Way back in January or February, I put an ad up on Yahoo personals. Today, I cancelled it. They asked me why. I said something about having a girlfriend and the Connecticut lesbian dating scene being unfathomable. But they asked me again to take a survey.
What did you like most about your Yahoo! Personals service?
um, honestly, mocking the ads of the other users.
What did you like least about your Yahoo! Personals service?
going to coffee shops to meet women with mullets who think /i'm/ weird
What changes would you suggest we make to the service that would improve the experience?
This is a large problem which requires a multi-facetted approach. First of all, personal ads are still viewed with suspicion by members of the lesbian community, especially in New England. It might be a good idea to advertise in MetroLine, a gay publication that seems to be popular. This would make people less embarrassed when their lurker friends found their ad and would increase the size of the population placing ads.
Secondly, many people have poor written communication skills, which makes their ads subliterate or causes misunderstanding in their ad-realted correspondence. You may want to lobby for better writing programs in highschools. The whole on-line industry depends on the reading and writing skills on the general populace, so it's in your best interests to improve education.
Um, I really don't know what you can do about the over-representation of TV-addicted women with mullets. Maybe start offering free haircuts with a subscription?
But gos, that makes me sound like an asshole. And while I'm not really into northeastern suburban lesbian hair fashions, it's not so auful as I make it out. And while I really had little in common with the women I met, they were actually nice people and some I would like to keep around as friends. Maybe I bare some blame for the oddness of my internet-dating experiences.
Her: what popular bands do you like?
me: i don't listen to popular music
her: oh, um, what tv shows do you watch?
me: i don't watch tv
her: what kind of car do you drive?
me: i prefer bicycling due to the general unavilability of vegetable-based fuels in this area
her: uh.... ok... so what do you study?
me: I compose experimental electronic music with my laptop.
Phillip K dick wrote in Radio Free Abelmouth that once you become a Berkeley radical, you can never leave. Thishas happened to me. I can really never leave Berkeley. I can go to visit other places anywhere in the world, but always as a foreigner. They sell t-shirts on Telegraph Ave that say "The People's Republic of Berkeley." I could never decide if I wanted one or they were too touristy and deserved to be mocked. I think I might get one for East Coast wearing.