Crowd sourcing your love life

December 22, 2009 at 8:30 am | Posted in Matchmaking, News, Social Media | 1 Comment
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Rather than randomly trawl the internet for Mr Right, Sarah Stokely plans to date 100 bachelors "recommended by actual humans". Photo: Simon O'Dwyer

Frustrating dating experiences often make people turn their love lives over to a matchmaker. But how bad would it have to be before you turn yours over to Twitter?

That’s what one single Australian gal is doing. Unable to find her perfect match on her own, Sarah Stokely’s letting her matchmakers do the grunt work for her — all 1,694 of them and counting.

Part social media experiment, part summer fling(s), the 36-year-old media consultant is counting on her Twitter followers to set her up on 100 blind dates and watch (or is it read?) her love life unfold online.

Stokely calls it ”crowd-sourcing for pleasure.”

By reaching far out into her social network, she’s hoping someone she knows can do a better job than online dating sites of finding her the man of her dreams. Or at least a decent dinner date.

Stokely is quoted in the The Sydney Morning Herald:

”I was hoping people who had been recommended by actual humans will be better than what has turned out for me under that online dating process,” she says. ”It’s nice not to be that passive person with their photo up on a website, hoping someone will talk to them. It’s actually going out there and saying, ‘Hey, I want this to happen and it will be fun’, and people are responding to that.”

But before you recommend she meet your second cousin who’s a huge surfing fan, not so fast: she won’t accept a date with just anyone (she’s not *that* desperate). Potential daters must nominate themselves or be recommended for a date by a friend and complete a questionnaire that will be scruntized by 100 random Twitter follower pundits. Hence, the matchmaking.

Stokely has had requests from friends for similar dating “crowdsourcing” websites.

A similar approach, albeit a much less public experience, would be to use Thread.com to get your friends to play matchmaker for you with people from their Facebook friends network.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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How to get better profile pics: pay for it

December 21, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Posted in Dating Tips, Online Dating, Social Media | 2 Comments
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Before and after photos from http://www.lookbetteronline.com

I’m grateful I’m not single these days. Because if I were, I’d be agonizing over my inability to find or take a decent photo of myself.

Online photo editors may be able to eliminate red-eye, but where’s the tool for sculpting my chipmunk cheeks? And there’s no “undo” button for my bad decisions in wardrobe, hairstyle, or  facial expression. When is that getting feature getting added?

Until then, professional photographers can rest easy: there’s no shortage of unphotogenic daters in need of your help because while money can’t buy you love, but it can buy you a better online dating or Facebook profile pic.

If you consistently squint in photos or don’t have any that don’t include your ex, you may want to consider investing a little time and effort in a professional photo shoot.

It may sound drastic, but it’s money well spent. Slapping up that photo of you from the company holiday party could end up costing you more money as your profile gathers virtual dust.

LookBetterOnline.com offers packages for as little as $150 to have a photographer come to your house to take photos of you. And if you take fairly decent photos but could benefit from a little air-brushing, RetouchPhoto.net will retouch skin, remove wrinkles and blemishes, smooth skin, whiten teeth, remove teeth gaps, fix hair, and apply make-up on an existing photo of yourself.

For more drastic results, they remove double-chins, fix belly and love handles, slim face and body, and reshape your body. Shady, but at least your picture will match the lies you told on your profile.

Is your Facebook profile picture datable?

December 21, 2009 at 8:30 am | Posted in Dating Tips, Online Dating, Social Media | 4 Comments
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If you’re single and on the market, you may want to rethink your Facebook profile picture.

It’s already being checked by employers for risque behavior and compatibility before making hiring decisions, and chances are your profile is being checked by potential dates for those same things.

And like it or not, your profile picture is making a first impression for you.

Shirtless guy on a boat, we’re talking about you.

On a recent search of Thread.com for single guys aged 22-45, I had a hard time finding a Facebook profile that made me want to click. Either there aren’t very many cute guys in my network, or men in general don’t take their Facebook profile picture very seriously. I’m leaning towards the latter based on the plethora of joke photos and picture substitutes out there.

Here are some of the less flattering Facebook profile picture examples that don’t pass the click-test:

Camping photos: You want to come across as casual and laid back, but there is such a thing as too laid back, i.e., you don’t give a shit. If you can’t be bothered to care, why should we?

Pets: You love your pet, and you want everyone else to love your pet, but you are not your pet. It’s fine having a photo of your pet on your Facebook page, but putting it up as your profile picture suggests that you may have attachment issues.

Webcam photos: Really? You can’t find anyone to take a picture for you and you have to resort to using one taken by your computer? It’s kind of sad because it makes people think you don’t have any friends.

Your head is cocked to a 90 degree position: It’s unatural, unflattering, and we have to turn our head to see what you look like. It makes me question your judgement.

You’re miniscule: Are the only good photos of you the ones taken from 100 yards away? If you’re technically in the photo, but we can’t see what you look like, don’t use it as your Facebook profile picture.

You’re single, but with a bunch of girls or guys. If your Facebook photo shows you with your arm around someone but you’re not in a relationship, you come across as a big flirt. Some people like a chase, but the good ones don’t like drama.

You are with a bunch of girls or guys. It’s not that we can’t figure out which one in group photo is you, it’s that we worry we won’t be able to figure out who you are because you’re always with your posse. Don’t over identify with your friends.

You’re making a goofy face. Sense of humor is at the top of the list when it comes to matchmaking, but you want people to take you seriously. When you’re sticking your tongue out, abusing the distort feature on Photo Booth, or giving the camera the finger, we not going to take you seriously because you don’t take yourself seriously.

You’re not wearing enough clothes or are wearing the clothes of the opposite sex. My first impression of you should not be influenced by your boobs, amount of chest hair, or unfortunate costume parties. You may look phenomenal wearing a loosely tied toga, but I’m going to think you’re an attention whore.

You’re trying too hard: Your hair is perfectly styled, you’re sporting some trendy shades, and no one has photographed a bigger pout since the finale of last season’s America’s Next Top Model. You’re going for sexy, but even if you succeed you come across as a high maintenance prima dona.

You’re a cartoon: On top of being unable to tell what you look like, which was probably your point, we’re going to assume you’re as immature as the cartoon character that you feel best portrays you.

You use a picture of your kid. Why is it not ok to show your face, but it’s ok to show the photos of your kid? We’re going to assume you’ve peaked and are no longer attractive or no longer have a separate identify from your parenthood.

You don’t have any pictures of you at all. This includes using pictures of you from your childhood: you think you’re playing it safe, but it’s really a Big Red Flag. What are you afraid of and why are you hiding? Either you’re one of those conspiracy/privacy freaks or you’re afraid your past is going to catch up with you. Either way, it makes a people want to proceed with caution, if at all.

What did I miss?

Found on Twitter: dating fails this week

December 18, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Posted in Dating Stories, Social Media | 1 Comment
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What’s a bad date without a little Twitter #FAIL?

Here are a few of this week’s highlights from the Twitterverse on bad dates, online dating, and other things that can go wrong in your love life. Thanks for sharing, guys!

From @eatingjourney: @jennifersutter I have NEVER gotten past a second date. Me and dating = epic fail. Maybe I need new nail polish and a cop. 🙂

From @MADSONMONEYD: RT @yoly84: Went to speed dating and ex showed up. #fail>>lol

From @Hussy_trash: I’ve been talking on a dating service to someone Ive known for almost 5 years. #FAIL #debdates

From @Vd0tR0Xz: I hate when u go out on one date wit a dude… And he feels it’s ok to tell every other second that he basically wants to beat #FAIL

From @Emily_apathetic: @joshthomas87 if you werent dating @tomcballard and if i wasnt horifically ugly, id make out with u. But u are and i am, so, fail.

From @rashidaZakiya: #thoushallnot try to lick thy elbow while in public on a first date.EMBARRASING!! #fail

From @djtinat: Dinner date tonight = #fail. I hope my back patting hug was enough to give him the hint.

From @harmonymist: i just went on a first date that was perfectly fine, but no spark. I made out with him and felt nothing…absolutely nothing. #fail

Esquire’s rules to live and date by

December 9, 2009 at 11:57 am | Posted in Dating Tips, Social Media | Leave a comment
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We already know you should never date a man who lives with his mom or a woman who has more than three cats, but beyond that there’s a lot of grey area in the dating-sphere.

Esquire has been filling that void by rolling out a few tips on twitter to keep in mind when meeting someone at the next holiday party:

Rule No. 51: #nevertrust anyone who, within five minutes of meeting you, tells you where he went to college. #rules

Rule No. 110: #nevertrust anyone with a home- or cell-phone number that ends in 00. #rules

Rule No. 187: #nevertrust a man named after a body part. Rule No. 188: Especially if that body part is a pinkie.

Rule No. 601: #nevertrust a woman who refers to her breasts as separate entities (e.g. “the girls”). #rules

Rule No. 254: #nevertrust a man who uses nautical metaphors. #rules

And from personal experience:

Rule No. 721: #nevertrust a guy who calls himself a serial entrepreneur

Rule No. 722: #nevertrust a guy who says he gets comped in Las Vegas

Rule No. 723: #nevertrust a guy who offers to buy you a shot of anything, especially Jager

Rule No. 724: #nevertrust a woman who uses a bikini shot in their Facebook profile picture

Rule No. 725: #nevertrust a woman who swears by the rules

Moxie’s Online Dating D-bag O’ The Week

November 30, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Dating Stories, Dating Tips, Online Dating, Social Media, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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If you’ve been waiting for a reason to hire a profile writer for your Match.com or Nerve membership, now you’ve got it: your profile could get deconstructed by dating blogger Moxieinthecity.

Moxie is a networking event planner who, in addition to planning mixers and workshops around the country, offers dating advice to loveless and luckless readers on her blog “…And That’s Why You’re Single.”

And she’s looking for love online.

Bad for her dates who fail to impress, good for readers who get to benefit from her experience and wisdom. While most days she muses about her love life and dates, once in a while she flames nauseating online dating profiles she comes across, like this most recent installment of Online Dating D-bag O’ The Week:

I’m a freelance photographer, cinematographer and film-maker. Working on a pile of different projects at the moment (“entertainment,” luckily, appears to be a recession proof industry) including a genuinely funny comedy pilot, a feature film, a reality series that currently keeps me traveling the country, and…a few scripts of my own. When I have time, I produce stuff for other folks. This month I’m directing and producing a short I co-wrote. Busy.

(TRANSLATION: I’m such a bastard that I can’t work with anyone and can only work for myself.I;m also such a raging narcissist that I have to handle every aspect of a project because, well, nobody compares to ME. Take it easy, Spielberg.)

This guy breaks rule #2 when it comes to online dating profiles: don’t be braggadacious (#1 is showing scantily clad or shirtless photos of you –Not cute). The braggart comes in several flavors — the globe trotting traveler, the literary savant, the extreme sport tool–always easily identifiable by detail using a list of some sort in his online profile, like this guy who rattles off his “projects.” Apparently he thinks people are as easily impressed with his accomplishments as he is.

Online dating tip: If you’re going to be a resume rattling narcissist, don’t lead with it. Bury it at the end where we may have found something to like about you and can excuse a little self-promotion.

But while any experienced dater can point out the obvious dating don’t, Moxie takes it one step further delving into the psyche of our Clearly_Successful_Artist_Guy and calling him out for being 1) a control freak and 2) the scariest type of dater: the serial entrepreneur.

I might have missed that.

Read more of her deconstruction here.

Detangling from your ex online

November 25, 2009 at 8:00 am | Posted in Dating Stories, Dating Tips, Social Media, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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“Unfriending” may be the word of the year, but not so long ago everyone was your friend, including your spouse, former flames, grade school classmates, random business contacts, and long lost relatives. In fact, it was considered petty to remove someone from your Facebook network for any reason.

But now that social networking is becoming more engrained in our everyday lives and our identities, staying in touch with people is easier than ever and requires zero effort or communication at all — including with people you really want to forget. In that respect, technology is making it harder to move on after a break up and digital boundaries need to be redrawn.

One man admitted in an article in the New York Times Modern Love section his masochistic tendency to periodically Facebook-haunt his ex. While he was still “friends” with her despite maintaining radio silence after their clean break up, he was bothered when his grandfather decided to friend her. That fb faux pas incited a letter to his grandfather demanding to know why such a breach of electronic etiquette would occur when he couldn’t cut ties to her himself. Silly and immature, but that’s what Facebook makes us.

It seems that he was fine maintaining his technology status quo with her, but drew the line when she expanded further into his social network. But should he be friends with her at all post-breakup? While that question warrants its own debate, perhaps there’s a simpler solution for the interim: Should Facebook, for our own good, offer a cooling-off check box that temporarily hides them from our Friends list and prevents their statuses from appearing in the News feed until we really have moved on.

No doubt Facebook’s response to that enhancement request would be “grow up.” However, several articles are available to help us figure out how todetangle our exes from our digital lives.

I’m not a fan of deleting every email — they’re useful for remembering why you guys broke up in the first place. But I’m a firm believer in removing from IM and deleting contacts from phones , because watching someone log in and out every day makes to move on, and seeing your ex’s name while scanning your contact list will be a constant reminder that he or she hasn’t called.

Defriending and blocking on Facebook is a no-brainer, but it go far enough. While it prevents the other person from contacting or stalking you, you can still contact and see your ex’s comments and posts on your mutual friends page. In a perfect world there would be a way to block every instance of your ex from your world. Where’s that button? At least until you get over them.

Source: NYtimes.com

40 other things you shouldn’t say to your single friend

November 18, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Dating Tips, Social Media | 1 Comment
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We posted the top five dating suggestions that make single people’s skin crawl then opened a thread on Yelp to find other annoying advice we missed. Here’s 40 other things you shouldn’t say to your single friend:

6. Tick Tock

7. so when are you getting married?

8. It’s okay if you’re gay, there is nothing wrong with that.

9. If you wait too long, all the good ones will be taken.

10. If you don’t have a BF by 25, you are too late.

11. Well… I don’t think you’re pathetic…You’ll always have me

12. If you sleep with every hipster guy in the Mission, people are going to start calling you a slut.

13. Don’t worry, I’m sure the right person is out there, just waiting for you to come along.

14. Working out is a great way to relieve sexual frustration, and maybe you’ll meet someone at the gym!

15. You need to wear a push-up bra/something more girly/tight/pink.

16. This guy was hitting on me on the bus this morning. I told him to call me and gave him your number. Is that okay?

17. When are you going to have a baby? You are getting old you know

18. Are you lonely?

19. You shouldn’t try to meet someone at the bar/gym/work.

20. You should hurry up and find someone before your hymen grows back. (funny, but also not)

21. This guy gave me his number but I don’t like him.  You want his number?

Continue Reading 40 other things you shouldn’t say to your single friend…

Can you judge people by their Facebook picture?

November 10, 2009 at 9:41 am | Posted in Dating Tips, News, Social Media | Leave a comment
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Introvert or extrovert? Students in a Sonoma State University were able to accurately judge personality traits most of the time based only on photographs, whether they were staged or not. Credit: Laura Naumann

Consider yourself warned. Facebook is the ubiquitous cross-check for researching the lives and real personalities of prospective employees, friends, and dates. And a recent study confirmed what you already suspected: you are being judged by your photographs, and apparently quite accurately.

We’re not just talking about the ones of you dressed in drag or doing keg stands (although those are also very telling). Photographs contain subtle non-verbal clues that viewers use to identify the subject’s personality traits with surprisingly scary accuracy.

The experiment conducted by researchers at Sonoma State University (who knew they did research there?) used 12 students to judge 123 photos of undergraduate students they had never met before. Half of the viewers judged the undergraduates’ photos in a neutral pose, while the other six judged the same undergraduates in a spontaneous pose. The photographs were judged by the viewers based on 10 personality traits: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, openness (open to experience), likability, self-esteem, loneliness, religiosity and political orientation.

Continue Reading Can you judge people by their Facebook picture?…

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