Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Online Dating – Briefly Speaking

dilbert dating

My statistics course.


Besides blogging, wading through the morass that is my math homework is the most time consuming element in my life these days. Slogging and blogging, there’s a combo for you.

It doesn’t help that the textbook contains eye-catching sidebars that illustrate the current topic. Before you know it, I chuck the homework and begin to compose a new blog entry. For instance, my piece on Seven Degrees of Separation. (By the way, Happy Groundhog Day. Between Wiarton Willy – may the blessed creature declare an early spring! – and yours truly are two degrees of separation. I know the groundhog’s handler, the Mayor of Wiarton.)

Here’s what caught my eye the other day.

The four founders of the online dating site OkCupid are mathematicians who use methods of statistics to analyze results from their website. The chief executive officer of OkCupid has been quoted as saying, “We’re not psychologists. We’re math guys.” The OkCupid website is unique in its use of methods of statistics to match people more effectively.

By analyzing the photos and responses of 7000 users, analysts at OkCupid found that when creating a profile photo, men should not look directly at the camera, and they should not smile. For women, the appearance of being interesting produces much better results than the appearance of being sexy. They found that brevity is good for the first posted message; the ideal length of the first posted message is 40 words—about what a typical person can type in one minute.

So, true to form, here I am, writing a piece about online dating when I should prepare for the exam this Thursday.

This is for Matt of Must be This Tall to Ride. His story was freshly pressed last week. I’ve been reading his blog from back to front.  One thread is the perils of online dating. I’ve read as far as September 16, 2013 and by that point he had decided to give up on the online dating scheme.

Matt, if you decide to try again, go for brief, and don’t smile. See if that helps.

I have no idea what to suggest for women. “Look interesting.” What the hell does that mean?

Now, in an effort to retain some semblance of discipline, I shall return to the textbooks. And I shall try to refrain from writing the sequel, wherein I talk about how I met my husband online using a 783 word profile.

Categories: Blog Blog Blog, Continuing Education


4 replies

  1. Hi Maggie! I read Matt too and enjoy his way with words. This was a neat post, big exam or not but I gotta admit, that course is what made me become a writer instead of a psychologist…..damn stats! Thanks for being such a versatile blogger = = I hear there’s an award for that!


  2. And was your husband looking directly at the camera and smiling in his profile pic? (My future-husband was!) Can’t remember how long our initial posted messages were, though.


    • Ah! I am delighted that we are kindred in this regard! I see that I have some serious catching up to do, reading wise! To your question: looking directly,yes, but Reiner doesn’t smile for the camera. Maybe a softness around the eyes?


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