Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Will Match.com destroy OKCupid? Or, The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming

I was at work at the newspaper and scanning the business wire when I saw the news about Match.com buying OKCupid.

The fact that I’m still single at age 50 – and will never find love – is probably the worst advertisement ever for online “dating,” but with Match.com basically vacuuming up dating sites like my Hoover, it’s a good bet that a lot of other guys will find online dating as much of a dead end as singles’ bars with the volume cranked to 10.

Match.com has a reputation that stinks on every computer screen in the country, and the fact that the founder of OKCupid had a blog posting about the disadvantages of paying for online dating – as at Match.com — scrubbed shows that amid the brave talk that Match.com’s policies and behavior won’t affect OKCupid is just talk.

A recent article noted that Match.com basically buys members, having sucked up – among others – Yahoo’s personals service. It can release statistics that purport to proclaim a horde of marriages and relationships without having to provide proof, and use the cash of its corporate parent to buy up anyone else who might try to enter the business and play by rules that don’t turn the membership list into a source for extreme advertising and pushy marketing.

Are you listening, Plentyoffish?

Already, my visits to OKCupid have presented me with ads saying that someone has a crush on me, and when I clicked on the ad I was diverted to a place I didn’t want to be at, and got hit with pop-ups despite having pop-up blocking on.

Today, I received an e-mail message informing me that I had a message, and the message sender was from Malaysia. I also saw a host of visitors to my profile from all over the country. As at Match.com, the word may have gone out for company employees to tickle as many profiles as possible to make members believe that they are desirable and sought after.

I remember when I was a naïve paying member of Match.com, and how I suddenly became interesting to so many women as my membership ran out. I was not on auto-renew, and I know they were just itching to have another shot at my credit card.

Messages, winks and more flowed in, and I was told that if I renewed and paid, Ms. Right would be mine. Well, it takes time to learn that some of us are just not right for anyone, and I renewed once but never again.

If the past serves as a pattern for the future, male OKCupid members can look forward to lots of “messages” from women all over the world as well as fake interest from bogus female profiles set up to tickle male profiles.

The chances that the profile you respond to does not have a real female human being behind it will increase dramatically with Match.com in charge, and will spur an exodus from the site.

It’s a pity, but it’s the way of the world.

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February 7, 2011 - Posted by | Living in the modern age | , , , , ,

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