I’ve been working so much lately, that I haven’t had time to blog much, but a reader reminded me that I never did write about that cool dating site I liked… a few points: 1)IT’S FREE, 2)They don’t censor you like the other ones… So, here’s the link, as well as a very comprehensive review of features. Check it out!
Chemistry.com, as well as Match.com (which makes sense, since they’re owned by the same company) both drove me nuts with their lame workflow.. as did E-Harmony (despite that I never did check my inbox for that one). By lame workflow I am referring to a few things: 1)They keep cropping your photos. I’m a frigging photographer/designer… My pictures are all designed to tell a story, the composition on them is intentional. Those sites keep cropping the pics to show the face only. When I complained, they said that it’s to fit the space (pixel resolution) they have on the profile.. so when I measured the space out myself (aweome Firefox plugin, if you’re a designer, or are into measuring things: MEASURE-IT), and sized the pictures to match, they STILL cropped the damn things… they said that it’s for primary pictures, so needs to be mostly face. I deleted all the pics, and resent them, with a long well worded letter explaining that these are only to be used as secondary pics, do not crop. They cropped…. That aside, 2)You have to have everything approved. On match/chemistry/eharmony/jdate/etc… you have to have every single update to your profile approved… whether it’s a new picture (The ones they don’t crop, they just don’t permit :p ), or any text… God forbid you try to put you IM address in there, or anything like that (Jdate kicked me off in 2005 for that)…. The photo and approval thing aren’t just about principle… they’re also about time… you upload a picture, or change your text, or change your zipcode, and you have to wait 1-4 days for the change to take place.
When I complained after a few days of Chemistry to my friend Damion, he told me some friends were having good luck with OkCupid. I figured I’d try it out. So.. here’s the cool things about it:
1)It’s absolutely free!
2)You upload your own photos… they don’t check them… they just delete them if people flag them as inappropriate. So… instant update, and no lame cropping.
3)You get 10 photos. The resolution is 640×480, which is not huge, but is twice what Chemistry offers.
4)The same applies to text… lots of text… instant update.
5)They give you a journal (kind of a blog I Guess). And encourage you to comment on other people’s journals.
6)They offer all sorts of different ways to find your match– there’s quickmatch (you get to see parts of a profile, anonymously, and you get to rate the person (1-5) on personality, and on looks… if you give them a 4 or a 5, it e-mails them that SOMEONE liked them… (looks and/or personality), and when they go to their quickmatch, that person will be snuck into their matching… and if there’s a mutual rating, they e-mail you both that there was a match. The funny thing is, one time I got an e-mail that this ugly girl and I both gave each other a 1 on looks I laughed, and wanted to e-mail her based on that… but thought better of it.
7)They have a really neat matching algorythm. I’m not sure how it works… but you can change the settings- Gray Goo (the algorythm on its own), or distance, or % match, or % friend, or % enemy, or by recent login, or recent signup, or a combination of any 2. Also, there’s Quiver (which is basically the only way that Chemistry.com/e-harmony work… you get a few random girls each few days)
8)They have “Stalkers” – a type of addicting feature that shows you who’s looked at your profile (unless they have ‘surf anonymously’ turned on)… which usually makes you go stalk them.
9)They have LOTS of tests… I mean… LOTS… they have people sign up just to take the quizes… and members get to submit their own quizes… and they have themed make a quiz contests. Many of these tests are actually impressive- from Myers Briggs personality tests, to what kind of a lover are you, to which supervillain would you be, etc… The thing is that they give you all these nifty icons based on these personality tests… so my profile says that I’m:
More adventurous/more agressive/more artistic/more athletic/more cocky/less helpful/more energetic/more economically free/more friendly/less giving/more indie/more extroverted/less lawful/more literary/less old fashioned/more optimistic/less of a planner/less pure/more sloppy/more spontaneous/less well-mannered/more competitive. It got all these from a quiz or two.. not sure how, but it seems fairly accurate. They even have a glossary of what all those icons mean!
10)Speaking of more accurate… part of what they use to figure out your matching score is a set of questions… they have 3,772 questions at the time of this writing (yes, I had to log on to see.. it’s been a tiny while since I’ve actually been seeing someone, and have had no interest in meeting new people), of which I answered 2,410. Some are good, many are lame… but, you answer each as what would you choose, what would your ideal mate answer, and how important is their answer to you (irrelevant all the way to manditory). You can also do a WTF Report, which lets you compare what you each answered for all the questions. Certain questions you can make manditory to answer.. i.e. if someone tries to e-mail you, the e-mail will not go through unless they answer your key questions… you get notified of that when you try to send the mail, and then you get taken to the proper questions.
11)Multiple ways to contact people. E-mail, that quickmatch thing I mentioned earlier, they have a really great instant messenger like FaceBooks. You can also “Woo” them (the site sends them a message that they’ve been woo’ed- and then they can go check you out). You can turn off instant messaging, as well as woo-ability…. or you can set levels of who you want to be able to contact you – i.e. certain types of matching, etc…
12)You can add people to your Favorites, and it lets you know when they’re on. The site also shows you all sorts of updates on the people it’s tried to match you up with, or that you’ve checked out… so you know if they’ve changed their relationship status, or if they just took a new quiz, or if they answered another 100 questions, etc…
13)When you look at a profile, it shows you a selection of people that are similar, and gives you reasons why… or at least a feature about them- i.e. This person from this city, and they are _____ (more introverted. or more ambitious, etc). When you rate a person a certain way, it shows you people that other people who have rated this person the same way have liked.
14)The site lets you rate people as you’re browsing them (not just quickmatch… oh yeah.. .after you rate someone on the quickmatch, it shows you who they are, so you can go check out their full profile if you want– though risking being detected by the my stalkers feature)– on looks and personality… but even cooler is that you can take notes on them! I wish the other sites had that… so… if someone changed out their photo, and you don’t recognize that you’ve seen them before, it can be annoying… but with this site, you can not only see that you actually gave them a crappy rating on personality a while back, but you also left a note that “This person scares the crap out of me… apparently, they have every bad habit I hate, and I never want to be in contact with them.”- and read it before you go showing up as a stalker again.
15)The site has many neat social-networking features… so.. when you’re looking at someone’s photos, you can click “Share this photo” and there’s an interface to send that photo to your friends on gmail/y!mail/Aolmail/Hotmail/MsnMail – or just type in e-mails… and it will import your contacts, and let you choose who you want to send it to. Or you can share an entire profile… They have a forum- you can click a button to instantly post a discussion in the forum about a certain question from the quizes. You can also post your test results to the various social sites (facebook/myspace/livejournal/blogger/orkut/bbcode/or html code to use on your site) – so… here’s my How funny are you really test.
Your result for The How Funny Are You, Really? Test…
OVER OUR HEADS
26 Corny, 33 Witty, 29 Sophisticated, 21 Wacky and 33 Overall Sense of Humor
You’re a hit at the lab!…But, on the outside, you probably don’t have too many friends. Most people just don’t get you. That’s ok. I think you’re funny.
Please Rate this test, below. I’m not asking you to give it 5 stars. Just, be honest. If you don’t rate it, it counts as zero stars and brings down my average.
Thanks. I hope you enjoyed it!
Compared To Other Takers
- 60/100 You scored 26 on Corny, higher than 60% of your peers.
- 97/100 You scored 33 on Witty, higher than 97% of your peers.
- 87/100 You scored 29 on Sophisticated, higher than 87% of your peers.
- 55/100 You scored 21 on Wacky, higher than 55% of your peers.
- 95/100 You scored 33 on Humor, higher than 95% of your peers.
(I thought it was accurate My humor’s quirky)
16)The entire interface is very Ajax based (not the soap… that “Web2.0” thing that you click on something, and it animates, or gives you a result without having to go to a brand new page)- so is very slick and extremely functional. The crew is also always changing the site to improve it.
17)Did I mention it’s FREE!
18)The guys who founded this are all really friggin smart! We’re talking Harvard and Stanford grads. They’re also cool, and with a sense of humor. The site feels a lot warmer, more personable, and fun than the normal dating sites.
19)The profiles are more accurate than on the other sites, as there are questions and answers about things you can’t even mention on other sites– such as… drugs for example.
20)You can view the site in many languages, as well as enter your answers to the essays, etc.. in multiple languages. Spanish, German, English, Hebrew, Italian, Dutch, Portugese, English, or British.
21)You can specify what you’re looking for– new friends, long term dating, short term dating, activity partners, long distance penpals, or casual encounters (Sex partners).
I suppose that’s plenty to get you started… If you’d like to know more, go to OkCupid and check it out for yourself. Spread the word, because…. why the hell should people be paying $30-$40 per month, and getting ripped off, censored, and annoyed, when they can have fun, be themself, and not pay a dime.
Oh yeah… these guys are so cool and smart that they also developed a blind date site! I haven’t tried it, but I was tempted… CrazyBlindDate.com lets you choose your major city (sorry folks.. only available in certain areas)- Austin/Boston/NYC/SF Bay Area/Washingon D.C. / Los Angeles/ Chicago/Atlanta. You can go on a single blind date, or a group blind date… you just pick out where you’re at, and what distance you’re willing to drive, and it will text you when and where to go. It is even good on short notice. Can’t tell you more about it, other than it’s free! And… here’s a news video on them (they have more linked on there):
Awww heck… since I’ve been thorough about everything- here’s a link to a video search on Youtube for OkCupid — so you can see some info on there (I don’t have the time to watch all these videos, as it’s 2am, and I’ve been typing this for a while).
I hope that helps you out. Or if it doesn’t, I’m sure that there’s plenty of people you know that are miserable, and don’t have the balls to try online dating, or are upset that it’s expensive, etc… you should definitely tell them about it. In fact, you don’t even have to go on OkCupid.com for dating– you can go to find a penpal, or activity partners, etc… I highly recommend it.
As for me… I had an interesting experience with it. I met a few girls, I spoke to a few I never met… I even had a Suicide Girl hit on me on that site… she was way cool, “a really hot and gory female version of me” I told people (but she does smoke cigarettes, is seeing someone, and doesn’t want to have kids). Some people are crazy– just like you’d expect when you meet some new person through a friend, or some stranger at a bar, or the grocery store… so.. it’s not just online that has the freaks, let’s try to remember that.
The funny thing is that recently I changed my okc profile to only look for new friends / activity partners, as I was found by a nice gal through MySpace of all places. So, while I’m not using OkCupid.com right now, I hope it helps you out. Enjoy!
Oh yeah! Here’s a P.S. for you…
I *JUST NOW* added a Social-Bookmarking feature to my site… so.. if you like this lengthy article about OkCupid.com, and online dating in general.. go ahead and social bookmark it, so others can find it as well. Heck…feel free to surf my site and social bookmark other articles of mine that you may have enjoyed- I find some quirky stuff!