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Yesterday I mentioned How to split up the US, which it turns out is just a taste of the analysis that researchers will be doing on the massive Facebook dataset made up of 210 million profiles set to be unleashed tomorrow but Pete Warden. That’s right, yours and mine, with our names intact (and some personally identifiable information removed.)

If what people call Web 2.0 was all about creating new technologies that made it easy for everyday people to publish their thoughts, social connections and activities, then the next stage of innovation online may be services like recommendations, self and group awareness, and other features made possible by software developers building on top of the huge mass of data that Web 2.0 made public.

I have been asking the online dating industry to do exactly this for at least five years. It makes me sad to think about all of those lonely hearts who will never find their match because their data is being squandered by companies more interested in profit than actually helping singles discover each other. Just think of all that juicy data hidden behind closed doors.
I bet some Netflix teams could improve online dating efficiency by 10 percent pretty easily. Wait that’s IntroAnalytics.

If dating profiles were open-source, we would have lots of matching and discovery services companies built on top of a giant dating dataset. Imagine if the most effective/efficient companies are the one’s that would win. Not the ones with the biggest marketing budget. I know, crazy talk!
As for niche sites, sure, they are hot right now, but that’s not going to last forever. Make your money while you can because its only going to get harder to win paying customers, especially with changes coming to the e-commerce landscape in coming months.
Look what Pete says in How to harvest Facebook profiles from emails without logging in:

Recently I was surprised to discover that you don’t need to be signed in to an account to search by email addresses and match them to profiles. To my mind this is a nasty hole both because it gives companies legal cover to resell the linked data, and in practice makes it tough for Facebook to crack down on firms siphoning off user data.

He describes exactly what you have to do to get those profiles. Wow. I wonder how many people have exposed this flaw?

Read Readwriteweb’s The Man Who Looked Into Facebook’s Soul for the full details of tomorrows launch. I hope the dating industry will at least pay attention to what people are doing with the data. We’re going to see many assumptions crushed, assertions tested and learn a whole lot about ourselves and society in a very short time.