Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match
  • Alternative view 1 of Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match
  • Alternative view 2 of Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match

Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match

4.7 6
by Amy Webb
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A lively, thought-provoking memoir about how one woman "gamed" online dating sites like JDate, OKCupid and eHarmony – and met her eventual husband.


After yet another online dating disaster, Amy Webb was about to cancel her JDate membership when an epiphany struck: It wasn’t that her standards were too high, as women are

Overview

A lively, thought-provoking memoir about how one woman "gamed" online dating sites like JDate, OKCupid and eHarmony – and met her eventual husband.


After yet another online dating disaster, Amy Webb was about to cancel her JDate membership when an epiphany struck: It wasn’t that her standards were too high, as women are often told, but that she wasn’t evaluating the right data in suitors’ profiles. That night Webb, an award-winning journalist and digital-strategy expert, made a detailed, exhaustive list of what she did and didn’t want in a mate. The result: seventy-two requirements ranging from the expected (smart, funny) to the super-specific (likes selected musicals: Chess, Les Misérables. Not Cats. Must not like Cats!).

Next she turned to her own profile. In order to craft the most compelling online presentation, she needed to assess the competition—so she signed on to JDate again, this time as a man. Using the same gift for data strategy that made her company the top in its field, she found the key words that were digital man magnets, analyzed photos, and studied the timing of women’s messages, then adjusted her (female) profile to make the most of that intel.

Then began the deluge—dozens of men wanted to meet her, men who actually met her requirements. Among them: her future husband, now the father of her child.

Forty million people date online each year. Most don’t find true love. Thanks to Data, a Love Story, their odds just got a whole lot better.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this insightful, funny journey through online dating, Webb, a compulsively organized journalist and digital strategist, tries to find the perfect man by putting herself in his shoes. After the end of a relationship, Webb develops a 1,500-point ranking system for her ideal partner, but she can’t seem to find him. In an elaborate masquerade, she creates a fake JDate profile—as a man—to discover what kind of woman seduces Mr. Right. Webb’s advice for dating both on and offline is insightful (and data-driven), and her descriptions of meddling family members, bad dates, and worse profiles are hilarious and familiar to anyone who’s tried dating online. Some story elements feel slightly misplaced and glossed over—her mother’s illness is a confusing plot thread, and there are too many details about George Michael. While some of her best advice is stashed in an appendix, her tips for creating and managing an online dating profile are trenchant. The story of her own experiment is funny, brutally honest, and inspirational even to the most hopeless dater. Agent: Suzanne Gluck and Erin Malone, William Morris Endeavor. (Jan. 31)
From the Publisher
“Amy Webb found her true love after a search that's both charmingly romantic and relentlessly data-driven. Anyone who uses online dating sites must read her funny, fascinating book.”-Gretchen Rubin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project

Data: A Love Story has me reassessing my sad single years, or at least my approach to them. The book is about pragmatic approaches to partnership, the freedom that comes from asking for what you want, and the clarity that follows honest assessments of oneself and others. (And it's brave, funny, and smart to boot.) -Anna Holmes, founder of Jezebel.com and editor of-Hell Hath No Fury: Women's Letters from the End of the Affair.-

“A hilarious, fascinating, meticulous, brutally honest, totally engrossing and utterly delightful book. Webb's color-coded and cross-indexed tale of her quest for exactly what she unapologetically wanted will make you look at data differently - and use it much, much better. -Rachel Sklar, co-founder of TheLi.st and Change The Ratio.

“I LOVE THIS BOOK TO DEATH! Amy Webb has literally written the book on online dating. This is online dating for geeks - for women - for men - for anyone who would like to meet their soulmate or just a playmate, and despairs of ever doing so.”-Cindy Gallop, founder of ifwerantheworld.com

Data, A Love Story is blunt, witty, charming, informative, smart, and true. It's Mr. Spock meets Mary Tyler Moore, as logical Amy turns her life into an algorithm and finds the formula for love. Is this the future of romance? Buy this book and find out.” -Jeff Jarvis, author of Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live and What Would Google Do?

“funny, brutally honest, and inspirational even to the most hopeless dater.”-Publishers Weekly

“clever and inventive… will be inspiring and eye-opening for anyone who has ever tunred to one of the many popular online dating sites in search of love.”-Booklist

“Potent stuff”- Library Journal

“Ultimately, [Webb] got her man, ‘a story book wedding' and the longed-for child. Pleasant, geeky fun.”-Kirkus

“It's an enjoyable read for anyone, but online daters should definitely check it out, as some of her findings are revelatory.”-XOJane.com

Kirkus Reviews
A female journalist/digital media strategist's wry account of how she used mathematics, data analysis and spreadsheets to find the love of her life. Time was running out for 30-something Webb, who desperately wanted to get married and start a family. So she followed the advice of friends and family and tried online dating "to cast a very wide net" and find "the perfect man." Unfortunately, her computer matches were less than inspiring. Some blatantly misrepresented themselves; others were bores, dorks, egotists, mooches, sex fiends or married men on the make. Webb finally realized that she wasn't getting better responses for two reasons: her own lack of specificity about what she wanted in a potential spouse and the absence of a personal system to help her determine which matches would make good dates. She developed a list of 72 desirable characteristics, which she then boiled down to 25, ranked and numerically weighted according to importance. Webb then went to work revamping her online profile in order to get the most responses from the best possible matches for her. To get the data she needed to do this, she created several profiles for fictional men with the characteristics she sought. All of the females who responded seemed shallow, but Webb also saw that they were among the most popular with the most attractive and successful men. Then she had a flash of insight: Regardless of their real-world accomplishments, "these women were approachable [and] seemed easy to date." Armed with this knowledge, the author recreated her online image to market herself as "the sexy-girl-next-door" rather than a competitive, neurosis-stricken workaholic. Ultimately, she got her man, "a storybook wedding" and the longed-for child. But some readers may wonder how the things Webb "discovers" about successful dating through her research could have eluded her in the first place. Pleasant, geeky fun.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525953807
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
01/31/2013
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Videos

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Amy Webb found her true love after a search that's both charmingly romantic and relentlessly data-driven. Anyone who uses online dating sites must read her funny, fascinating book.”—Gretchen Rubin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project
 
Data: A Love Story has me reassessing my sad single years, or at least my approach to them. The book is about pragmatic approaches to partnership, the freedom that comes from asking for what you want, and the clarity that follows honest assessments of oneself and others. (And it's brave, funny, and smart to boot.) —Anna Holmes, founder of Jezebel.com and editor of Hell Hath No Fury: Women's Letters from the End of the Affair. 
 
“A hilarious, fascinating, meticulous, brutally honest, totally engrossing and utterly delightful book. Webb's color-coded and cross-indexed tale of her quest for exactly what she unapologetically wanted will make you look at data differently - and use it much, much better. —Rachel Sklar, co-founder of TheLi.st and Change The Ratio.
 
“I LOVE THIS BOOK TO DEATH! Amy Webb has literally written the book on online dating. This is online dating for geeks - for women - for men - for anyone who would like to meet their soulmate or just a playmate, and despairs of ever doing so.”—Cindy Gallop, founder of ifwerantheworld.com
 
Data, A Love Story is blunt, witty, charming, informative, smart, and true. It’s Mr. Spock meets Mary Tyler Moore, as logical Amy turns her life into an algorithm and finds the formula for love. Is this the future of romance? Buy this book and find out.” —Jeff Jarvis, author of Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live and What Would Google Do?
 
“funny, brutally honest, and inspirational even to the most hopeless dater.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“clever and inventive… will be inspiring and eye-opening for anyone who has ever tunred to one of the many popular online dating sites in search of love.”—Booklist
 
“Potent stuff”— Library Journal
 
“Ultimately, [Webb] got her man, ‘a story book wedding’ and the longed-for child. Pleasant, geeky fun.”—Kirkus

 “It's an enjoyable read for anyone, but online daters should definitely check it out, as some of her findings are revelatory.”—XOJane.com

Meet the Author

AMY WEBB is an award-winning journalist who wrote for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications before founding Webbmedia Group, a digital-strategy consultancy that works with Fortune 500 companies, major media companies and foundations, the government, and others. She lives with her family in Baltimore, Maryland.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Data, a Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
BethanyL More than 1 year ago
I met my boyfriend online. When people are skeptical or amazed by this (especially my friends who do date online and haven’t had much luck) I tell them that online dating is easy. The hard part is being completely honest about a) who you are, and b) what you want out of online dating. So when I heard about Data, A Love Story I was immediately intrigued. Partly because I like funny lady memoirs, partly because I’m always into people who are smart enough to game things—especially Internety things, because that requires a much higher level of math than my brain can fathom—and partly because I wanted to know how Webb was successful with online dating, since I’ve also been successful with it. All in all, Webb’s book is a really great read: honest, funny, sad at times, and really really smart. However—the way Webb went about “gaming” online dating included making 10 male profiles and email addresses so she could scope out her female competition. Which is, you know, a little creepy, but fine. It’s fine. And then she conversed with other women on the site as a guy for “research” which bordered on Catfish for me. I mean, it never went into “I want to be with you forever but I refuse to meet you” territory—when she was pretending to be a guy she was never ever ever saying things that would lead anyone on—but still. There’s something a little creeptastic about pretending to be not only one—but ten—different men when you are a woman. The up side to it was that Webb’s brain was doing incredible math aerobics while she collected data on not only what other women’s profiles were like, but HOW they went about conversing with me. She made word clouds, charts, graphs, spreadsheets, and things more complicated than that that caused my head to hurt just looking at them. It’s really intense. Overall, this is a fun read about a woman who refused to settle for someone who did not meet every piece of criteria she wanted in a husband. Luckily, she gamed online dating and in this book basically tells you how you too can do it. If you so choose. But more than that, I think every woman who reads this will identify with Amy’s frustrations and concerns and will celebrate Amy’s triumphs right along with her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I found myself laughing out loud i knew this is a book for me.Brains +Humor=Love.With heartfelt love of her family, Amy did it her way.A must read for all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a hoot! This is an inovative way to find love. Webb thinks outside of the box with numbers, graphs, charts and finding out what someone really wants. I found myself laughing aloud and telling my single friends to read the book.
capebreton More than 1 year ago
Thought the book was fun and insightful. Brought out a lot of the unspoken truths abou the images that are portrayed on those sites. I am guessing that at least 81% of what is on profiles is fiction. Most importantly, if we don't know who we are or what we really need we will continue a search that yields nothing but unfulfilled hopes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 Even if you've never dated online - and have no plans to - there's tons to enjoy in this fun, entertaining read. And as someone dabbling in the online dating world myself, there was tons to relate to. Did I evaluate my online profile again after reading the book? Yep. Did I log into my dating site as a member of the opposite sex. Ummm....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great combination of whit, charm, humor, and love! I read this book in 2 days. I could not put it down. Yes, Ms. Webb shows a little bit of OCD in her but who doen't have a little bit in them. I am telling all of my friends to get out and get this book!