A Brief Blog Profile: OkTrends
by Thomas Hynes
The online dating site OkCupid has around 7 million active users. And most if not all of them have filled out profile question after profile question with all sorts of information. The resulting data has been compiled into what is quite honestly one of the most fascinating blogs I've ever read: OkTrends. Now, I'll be honest. I've never done online dating. But, I'm unmarried and I have a facebook page. So in a way, I've totally done online dating. After all, I've got a (facebook) profile. I've got pictures and information online. Like most everyone, I put a certain face forward. I'm deliberate. On OkTrends, all those motivations and factors I once thought were unique to me are churned through the lens of a statistician and presented scientifically. I'm not necessarily an individual. I'm a percentage.
Truthfully, I don't feel that comfortable citing the exact names of all the studies here. For one, this is a work blog. And secondly, my grandmother might read this one day. But some certainly are work(blog) appropriate. For instance, this post outlines exactly what to say on a first date. And this post covers the big myths about profile pictures. And this one reveals the biggest lies people tell in online dating.
You quickly realize OkTrends is not just about online dating. It's about people. It's about sociology and psychology. It sits at the intersection of infographics and sex.. and I have to say, I didn't think such an intersection existed. If nothing else, this blog is certainly a telling and often real-time reflection of the most basic ways humans communicate and interact with one another. It stands to reason most any site with any kind of profile aspect to it has loads of data collected on their users. I doubt, however, any blog is doing anything cooler with that information than OkTrends is.