Today’s New York Times has an article about The Dubious Science of Online Dating. Markus was responding to a research report by Eli Finkel, Associate Professor of Social Psychology at Northwestern University, that says dating site matching systems are Doing It Wrong. Markus feels that POF is doing things with matching that the dating industry doesn’t even think is possible.
As Sam Yagan of OKCupid told me once (paraphrasing), a good matching algorithm isn’t only about making great matches, its also about hiding the people from you that you don’t want to see on the site.
The online dating industry has generally been focused on marketing for a decade.
Now, the industry is being forced to acknowledge that the playing field has shifted to the matching algorithms used to put quality people in front of each other . But first, lets take a step back and look at a decade of online matchmaking.
For the early part of the decade the algorithms matching people were, how can I say this politely, less than useful.
For the majority of sites, matching on anything more complicated than age/sex/location was a shot in the dark.