the internet

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How many of you, dear internet folks, have dipped your toes into that sorted menagerie of online dating?

I don’t remember off the top of my head (and don’t feel like reading back through my site to see), but I think I’ve mentioned on here that I’ve tried my hand it. It’s okay. A number of my friends have given it a go, and we’ve traded some entertaining stories about it.

Lately I haven’t even been using any of them (I’ve been too preoccupied with the house to take any nice young ladies out), but I have logged onto one or two where I have a profile still active. I guess just out of boredom. Or maybe I’m a creeper. Whatever.

So anyway, I got this email from one of the sites today. I won’t copy and paste it, but the site admins told me that I’ve been “selected” by their super high tech “selecting computer” as an attractive individual. Now this wasn’t a veiled offer for an account upgrade. It was telling me that their algorithms had determined that I am more attractive than average and that if I log into the site, my search results will now be filtered so that more attractive females will show up at the top of my search results.

I call bullshit.

I actually logged onto the site and took a peek, and it didn’t seem any different than normal. It was the same general mix of attractiveness that one always sees.

I think they’re performing an experiment. Seriously. Think about it. You run a dating site. It’s a website and matching service, so all you can really do is try to give it the smoothest interface and the most sophisticated matching technology. Once you achieve that, the rest is left up to the users. I mean, people still need to contact each other, and they still need to negotiate those social interactions on their own.

So how do you increase site use? Pay out some compliments.

Now, we’re Americans, we’re leery of advertising. We have a nose for platitudes (well, unless you’re a Sarah Palin supporter–then, apparently, you’re addicted to platitudes, but I digress…). So you have to make the compliment specific. Tell the user, for example, that your scientific algorithmic algorithmnator determined that the user is more attractive than average and that they’ll be nudged towards other more attractive users. The user gets a little more confident. Some of the ladies start looking a little cuter. More emails and winks are sent out, and presumably more dates are set.

I think that this is genius. Here are some of the encouraging, ego-fluffing emails that I’d send out to my dear dating site users if I were the admin of such a site.

Email 1

Dear Sir Winksalot,

We are pleased to inform you that you are one of our dating site’s most reliable winkers and emailers! Our scientific computer algorithm interface generator has determined that you send out more winks and emails to more people than almost anyone. The computer has assessed your dedication to meeting absolutely anyone possible, how carefully you have copied and pasted your form emails, and how quickly you are able to declare your infinite virtues as well as your desire for a commitment that is true, noble, and above all hasty. We also love your poetry!

Hang in there, Sir Winksalot. We’ve now tailored your search to respond to your sociopathic, phishing-like online behavior with the best results imaginable. Mrs Right is just a click away!

Email 2

Dear Duchess of Duck,

We love your duckface! And so do our users! Our advanced computer indexing search engine optimizerator (SEOerator) has determined that more users click on your dozen or so duckface pictures than most other pictures. Not so many users post pictures of themselves with so many people, always guzzling vodka and redbulls, and always making your indelible trademark face.

Take heart, Duches of Duck, we’ve optimized your search results to pair you with more fellas locked in permanent duck face than before. Your chance to start dancing bill to bill is just a click away!

Email 3

Dear ICLondonICFrance,

We sure do love your underpants! And so do the rest of our members! Our advanced holistic search optimization forum has determined that the click through rate on your underpants pics are through the roof. We like to think that the shirtless men showing off their abs and the top down bathroom mirror boob shot women of our dating site are what make it a sizzlin’ place to meet new singles. And we’d like to thank you by upgrading your status.

ICLondonICFrance, your searches just got even better. We’ve now filtered your content to bring you exclusive access to the most underpants-only singles the web has to offer. Your chance to woo the underpants off the person of your dreams is just a click away!

This is fun. My dating website is gonna be the best on the net!

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My home is starting to resemble a home.  I am no longer sleeping on a matress unceremoniously flopped onto the floor.  I have curtains.  I have started cooking dinner more often than getting carry out.

And yet, most of my stuff is still in boxes.  Grrr.  I’m simultaneously trying to work on the house, work long hours, and start having a social life again.  It’s rough.

I hate it when I go through lag periods on this page, so let me try to get back to regular posting.

In the meantime, here is a link that you may find amusing:

Artistic Statement Generator 2000

I’d paste mine in here, but I don’t want to ruin the joke.  It’s cute.  Enjoy.

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This has been one of my favorite things to share in my Google feed reader, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here at all.  Slaughterhouse 90210.  Folks post pictures from movies and tv and then an underlying literary quote to accompany it.  Occasionally very clever, but usually just amusing.  Btw, I believe the title comes from the first post being a Vonnegut quote, probably the ubiquitous “So it goes”.  I don’t remember.

The following just popped up, which is interesting because I was just discussing this Calvino book with someone this week:

“Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.”
— Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

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