In meeting people to date, the generic “you” is theoretically looking for one lifetime partner. S/he wants to be introduced to many candidates and feels little consequence if things don’t work out. Worst case scenario: two of them meet and call you a shit.
In meeting people for business purposes, you are motivated to connect with many people who provide you a diverse but meaningful social network. You have limited time to engage with people, so you must choose wisely and then slowly massage that relationship, particularly if the person you want to know cares little for you. The people you meet in business are often intertwined so you have to play nice from the getgo.
These are two totally different ways of operating your social network. Yet we think that the same architecture makes sense. Hmm.
Not everybody is into dating for the same reasons. Maybe this is ’cause I live in NYC, but I know a lot of people who are very distinctly not looking for one lifetime partner right now … The thing about Friendster & dating is that if your dating M.O. is super-casual, Friendster is possibly less useful to you than something more anonymous like Nerve. At the least, to some people it’d be useful to have a search that excludes people that are really close in your network …
Francis – i agree with you completely and should’ve clarified. The model around dating online is set up to help people find partners, the “right person.” For that reason, i was focusing on that element of dating, not the part where we all date lots of people for our own enjoyment.
I definitely believe that most of the dating that happens on Friendster is far more casual, far more hookup oriented than on Match. As i mentioned before, the inverse use of the network for this purpose humors me. I.e. people contact those 4 degrees away for hookups purposely… far enough outside of the network.
True that professional vs personal are two different ways of segmenting network but there are other powerful ways to look at networking distinctions. For example, a friend of mine used to run one of NYC’s largest dating/activity planning services and he observed tremendous gender differences in approach to dating/social interaction but today’s social software systems ignore gender with the exception of its use as a “match criteria.” Wouldn’t it be interesting to experiment with how data is presented/sequenced to men and women? A gendered GUI?
Hunter – there are many axes and there’s *no doubt* that i’m doing work on (fe)male differentiation too, although i do *not* believe in a “gendered GUI.” Of course, as we currently stand, most GUIs are always gendered masculine, but that’s a rant for later…
Ah, wait, wait. There are legions of sites that focus on hookups _ LavaLife (at least, the “intimate encounters” section), AdultFriendFinder, and the many other sites that have moved from the world of chat classifieds to the web. The one thing about friendster is that it still precariously hangs on to “dating” as its purpose — for example, Jonathan doesn’t offer “domination and submission” or “sex w/o intercourse” as options. And that’s just explicit — I can attest to how many people use conventional “find the one for you” personals sites for sex.
So, even if the marketing messages tell you one thing, the reality is definitely different. 😉