Sep. 17th, 2009

joreth: (Super Tech)
I've noticed my online interactions are becoming increasingly more and more on Twitter and less on LiveJournal, and I think that's a shame. Because of the character limitation, it means that most of what I do is simply re-post links or short quotes, when I really have a lot more to say about it than just a re-post. But sometimes I just want to share things with people and I don't have the time for a full journal entry about it, so I Tweet it instead.

But this time, I'm going to write up a post (although I *also* Tweeted it).

http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/2009/09/14/online-dating-advice-exactly-what-to-say-in-a-first-message/

I've been saying this stuff for YEARS.  OKCupid has gone and done a statistical analysis of "first contact" situations made through their site to find out what works and what doesn't.

And, surprise surprise, the stuff that women have been shouting about all over the internet seem to be holding true.

So, although I've ranted and raved in the past about the concept of "what women want", I'm going to make somewhat of a categorical statement here and say that, if you want to increase your odds of meeting a woman, guys, LISTEN TO WHAT THE FUCK THEY'RE SAYING.  (This article, btw, is not actually gender specific, and they do point out those specific instances when the genders had differing results, but I am writing from the POV of a heterosexual woman who frequents online dating sites, so that is the bias I am writing this post with).

OKC has discovered that the following things seem to matter to a lot of the people who use their service:

Don't use netspeak.  If intelligence in a partner is attractive to you, odds are she (or he) probably won't immediately faint with anticipation if you write her an email with words like "ur" and "wat" and poor grammar or spelling.  If you have spelling difficulties, write it up in a word processing program first and spell-check it.

The Number 2 Item: DON'T COMPLIMENT ON PHYSICAL APPEARANCE.  I'll spare you all; I won't rant about why this is a problem in this post because that would take me all fucking night to rant about why this is bad.  Search through my Rants tag & my Online Skeezballs tag if you don't know why this is a problem.  For now, just know that it's not just me being a bitch - physical appearance compliments from someone's first-contact email are insulting and offensive at worst, downright trite at best.  Don't do it.

Don't try to initiate a face-to-face meeting, or even a phone conversation, right away.  I understand that, ultimately, people are on "dating sites" (as opposed to more general social networking like Facebook) to actually meet someone.  But the person you're contacting is probably hoping to meet someone in person too.  So pushing the conversation outside of the dating site services too soon is stalkerish and pushy.  It makes you look either desperate or domineering (check out some of my Online Skeezballs tags for this), and outside of a fetish-themed site, being domineering is a bad thing.

Bring up specific interests.  Funny, how people want to actually talk and get to know others as individuals, and how being "fun" and enjoying doing "fun things" and "hanging out" doesn't really set you apart from anyone else, nor give the recipient a clue about who you are or why she would want to talk to you.  One of the key advantages to online dating is the ability to filter out people based on shared interests and values.  As opposed to bar-dating, where you start with whether or not you like her butt in those jeans and only find out after you've spent your entire paycheck on drinks that she's totally not your type, online dating sites lets you find out a little about who she is *first*, before you've wasted either of your time or money.  So give her a reason to talk to you, tell her that you paid attention to what she had to say and that you discovered you have things in common that will probably prompt her to want to respond.

Interestingly, OKC's statistics show that people who use the atheist keyword in their first contact email have, by far, the largest successful reply rate.  People who use other religions as keywords fall off pretty rapidly, and people who use "god" as a keyword have the lowest success rate.  In fact, the keyword "atheist" actually showed up as the second most frequent religious term out of the first contacts sampled.  Perhaps it's because there is a strong correlation between geeks (and the stereotype that only geeks use online dating services) and lack of religious interest, or perhaps it's because atheism is growing as a trend in this country, or perhaps it's OKCupid specifically that atheists like to use (whereas religious people can use the bigoted, discriminatory, religious-based eHarmony site), or perhaps it's something else entirely.  Whatever the reason, saying you're an atheist on OKC has a higher success rate for first contacts than any other religion.

So, these are not all of what OKC analyzed, but these are the ones I've been ranting about for ages.  Well, except the atheist one, I just think that's interesting - I have not been yelling at people to claim to be atheist on OKC.  I *have* been hoping more people would give up religion, but that's a totally unrelated set of rants!


Oh, and since [personal profile] summer_jackel  asked me earlier tonight in an unrelated conversation, and it's sort of relevant for the last point here, I just discovered there are several atheist-specific dating sites!  AtheistPassions.comFreethinkerMatch.com, and Sexed-up-atheists.com


joreth: (Polydragon)
http://www.mail.com/Article.aspx/entertainment/0/APNews/General-Entertainment/20090917/U_US-TV-Newlywed-Gay-Couple?pageid=1

The Newlywed Show (yes, that same cheesy show from the 70's) is still on the air, with a different host, and will have their first gay couple on this season!

They claim to have always reflected the times and changing views of marriage, including having interracial couples, older couples, couples who lived together before marriage, etc.  Remember, this show started in 1967!

So, this season, George Takai and his partner will guest star on their Celebrity Edition.  Although they've been together for 22 years, they were only married last year.  The show's new host, Carnie Wilson, has been pushing for an all-gay episode and to include more gay couples in general, not as a political statement, but because, why not?

The rules of the show require that a couple be legally married, which, as far as I can tell, seem to be the only reason why gay couples have not been included before.  The current network that runs the show has only had it for the last 2 years, and is not able to comment on why it hasn't happened before other than the legality issue.

Of course, the political right is complaining that this *is* a political statement, intended to introduce homosexuality into mainstream programing as "normal".  Whether that's the intention or not, homosexuality *is* normal (if a minority orientation), so I'm thrilled to see this happening on an iconic relationship show, even if the show is no longer on primetime or on a major network.

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