Battlepanda: Something there that wasn't there before*


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Something there that wasn't there before*

Now, I might not be a high-quality woman**, but somehow I managed to find myself a mate. We met online before meeting online was cool. In fact, this was back in 2002, when 'meeting online' seemed distinctly 'sketchy'. I've always thought that this was an unfair characterization. I sifted through a bunch of profiles, exchanged emails for a while and generally got a pretty accurate feel for the kind of guy Gene turned out to be. Now thanks (or no thanks, depending on your view on marriage), to Spring Street Personals, I am a married woman. I wonder if I can get a sponsorship deal or something. Or at least get them to redeem the rest of my husband's credits, since he never got to use them.

Online dating, I think, got the job done a lot more efficiently than traditional method of finding someone. 'Sketchy' as it is (or was, I think the acceptability level has definitly gone up with time), it's a lot less sketchy than the nightlife scene, and also yields a lot more information about your potential partner. As for dating friend and aquaintances, that might be fine if you have a large social circle, but if you have a small, tightknit group of friends, that's just not an option -- the cost of it not working out at any stage is just too high.

If you think meeting online in a dating service is out there, how about meeting online in a massive multiplayer game like Ultima online or Everquest? Nick Yee has a detailed survey of the phenomenon that I found quite interesting. It seems that, pace Bowling Alone, people who are increasingly more atomized and self-contained in their real physical lives are seeking social networks and even end up meeting life-partners through a different format. One door closes and another opens. The paradigm-shifting Second Life is not even a game at all, but just an "environment" where people can exist, create and interact. I have a friend who is help making an in-game magazine in Second Life and getting paid for it (though it is a pitifully small amount at this point). They are getting advertisers like a real magazine, writing articles for it like a real magazine and getting it laid out like a real magazine. The interesting thing is, my friend only knows her collaborator's online identities, and even has to guess at their ages based on their voice.

*Yes, the title of this post is bought to you by a song from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast". What can I say. I was a little girl once.

** Since I completely missed out on visible-breast-outlinegate, I just thought that I'd belatedly throw in my bitchy two-cents on JMPP's "Get behind me, Losers" post. Yes, it was obnoxious and obnoxiously attention-grabbing. But it was also obnoxiously attention-grabbing in a particularly geeky way. Almost every item on her list is backed with a statistic. She even boasts that here IQ is "three standard deviations above the mean". An interest in science fiction (she goes to conferences, you know) is mentioned as a positive. Either Jaqueline knows her audience very well (she blogs for a living), or she's right and she really is a geek's dream girl.