OkCupid Hacked For The Win

Optimal Cupid: Mastering the Hidden Logic of OkCupidThis is the best article about gaming online dating I’ve ever read. Others have attempted to create super-targeted profiles, written books and been on tv, but Chris McKinlay has them all beat.

From the Wired Article, How a Math Genius Hacked OkCupid to Find True Love:

McKinlay used Python scripts to riffle through hundreds of OkCupid survey questions. He then sorted female daters into seven clusters, like “Diverse” and “Mindful,” each with distinct characteristics.”

… The script would search his target demographic (heterosexual and bisexual women between the ages of 25 and 45), visit their pages, and scrape their profiles for every scrap of available information: ethnicity, height, smoker or nonsmoker, astrological sign—“all that crap,” he says.

… “I think that what I did is just a slightly more algorithmic, large-scale, and machine-learning-based version of what everyone does on the site,” McKinlay says. Everyone tries to create an optimal profile—he just had the data to engineer one.

Soon after he circumvented the OkCupid anti-data harvesting blockers… never mind, just go read the WIRED article. You’re going to love the ending.