Business - Written Wednesday, April 14, 2010 by Naumi Haque - 12 Comments
If you’re not reading OKCupid’s blog, OKTrends, you should be. Even if you have no interest in online dating, this is a site that will entertain and educate you with data-driven posts about the science of profile pictures; why statistically-speaking, young men should pursue older woman; and how a mathematical, multi-dimensional analysis of political identity can highlight the struggles of the Democratic Party.
OKCupid gathers personal information based on community-submitted questions that users answer. This allows the company to better match couples based on the unique values of each person. Their slogan is: “We do math to get you dates,” which includes going so far as to create decision charts that visualize the formulas leading to love (or at least a date) for various individuals. With their data, OKCupid reveals information about the effectiveness of various romantic approaches, male and female attitudes and biases, insights on what behaviors result in conversations, behavioral changes based on age, and a variety of other findings.
From a research perspective, OKCupid is a fascinating subject. I’ve references them before in a post about labor incentives. Today’s post is about the potential for data-enabled business models and new markets for user data. Even more insightful than some of the racier findings from OKCupid (such as the sexual appetite of the average 40-year-old Floridian woman), user activity on this site generates a tremendous amount of data that extends beyond the realm of dating and could be useful to other groups and industries.
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