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Data: A Love StoryThe algorithms, statistics, charts, and lists I used to game online dating and find my match

 
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02/01/2013 10:10 AM

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Data: A Love StoryThe algorithms, statistics, charts, and lists I used to game online dating and find my match
This is an excerpt from Amy Webb’s Data. A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating To Meet My Match, which comes out today.
It was now July, a few weeks since my date with Jim, the weed smoker who refused to split our dinner bill. I knew matching algorithms weren’t perfect, but I kept dating and decided not to cancel my memberships with eHarmony, Match.com, and JDate. The majority of dates I’d been going on weren’t horrible, they just weren’t great. I was an optimist rooted in math and logic. I knew that if I spent enough time searching through each site and going out with a large enough group of men, I could increase the probability of my finding the right one. And besides, even if I canceled, I knew how Internet marketing worked. All three services would continue to email me new profiles every day.
Subject: Hot Match!
Message: We have a new match for you! LegalTruth20 is 34 and lives just a few miles away from you! You haven’t logged in recently. Don’t keep LegalTruth20 waiting!
I was sitting at my desk at work when Match.com sent me a similar reminder message, this time highlighting MenchTastic, and his profile immediately grabbed my attention. He was 33, was a nonsmoker, and said explicitly that he wanted kids. He was also a journalist covering the city hall beat for one of the local newspapers. I was intrigued enough to click through and read the rest of his profile.

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