I've said it before, the OkTrends blog is a fucking goldmine of information… When they post shit. Their last post was more than a couple of years ago. Naturally the lack of updates is kinda shitty. But who cares, right? It's OkCupid!
On July 28th OkCupid posted a new article regarding an experiment that they'd been running over there. The article is an informative read, even if it comes off douchey and detached at times. Christian Rudder takes us all for a deep dive into whether or not they know what the fuck they're actually doing.
Now, not having read the article I can tell you that I give zero fucks about whether or not they know what they're doing. I know that it works for me. Why? Because it allows me to connect on my most base desires. Is the woman attractive to me? Is she not a right-wing nut job? And is she a little sluttier than other women of similar locales and traits. Boom. It's pretty easy for me. But Rudder, as I noted, goes deep here, in his article.
In the article Rudder suggests that “Love Should be Blind.” After throwing out some figures from their ‘Love is Blind' campaign, which celebrated their defunct ‘Crazy Blind Date' offering they noted some key metrics gathered when OkCupid removed all photos from the site.
Conversations between people went deeper; people were more likely to respond to first messages and people took conversations offline more quickly. “OkCupid worked better,” Rudder said.
In short we're fucking assholes… It seems like common sense to me that we abuse and exploit the limits of the technologies provided to us for any given thing. I do it.
But that's not really the whole story here.
OkCupid ran an experiment. Purposely mis-matching daters as compatible when they were otherwise incompatible. The experiment? To see if the match percentages actually meant anything. They tested out matching poor matches with one another by fudging the percentages. It's an interesting experiment, to be sure. But, fuck, man. Being an adult is already fucking hard and online dating can be a cruel mind-fuck without some nerdy shits running tests… Dating is already an obstacle course, I feel. But making it into a ‘Ninja Warrior' challenge is just fucking mean, man.
Yeah, it's some twisted shit, but if the data gained from these experiments helps to make their offering better then I can see its merit. However, I'm going to assume that they sit on the data and reaction from this post while they pimp out Rudder's “Dataclypse” book.
Now, they at least told daters that they were a part of an experiment. So that's good. And, really, I genuinely do find the experiments intriguing and I'd like to see more of what they unearth about their users' nature.
One of the things that I like about the OkTrends blog is that it's transparent and uncovers some “inconvenient truths” about who we are and how we are online. And, you know what? It's kinda fucking sad, people. We're not as great as we think we are. While this Experiment from OkCupid is shitty on many levels, it does peel back a few layers on the user behavior and suggests that we're as superficial as the tools available to us allow for.