited post.

From OkCupid’s day of hiding photos, to suggestions of a higher percentage for a potential match, one thing we know for sure, the algorithms do have an impact while looking for love online.

Full blogpost here

Let’s take a look at the three different experiments.

1. Love is Blind, Or Should Be

On the 10th anniversary of OkCupid, they launched Crazy Blind Date, a mobile app. The basis of this was that you’d meet someone who’s face had been “mashed up” like a puzzle, so you didn’t know what they looked like. In celebration, OkCupid spent one day mashing up all of their members in an experiment, only to find that 44% of those wrote 1st messages to people, of which they had no idea what they looked like.

2. So What’s a Picture Worth?

OkCupid previously let users rate profiles based on looks and personality. Eventually, they changed it to rating based on looks only. What they found is that only 10% of people rated a profile based on it’s text. Does that mean that 90% of people rate profiles based on looks only? Understandably so. This is why all of the mobile dating apps have been so popular and game-like.

3. The Power of Suggestion

As a Digital Matchmaker, I spend hours-and-hours every day analyzing profiles to find the perfect match for my clients. They have to go by my word and recommendation to write to or respond to a flurry of potential dates because I strongly advised them to do so. This has resulted in singles dating outside their social circles and meeting men or women that they didn’t think was their type.

OkCupid seems to agree. By changing the suggested recommendations from one with a low match percentage to a higher match percentage, their users started to communicate with people that weren’t necessarily a match, based on the algorithms. Were they playing with your digital mind? Just a bit.

Time reports that Rudder will be back to business posting on the OkTrends blog every four weeks while waiting for his book Dataclysm: Who We Are to be released in September.

Are you rating profiles based on looks alone? Do percentages matter to you? Your comments are welcome.

Photo credit: Fotolia

Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Less Than Perfect Beauties Are More Popular on OkCupid

Our friends at OkCupid have released their first mathematical study of the New Year entitled The Mathematics of Beauty.

According to OkTrends, men will respond more to women where some men think the ladies are attractive and others think they’re not.? The bottom line is, the more diverse the opinions are about a particular profile, the greater chance that the guys will like her. Sound confusing? Not really. Simply put, a woman who is perceived as attractive by some and ugly by others has a greater chance of being contacted online.? The study elaborates that if everyone thinks a woman’s photo is cute, she’ll have a lower chance of being popular on the site than if some think she’s unattractive and others find her attractive.

The free online dating site looked at 43,000 female profiles of their members aged 20-27 to see who received the most contacts from men.

Considering women have been trained to believe that all men are visual and if you’re not a “10” online, your response rate could be diminished, this is an interesting finding. It came as a big surprise to me that if some men find women unattractive, those women are considered more popular than someone who is viewed as cute across the board.

After all, what man goes in search online for an ugly duckling he hasn’t met yet to put on his arm? Most of the men I speak with and coach clearly focus on the visual and if the profile photo isn’t immediately appealing, they move on. This forces women to sadly post older photos, or even open up their photo shop software to get rid of some obvious wrinkles and signs of aging. We hope that men will take the time to get to know a woman in real life, find out how intelligent and witty she is,? appreciate her confidence, and have the non-visual traits rise to the top.

According to OkTrends, “We now have mathematical evidence that shows us that minimizing your “flaws” is the opposite of what you should do. If you’re a little chubby, play it up. If you have a big nose, play it up. If you have a weird snaggletooth, play it up: statistically, the guys who don’t like it can only help you, and the ones who do like it will be all the more excited.”

If this is truly the case, I urge women who are feeling insecure about one of their physical traits to jump online, pose to show off your individuality, and be ready for an overflowing inbox from some of the men whose curiosity will be piqued by your overconfident personality. At the end of the day, it’s refreshing to find that not all men are superficial online.? Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder as well as on the computer screens of those looking for love online.

What White Women and Men Like the Most – Online Dating Stats from OkCupid

Our friends and OkCupid have analyzed 526,000 profiles of their members to see the differences between men and women, ?as well as compare their white members to their Asian and African American membership base.

What did they find? It appears that both women and men of all races love sushi.

White women like getting dressed up, romantic movies, dirty dancing, country music, and Eat Pray Love.

What White Women Like

On the other hand, white men like Harley Davidson, hockey, and the big lebowski.

What White Men Like

Click here for full article on OkCupid

Why People Lie in their Online Dating Profiles

Lately, more than ever, the subject of lying in one’s cyberdating profile has become a hot topic. Some have become accustomed to the age, height, and income exaggerations for the benefit of showing up in a search.

It appears that lying on your profiles never goes out of style. It’s become a bit of an epidemic. On July 29, I will be a guest on The Stars of PR with Cindy R at 7am/PT. Her radio show segment is called The Big Lie on VoiceAmerica Radio Network. Cindy contacted me as lying has become so in vogue that she wanted to do an entire segment on why singles lie to fit into a search. Just days later after confirming my show segment with Cindy Rakowitz, ?my friend Sam Yagan at OkCupid sent me an email with their latest statistical great post in OkTrends called The Big Lies People Tell in Online Dating. I am a big fan of OkCupid and always look forward to their blogposts.

Let’s take a deeper look at OkCupid’s findings, which are not shocking. Of course, I’ll toss my two cents in.

1. HeightReality: People are 2 inches shorter in real life. If you have read my book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online,?which was released on Valentine’s Day in 2009, there is a chapter called “Profile Definitions.” In this chapter I list a side-by-side comparison of 21 profile definitions in “What They Say” and “What They Mean.”

My first entry simply said:

WHAT THEY SAY: Male: Height 5’7″

WHAT THEY MEAN: Male: Height 5’5″

It appears things have not changed in the past few years.

2. IncomeReality: People are 20% poorer than they say they are.

OkCupid says that apparently, an online dater’s imagination is the best performing mutual fund of the last 10 years. I have to agree. More often than not, men are not putting their income on their profiles so they don’t have to see for themselves what the economy has done. Others aren’t interested in finding gold diggers. A recent online dater that I know of listed his previous salary which was 50% higher than his current income. ?He was in his 50s. He also said he was divorced, however he was “separated, divorce pending.” Interesting data from OkCupid.

3. Photos – REALITY: The more attractive the picture, the more likely it is to be out-of-date.

OkCupid has some terrific tricks to determine when a photo was actually taken. It’s worth taking a look at. Their findings claim that “most of the pictures on their online dating site?were of recent vintage; site-wide the median photo age at upload was just 92 days. However, hotter photos were much more likely to be outdated than normal ones.”

I don’t disagree, but here’s a refreshing and amusing twist on the other side. A recent dater that I know of sat across from his attractive date and confessed the following: “I’m sorry. I’m uncomfortable. You appear too young for me.” Yes, you read this correctly. He was expecting an older woman, someone closer in age to himself or at least visually closer in age to his ex-wife, and not a woman that appeared closer in age to his daughter.

He added that, “Most women lie about their age in their profiles so I was hoping you would be older. You look younger than your photo.” Now, this isn’t the norm, but are we accustomed to being disappointed on our first dates to the fact that if you do indeed look like your profile it is a complete shock?

4. Swinging Both Ways – REALITY: 80% of self-identified bisexuals are only interested in one gender.

OkCupid claims to be a gay-friendly site and has some interesting statistics about their members in their study. The fantasy is clearly greater than the reality.

Feel free to comment and share your opinion. Do you lie on your online dating profile? Have your expectations been lowered to the point that you are in shock when someone looks like their profile and accurately represents themselves?

I hope you listen to our radio show segment on this subject on July 22, 2010.

Julie Spira is known as the Cyber-Dating Expert. She created her first online dating profile in 1994. She is the author of bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit her at CyberdatingExpert.com. Follow her on Twitter @JulieSpira. Like the Fan Page