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OkCupid Relaunches OkTrends Blog – Reveals if Looks Matter

OkTrends 300x200One 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.

I saw his text messages. Is he cheating or is it over?

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Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert

Dear Cyber Dating Expert,

I desperately need some online dating advice. I met a guy on OkCupid last week and we had the perfect date. The next day he reached out to hang out again and even introduced me to his engaged friends and we went on a double-date. That night we ended up sleeping together and I thought everything was going so well.

We continued to talk and he remained sweet and attentive. We made plans to meet up a few days later and I went to his place and we watched a movie. Again, he was very affectionate, held my hand, kissed me on the head/check, etc.

What threw me was when I saw his cell phone light up with text messages from random numbers he hadn’t saved to his phone. Immediately I knew these were probably other girls he was communicating with from OKC. My heart sank. I thought everything was great until I saw those texts! He seems SO into me, but now I feel like I have something to prove and other girls to beat out. I just don’t want to get involved and get my heart broken, but I like him and don’t want to lose out on getting to know him better.

Read: He Texts Me Daily, Are We in a Relationship?

Do I play it cool, let him take the reins for now? Or should I be proactive & initiate more dates with the chance of coming off aggressive/desperate?

Please help!

Amber

Dear Amber,

Thanks for your email.

I understand why you’d be upset about seeing text messages you believe were from other women that your new guy might be chatting with.

Because you both met on an online dating site, unless you’ve had the conversation about being exclusive, assume that you’re not. After all, you were only dating for one week when you noticed these anonymous texts.

Sleeping together while you both have active online dating profiles isn’t something that I recommend, unless you don’t mind if he’s seeing other people.

Once a woman sleeps with a man, the hormones kick in and women get very attached and bonded, even if the guy isn’t really good for you. When the sex is good, it’s natural to hope and think that he won’t want to be with anyone else. Maybe he’s ignoring those text messages, after all you’ve only known him for a short while.

My advice is to keep it cool and date him if he asks you out on a proper date, but don’t sleep with him again. Sure you can hug, kiss, fool around, etc. Please don’t make a big deal out of the text messages, as men don’t like a high-drama, clingy or possessive woman in their lives. Just show him that you’re the confident great woman that you are. If he calls, return his calls. If he texts, return his texts. If he asks you out and you’re free, go out on a date with him, but let him know that you like him, but realize that you aren’t into casual sex if it comes up. Let him know how much you’re enjoying getting to know him. I know it’s hard to go backwards, but it’s worse to sleep with him and then wonder if he’s logging on to find someone to sleep with the next night. That’s the risk with online dating. If he tells you it’s not acceptable, then he doesn’t really want you as his girlfriend. He might just be looking for a booty call or friends with benefits relationship. Throwing yourself at him won’t help. It will kill the chances to have a relationship with this guy. Being great in the bedroom doesn’t mean he won’t look elsewhere. Being the confident girl he can’t be without will make him want you to be his girl. Let him take the lead and initiate dates with you.

If he really wants to make you his girlfriend, he’ll take down his profile and do whatever it takes. At this point, you haven’t set your boundaries so he doesn’t think it’s a requirement. Don’t be in competition with other women. Just be yourself and feel great about who you are. Please don’t get possessive or start to interrogate him about his text messages or cell phone. Insecurity will kill a relationship. Since he didn’t put those phone numbers in his phone to save them, nor is he hiding his phone, they probably don’t mean much to him anyway. Still, I know it hurts.

I hope this helps and please do keep me posted.

Julie

Do you have an online dating question for Julie Spira? Send your questions to CyberDatingExpert.com/contact and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for more dating advice.

 

ABC News – Mobile Apps to Speed Up Your Search

BZ ej5vIcAAMJVM 150x150It was an honor and joy to be interviewed by Elex Michaelson of ABC-7 television in Los Angeles about the popularity of mobile dating apps.

As Tinder continues to take the world by storm, the feature included an interview with Tinder’s co-founder, Justin Mateen, as well as featured other mobile dating apps including eHarmony, JDate, Match, OkCupid, Grouper, Grindr, and Coffee Meets Bagel.

Mobile dating is now over a $200 million dollar industry. Are you wondering how it all works?

Watch the video below for highlights.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and mobile dating expert who was an early adopter of Internet dating. She created her first profile almost 20 years ago and coaches singles on the dating scene with her Irresistible Profiles programs and her Mobile Dating BootCamps. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter.

Love is Blind, But OkCupid Isn’t – Crazy Blind Date Mobile

CBDlogo21 150x150With online dating, we’ve been told it’s all about the photo, as both men and women are visual.

Today, our friends at OkCupid have launched their Crazy Blind Date mobile app, where you go back to the basics of when your grandmother fixed you up, along with a technology twist.

In honor of the launch, you’ll feel a bit naked when you log on to OkCupid today, as the site celebrates “Love is Blind Day.” OkCupid has removed all ten million photos on their members’ profiles to create awareness of their new app.

Sam Yagan, OkCupid founder and Cyber-Dating Expert friend says, “People will say that Crazy Blind Date is too crazy.” He adds, “But for a whole generation of young singles, it’s going to be a great adventure, and a great compliment to online dating.”

One thing we know for sure, is that mobile dating does speed up the process to meet someone IRL. In our recent Mobile Dating BootCamp, several of the participants used OkCupid’s mobile app and other mobile dating apps to try to find love from the convenience of their mobile phones. This app could help you if you’re looking for a last minute date or don’t want to be dateless on Valentine’s Day.

OkCupid says that Crazy Blind Date takes less than a minute of work:

  1. Download the Crazy Blind Date app for iPhone or Android
  2. Choose which nights this week you want to go on dates.
  3. Pick your favorite bar or coffee shop.
  4. Go on with your day; Crazy Blind Date does the rest.

Users are encouraged to share their dates on Twitter with the hashtag of #CrazyBlindDate and fees for the dates will apply.

Are you ready to go back to blind dating?

Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She’s the host of Online Dating BootCamp and Mobile Dating BootCamp. Julie creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @Juliespira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.

Dating in an OkCupid World – 5 Dos and Don’ts

okcupid logo 150x150I’m often asked what’s the best dating site by singles that I meet and coach. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer there are a few favorite Internet dating sites that I’ve been recommending. OkCupid is clearly one of my Top 5 favorites. Their mobile app, Ok Locals was included in the recent Mobile Dating BootCamp and was favorably received by the single contestants.

So when Britney Fitzgerald from Huffington Post Tech asked me for my opinion on OkCupid Dating No-No’s, I was happy to chime in. I shared not only my professional advice, but also those from the recent?Mobile Dating BootCamp focus group which was held last month in Beverly Hills.

A main feature of OkCupid is answering their intriguing and often thought provoking questions. While you’re not judged and you’ll never fail the quiz, the site does give you percentiles for a Match, Friend, and Enemy. Having a match that shows you’re over 80% compatible usually raises some digital eyebrows in a good way and is a terrific ice-breaker to contact someone you might have a ?crush on.

So without further digital adieu, here are five of the 11 Dos and Don’ts for finding love on OkCupid.

Full article on Huffington Post

Article Excerpts

1. Don’t Answer all of the Questions

Some questions are best left unanswered. Be careful with those that seem too political or intimate in nature because this data is all over the Internet: You need to think every time you push the send button. ?For public answers, you should only pick the questions you would tell your mother [the answer to].

2. Don’t Exaggerate

There is a huge difference between fibbing about your height vs. your martial status. Single is single, and divorced is divorced. There is no status for Single–Divorce Pending.

3. Don’t Use Old Profile Pictures

If you’re thinking of putting up a profile pic from 2004 — reconsider. They are going to look you up on Google; they are going to look you up on Facebook. ?You’re thanked a lot for being recognizable and having truth in the advertising. So skip out on that glamour shot from the ’90s. And men — most of us agree that the muscle shot in front of the bathroom mirror is an automatic “skip.”

4. Don’t Be a Rude Rejector

Just like in real life, there are right and wrong ways to reject someone in the virtual world. I don’t believe in burning digital bridges. Why should you have to email someone and say, “Hey you’re not my type.”?Dont say you’re not my type — you haven’t met yet! But if you really aren’t attracted, ?just move on. Don’t message them back, or simply thank?them for the communication and wish them luck in their search.

5. Don’t Check Your Profile Obsessively

OkCupid’s popular free edition of its dating service comes with a few catches, one of which includes people knowing when you check into the site. While possible soulmates won’t know how long you’ve been online, they can view the time you last logged on. It can be very obsessive and dangerous to your emotional health. For example, what if you go on a great date only to realize that 30 minutes after you parted ways, your date accessed the site two more times that night? ?Take a deep breath and don’t jump to a digital conclusion.

Many thanks to Huffington Post for being included in this terrific article. Click here to read all 11 tips and feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert. Julie was an early adopter of online dating and posted her first profile in 1994. Today, Julie creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene and is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.

For more dating advice sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert?


And the Winners Are? iDate Awards for Best Dating Sites

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with Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Gary Kremen

You might have your favorite online dating site, but did you know the Internet dating industry actually has their own awards ceremony, similar to the Academy Awards?

iDate Conference organizer Marc Lesnick emceed the 3rd Annual iDate Awards ceremony along with Mark Brooks from Online Personals Watch. It was an honor and privilege to also be a presenter at the event held in Miami Beach on January 24, 2012.

The Internet Dating Executive Alliance and dating site members and users had the opportunity to vote.for their favorites in 12 categories.

OkCupid walked away with 3 iDate awards, received by Sam Yagan, CEO and co-founder of the site. Gary Kremen, known for creating online dating back in 1993 by being the original creator of Match.com received a well-deserved special Lifetime Achievement Award. Gary?was a Keynote speaker earlier in the day,

The complete list of winners are?.

Best Dating Site – OkCupid

Best Dating Site Design ? OkCupid

Best Dating Software Provider – White Label Dating

Best Mobile Dating App ? Grindr

Best Dating Coach ? Evan Marc Katz

Most Innovative Company ? OkCupid

Best New Technology ? Grindr

Best Up-And-Coming Dating Site ? How About We

Best Marketing Campaign ? Match.com

Best Affiliate Program ? FriendFinder

Best Payment System ? Paymentwall.com

Best Matchmaker ? Julie Ferman, Cupids Coach/eLove

We’ll be posting video highlights from the conference with the latest in online dating safety, mobile dating, and letting you know about some of the new niche sites that might help while looking for love online.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira for dating advice and on Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert

 

OkCupid Locals ? Say Goodbye to Being Dateless in Your City

cellphoneheart 150x150Dating on the fly just got a bit easier.

Our friends at OkCupid have announced OkCupid Locals, a mobile dating app on iOS and Android to help you meet compatible singles more quickly than ever.

With OkCupid locals, you?ll find a blend of a Twitter-like broadcast feature, FourSquare location based feature, and data from the online dating site?s 8-million members.

From connecting at a sports bar to meeting up at a happy hour, simply broadcast your dating intentions and the digital genie will grant your wish with a list of compatible matches closeby.

A service like this will help avoid the weeks and weeks of emailing back-and-forth that many online dating site members feel frustrated with.

There?s no reason to stay dateless in your city anymore.

Are using mobile dating applications or location-based services to meet other singles?? Comments and thoughts are always welcome and if you get a moment, follow me @JulieSpira on Twitter and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com for dating advice and to learn how to create an irresistible online dating profile.

Free Site OkCupid Now Has Something to Sell

 

OKCUPID 

One of the biggest pluses for OkCupid by their members has been the fact that they are a free online dating site. Singles have enjoyed their features and have been able to save more to actually spend on their dates.

There was speculation when they were acquired by IAC/Match earlier this year that they wouldn’t stay free for long. Their members were promised they would always be free. Well, almost.

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If you haven’t logged in lately, you’ll see a big pop-up ad inviting you to become an A-List Member. Regularly priced at $9.95/month, they’re offering a special discount of $4.95/month.

So what will your benefits be if you decide to pay-to-play? Members are being promised that they’ll love OkCupid even more?with so many extras.

The new features include:

  • Browse anonymously and see visitors
  • Ability to change your screen name
  • Use the site ad-free
  • Attach photos to emails
  • Public and private photo albums
  • Give unlimited awards
  • Store up to 5000 messages
  • Send messages to users whose inboxes are full

In addition, you’ll have digital bragging rights that you’re an A-List member, as you’ll be able to show off your swanky elite badge. At the end of the day, with 50% off, signing up for one year will cost less than one typical dinner date. My advice is it might be worth the splurge to stand out in the crowded digital playing field for less than $60/year.

For more information on their features, click here.

Julie Spira is a bestselling author and online dating expert. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com for dating advice and to learn how to create an irresistible online dating profile. Follow her on Twitter @JulieSpira and like her at facebook.com/cyberdatingexpert

Cyber Love Story of the Week – Valerie and Adam

CLSValerieandAdam 289x300?After being burned big time by my last relationship in 2007, I had officially given up dating,? said Valerie. She added, ?My friends had been imploring me for years to try online dating, but I just couldn’t get past the stigma of it and was extremely concerned about the safety factor.?

Valerie thought the idea of a ton of strangers perusing her pictures and personal details would freak her out.? Finally she joined OkCupid, and as an attractive female was immediately inundated by e-mails.? She wasn?t interested in any of them until she received her first e-mail from Adam.

Adam had been home on a Saturday evening looking at some of the newest profiles on OkCupid, a weekly ritual for him. He believed in emailing a woman right away before she became swamped with emails and possibly gave up on online dating.

?Then I spotted this beautiful brunette with the handle ?fleursetbonbons?. Ah, flowers and candy? so traditional for a woman, isn?t it?? thought Adam. Then when he read Valerie?s profile, he knew she was the type of person he was looking for. ?Her profile said a lot about her personality and style and wasn’t just another, I love sushi and long walks on the beach type of diatribe,? Adam added. He didn?t expect Valerie to write back.

Valerie loved the fact that Adam was the first guy she?d seen on the site with the long haired, rock & roll, chiseled features look that she really went for. When she clicked on his pictures, she saw he also had an incredible smile, and was 6?4? tall, which she loved.

?I honestly wasn’t too impressed by his profile…he seemed a little too interested in beer and sports for my taste…but I decided to take a chance anyway based on the cuteness of his pics,? said Valerie. Valerie liked Adam because he was all about being real and there were no games involved.

Adam recalled, ?I decided to email her and tell her as much, figuring all along I?ll never hear back.?? To his surprise she did respond and they started communicating a lot. On their first date, they went to brunch and he brought her a dozen roses.

Adam and Valerie shared that they have a magnetic attraction to each other that grows every single day. ?He’s caring, attentive, and kind to me. I miss him when we’re apart no matter how long we’ve spent together, and I love being in love with him, said Valerie?

?I would never have expected to meet someone that I could fall in love with online, so I encourage anyone who’s hesitant to take the chance…you really just can’t know unless you try,? Valerie added.

Even though the two currently live approximately 30 miles apart, they regularly see each other about 3-4 days per week and are already considering moving in together.

Congratulations to Valerie and Adam, our Cyber Love Story of the Week who wouldn?t let distance get in the way of love.

Do you have an online dating story to share?

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Read More Cyber Love Stories>>>

Studying Race Trends of Singles Looking for Love Online

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There seems to be no shortage of studies on the subject of online dating and race.

Who contacts who, who gets more emails, and why singles are more comfortable contacting those with similar values and race has been researched by the University of California Berkeley as well as online dating site OkCupid.

The Berkeley study looked at 1 million online daters in the United States who were members of an online dating site in 2009-2010. Their findings included that over 80 percent of white singles prefer to date other white singles. Their study determined that that younger singles, males, and blacks would date outside their race. White singles, mostly females, and those skewing older preferred dating within their race. Feedback from University students was posted on YouTube and is posted below.

What does this all mean to online daters? It means that your inbox will be more full with potential suitors if you?re white. Plain and simple, Whites and Non-Whites like writing to White singles according to both studies.

I?d like to think that race shouldn?t matter in 2011, but apparently the Berkeley study shows that online daters are naturally drawn to photos of those within the same race.

OkCupid?s blogpost on OkTrends confirmed separately that White singles are the most popular on their site. 89% of the 82 million email messages researched in their post were sent to white singles according to What If There Weren?t So Many White People? I think it?s important to note that 74% of their members are white.

At the end of the day, online dating offers you the opportunity to cast a wide net and meet a variety of singles from different races that you might not meet in your neighborhood, should you choose to do so. Compatibility is personal and the choices are vast.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com. Like her at Facebook.com/cyberdatingexpert

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