online dating

Greasemonkey Scripts for Dating Sites

Greasemonkey Scripts for Dating Sites

My primary complaint with all dating sites is that they make profile thumbnails too small on the Search & Match pages. This is in the sites’ best interest because it encourages users to click through to view more profiles. This gives users the sense of more activity when they look at their Visitors page, it creates more advertisement impressions, and it increases the likelihood of users messaging each other. But it’s not in the users’ best interest to click around aimlessly.

Fortunately I’ve discovered some sweet scripts from the source of my killer Facebook hacks that help correct this problem in big ways.

First you’ll need to install Greasemonkey if you use Firefox or Greasemetal if you use Chrome. If you’re using another browser I highly recommend you switch (FF ftw imo btw lol omg). Next you just install the following scripts and refresh the dating site to activate them. I’m not going to mention scripts that remove ads from specific sites because I use Adblock Plus for that.

We’ll start with my favorite dating site, OkCupid. OKC Big Pictures allows you to view the full sized original photo uploaded by a user, without the OkCupid watermark. Once installed, go to the photos tab of any user (except yourself) and click on a photo that looks like it might have a large original version. There appears to be a maximum resolution of 1500 x 1500, which is 4.3 times bigger than Facebook’s max. If you liked that trick, you’ll love this: okcupid (terrible name, I know) displays the full resolution image when you hover the mouse over any picture on the site! This is a lot more fun if you have very high bandwidth like I do (20 Mbit down at home, 80 Mbit at work). These images also appear to be stored on slower servers than the rest of OkC’s images, but it’s a very worthwhile tradeoff in my opinion. I don’t use IM on OkCupid, but if you do, try out Better OkCupid IM Windows. And finally, if you’re getting a low response rate when messaging women, plug in SuperResponse and boost it to an 80% response rate guaranteed!

OnlineWingman is a toolbar and dashboard that tracks your browsing history and response rates to help you improve your effectiveness. It doesn’t work right away, but it could be interesting to see its charts after using it for a week or two. It supports PlentyofFish and I’m pretty disappointed that nothing else useful exists for Match and POF, the top 2 dating sites.

All you eHarmony subscribers probably wonder like I do why the hell eHarmony hates pictures so much. They show you first names as your matches, but no pictures. Am I really supposed to remember 50+ people I’ve never met by their first names? The Ultimate eHarmony Matches Table fixes this shortcoming and makes a huge improvement on the My Matches page; you’ll come to realize that eHarmony is unusable without it.

OKCupid’s MyBestFace Would Be Awesome … If It Worked

OKCupid’s MyBestFace Would Be Awesome … If It Worked

OKCupid recently unveiled MyBestFace, a feature that helps its members determine their most attractive profile pictures. You have to earn the report by voting on other members’ photos, and others do the same for yours. Each photo you post requires you to vote on 20 pairs of photos. You have to choose which person you’d rather go on a date with (and skip is not an option). According to OKCupid, this is how it works: “A group of real humans compared your photos with others’, and each time your photo was selected – or not – the information we gleaned was a complex function of how well the opposing photo did in its own report. In other words, we weren’t simply counting votes. We considered all the other votes, too, and converged rapidly on your best face.” Sounds a lot like Mark Zuckerberg’s Facemash to me.

As I voted I realized I was unfairly discriminating against certain users that were not my type. I wished I could specify demographics (at least age range) of people I voted on and people who voted on me. For example, an older woman may choose to go on a date with an older man when pitted against me, just because he’s older, which in turn reduces my score unfairly.

I was very surprised by the results of my report after running my favorite 8 pictures through it, so I decided to process more of them, and more again. Still surprised I decided to run them through a second time to determine the consistency of the results. After all, to trust the results of which photo is better than another, a photo should score higher than another in both round 1 and round 2.

I ran 44 pictures through MyBestFace twice and analyzed the numbers on a spreadsheet (update 6/22/2010 more accurate Excel version). Combining numbers from both rounds, I found that the standard deviation from one photo to another is lower than the average discrepancy between round 1 and round 2. If this is always true, that means you cannot tell which photo is better than another after only one round of comparison. Keep in mind that you have to vote on 20 photos per round per photo submitted, so submitting 44 photos twice required voting on 1,760 pairs of photos, which of course took a lot of time.

My average picture rating of both rounds was 67.36. The average difference between my picture score and 67.36 is 4.3, and the standard deviation over both rounds is 5.38. The average difference between the same photo in round 1 vs. round 2 is 5.46, which is the system’s margin of error.

Since the margin of error is greater than the standard deviation between my good and bad photos, I consider the results very inaccurate in round 1. One could argue that if I compared 2 photos in round 1 and the difference between them was greater than 5 (MyBestFace rounds to whole numbers), the higher scoring picture is indeed more attractive than the lower scoring picture. However, in the worst case scenario I had one picture jump 13 points from round 1 to round 2! And only 13.6% of my photos earned the same score in round 1 and round 2.

It would take rating another 1,760 pairs of photos to determine the reduction in the system’s margin of error after doubling the number of experiments, but I assume it would still be greater than the standard deviation from photo to photo. If that is the case, then even after 4 rounds of experimentation the system still fails to prove which photo is more desirable than another.

MyBestFace is fun to try, and it would be a very useful tool if its results were accurate, but after running this experiment I think I’m better off just asking a few friends which of my pictures are most attractive.