Over at Credit.com I have a post about online matchmaker OKCupid's blog, which analyzes the messages its members send to each other and generates interesting charts and graphs from the data.
The OKCupid blog crunches data collected from millions of messages sent back and forth between its subscribers and reveals what kinds of messages and terms result in the most responses (along with the ones that are sure-fire turn offs). Even if you aren't looking for a romantic partner, you'll find that the graphs and charts offer fascinating insights into human nature.Charts to Help You Succeed in Online Dating
Especially interesting is the post titled "Online Dating Advice: Exactly What To Say In A First Message." OKCupid analyzed the terms and phrases in 500,000 "first contact" messages. They found, for instance, that "the worst 6 words you can use in a first message are all stupid slang," such as ur, r, u, ya, cant, and hit. Using ur will drop the response rate from 32 percent to 6 percent! Another mistake is complimenting someone on their looks. If you say someone is "sexy" you'll almost halve your chances of hearing back from them. On the other hand, a greeting of "How's it going?" will boost the response rate to 53%. People also respond well to messages that make it clear you actually read the person's profile and have something to say about it (using "you mention" in a message increases the response rate to 49%).
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects