Not that I'm already looking for a new girlfriend, but I had a talk about how to meet new people last Saturday. Apparently, online meetups are all the rage. But how? I was pointed to Hyves, which is quite big here in the Netherlands. But I really do not like the way they're allowing their users to 'prettify' their own page. It makes the whole experience seem very much alike to the old times, when people tried to fill up every square centimeter on their site with moving gifs, blinking text, embedded music and text colored like parts of the background so it's unreadable unless you scroll it somewhere in another color. I really thought we were past this era of the interweb.
But what other choices are there? I'd consider myself to be very desperate if I ever make use of a service like Parship, Lexa or any of the other zillion dating sites out there. I'm sorry, I respect someone's decision to use those services, but it just doesn't suit me. Makes me feel bad about myself, I reckon. But why are they needed anyway?
Those dating/matching sites tend to advertise with 'psychological matching tests'. That's all fine and dandy, but a psychological test needs interpretation. Us humans aren't a bunch of statistics and numbers, like a D&D character. I won't accept that love would be that simple. But how to make a match then?
We keep all this information about ourselves online. I personally use LinkedIn, Twitter and Last.fm, to name a few. And this weblog of course. Wouldn't it be great if there was some sort of mash-up available that would use all this available information and used that to recommend new future friends? Ok, so the stuff I add in those three sites probably is just one facet of me, very little information to go by. But maybe add a social networking site that contains matchup tests or the like. I don't know.
It's a little bit the same as why I'm so in favour of OpenID. Sure, the systems has flaws, but that's not the point. The point is that I want one service, under my full control, that makes life easier. I do not want to keep track of multiple passwords and accounts. That's why I use OpenID. The same for social networking: I do not want to enter my information in a gazillion different sites, each asking me slightly different variants of the same question: "Who are you?" Everything I want the 'net to know is already on it. Combine it, mash it up, connect the dots and if you like what you see, consider befriending me. I'm a nice guy. The evidence is out there.