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There is a fresh face in the personality testing arena. Dr, Joel Block wants to stage the “Rocky 7” Of Dating Site Software (actually it’s personality testing, or matching, but whatever). I talked to Dr. Block a few months ago, the guy is a classic New Yorker, through and through. Doesn’t know much about the online dating industry, talks a good game, knows how to ruffle feathers to get noticed.

Block has challenged Dr. James Houran to create a new matching system in six months. Block will pit his Butterflies Again test against Houran’s test on public dating sites.

This is such a kooky idea, I almost like it. Something tells me Dr. James Houran is scratching his head about the challenge. Why would he spend six months creating a new matching system just to give Dr. Block publicity and the opportunity to do business with the dating industry. Does Dr. James even work with dating sites anymore?

Matching algorithms are a marketing asset to be promoted to singles. For every successful single paired up on eHarmony, arguable the most scientifically-minded in terms of research and development, their are legions who walk away unfulfilled. Not to pick on eHarmony, they marry off more people than any other dating site. But when your success rate is measured in thousandths of a percent, let’s just say there is room for improvement industry wide.

I’d rather see horoscopes taken more seriously. But that is a taboo subject in online dating. Scientists don’t understand it so they discount its effectiveness which is a shame. I’d love to pit an astrologer against eHarmony and Chemistry.com. That’s a contest I could get behind.

Note to Dr. Block: This is not the best way to attempt to get dating sites to license your matching system. In fact, it smacks of amateur hour. Somewhat amusing, and you got me to write about you, but you’re not going to be taken seriously playing these types of games.

Here’s the challenge:



Calls this the “Rocky 7” Of Dating Site Software!

Who Is the Talker? Who is the Squawker?

For those who have been following one of the most heated I-dating software debates in recent years between Dr. Joel Block and Dr. James Houran, stand-by! The sparring may soon turn into a championship fight. The combatants are Dr. Joel Block and Dr. James Houran, both luminaries in their field. Block has offered a stunning announcement: He is willing to pit his ButterfliesAgain test against any test that Houran can come up with.

According to Block who is regarded as one of the nation’s leading authorities on relationships, “Houran has tried to knock him out with jabs and hooks thrown at him in the form of mathematical models and statistics.” Block has hit back with his widely-regarded expertise on matters of love.

Block maintains that the real proof is not Houran’s talk about statistics that many people will find confusing. “It is about how my test functions in real life and my insistence that ButterfliesAgain is designed to engage people as well as match them. This is an attribute completely ignored by my detractor.”

“I hereby challenge Dr. Houran to take a full six months to create a test that is as brief and engaging as mine and that produces more effective matches than mine!”. Furthermore, continued Block, “I believe matches need to be supported by a relationship expert. I will support my matches and I will expect Dr. Houran to support his. We will take our tests and support programs out of the lab and into real life— a venue where outcome REALLY matters. Also, Instead of peer review, let’s measure each of our test’s effectiveness and success by reviews given by actual I-dating site subscribers”

“Assuming Dr. Houran accepts my offer,” Block concluded, “both tests are to be placed on mutually agreeable sites in six months. In addition to the follow-up reviews with participants, the results should also be measured by stability of enrollment and subscriber satisfaction with the quality of matches.”

I can see the eHarmony Labs people getting a kick out of this. The last paragraph is the kicker. I’d like to see them agree on the details of the measurement metrics.