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
  • 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

4.3 10
by Amy Webb
     
 

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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

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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.

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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)
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.

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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

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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

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