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I Used Data Analytics to Game Online Dating

#sxsw #dating

I was tired of terrible first dates. When I decided to try online dating, I wasn’t going to let my profile mugshot and a few lines about me decide my fate. Instead, I did what any enterprising young woman in my position would do: I gamed the system! I created a series of male user profiles, registered a bunch of accounts and logged in as men. For weeks, I studied all the women using that service and collected data on the ones who seemed most popular.

I eventually compiled everything into a deep data analysis. Then, I logged back into the service...this time as a woman...and created a profile using my own information, but skewed to the trends I uncovered. Within a week I had the most popular profile on the service. Two months later I was dating the person who would later become my husband.

What I learned: Most people don't understand their audiences. In this session, I’ll detail how I gamed online dating...and what that means for anyone trying to land a committed relationship with their users.


Amy Webb CEO Webbmedia Group

Amy is an author, speaker and future thinker, adapting current and emerging technologies for use in communications. She has spent close to 20 years working with digital media, founding several web-based companies and now advising various startups, retailers, government agencies and media organizations as well as Webbmedia Group's clients all over the world.

Amy also participates on many boards and partners with a number of institutions. She is a Research Affiliate with the MIT Media Lab and is a lecturer for Columbia University's Executive Media Leadership program. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Online News Association, the SXSW Accelerator Advisory Board, Knight-Batten Advisory Board, the Advisory Board for Temple University’s Journalism Program and the Advisory Board for the International Center for Journalists. She is the co-founder of Spark Camp and one of the Knight News Challenge judges. Amy is also a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Interactive Media Peer Group) and serves as a judge for the Emmy® awards. She has been on the adjunct journalism faculty at University of Maryland, Temple University, Tokyo University and University of the Arts.

Amy began her career as a reporter/ writer with Newsweek (Tokyo) and the Wall Street Journal (Hong Kong) where she covered emerging technology, media and cultural trends. She has contributed to the New York Times, NPR, Economist and many publications and broadcast shows. Her work has been recognized with awards/nominations from Webby, Editor & Publisher, Investigative Reporters & Editors, Society of Professional Journalists, W3 and IAVA. She has a M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and holds a B.A. in political economics from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. She also earned Nikyu Certification in the Japanese government-administered Language Proficiency Test and speaks fluently. She is a keynote speaker at events worldwide and often appears on broadcast shows. Her book, "DATA: A LOVE STORY. How I gamed online dating and met my match" is being published by Penguin (Valentine's Day 2013).

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