A lively, thought-provoking memoir about how one woman "gamed" online dating sites like JDate, OKCupid and eHarmony - and met her eventual husband.
After yet another online dating disaster, Amy Webb was about to cancel her JDate membership when an epiphany struck: It wasn’t that her standards were too high, as women are often told, but that she wasn’t evaluating the right data in suitors’ profiles. That night Webb, an award-winning journalist and digital-strategy expert, made a detailed, exhaustive list of what she did and didn’t want in a mate. The result: seventy-two requirements ranging from the expected (smart, funny) to the super-specific (likes selected musicals: Chess, Les Misérables. Not Cats. Must not like Cats!).
Next she turned to her own profile. In order to craft the most compelling online presentation, she needed to assess the competition - so she signed on to JDate again, this time as a man. Using the same gift for data strategy that made her company the top in its field, she found the key words that were digital man magnets, analyzed photos, and studied the timing of women’s messages, then adjusted her (female) profile to make the most of that intel.
Then began the deluge - dozens of men wanted to meet her, men who actually met her requirements. Among them: her future husband, now the father of her child.
Forty million people date online each year. Most don’t find true love. Thanks to Data, a Love Story, their odds just got a whole lot better.
©2013 Amy Webb; ©2013 Random House Audio
Amy Webb's story, for all of her anal-retentive, control-freaky, color-coded spreadsheets is a pleasure to read. Her story of travel, work, family, and online dating resonates well as a plain fun narrative. The only place it falls short is the title's hint at a how-to. Since it took 8 years to bring the book to its audience, its how-to component is out of date. She acknowledges this in the last pages of the book, that interfaces and options have changed in online dating, so her precise experience isn't what exists currently, making it less relevant. However, her overall method, be clear and honest about what you want in a partner, prioritize, and don't waste time dating people that you know don't meet those needs. So don't read it for the how-to, which few of us would perform to her level of complexity, but for the story of a smart woman, a little heartbreak, a lovingly patient sister, spreadsheets, and finding a loving, compatible partner with whom to share your life. The narration, performed by the author, isn't professional, but isn't poor either. She narrates capably.
I found Amy's narrative fascinating and useful to my own trials with online dating.
The part at the end with Brian's take on Amy's adventure's.
I loved hearing the story in Amy's own voice.
I have already made some massive edits to my online dating profiles based on some of the general advice Amy gives in the book.
She's the writer
Don't waste a dime or a second on this hypocritical ego-drama. Like so much non-fiction this is, as Capote says, "not writing but typing." Like so much non-fiction, this is obviously a magazine article artificially inflated to book length. Inflate how? Tediously describe opening computer folders, files and applications between maniacal descriptions of time management. Describe a date then describe going home and emailing your mom and sister about the date WHILE REPEATING THE CONTENT. Don't get suckered in by the good title and relevant subject. The narrator/author is a hypocrite: she ridicules her male dates for lying about their weight while adoring herself for lying about her smoking. This is a book people want to like given its subject and some marketing spin. Given the protagonist and the (so-called) writing, however, it's not a book any thinking person (let alone dating veteran) CAN like. No. P.S.: how can she keep saying "graduate degree from Columbia" and "storybook wedding" in the same paragraph? "Storybook"!?!?! Are you eight?
I thought that this was a very good, because I've online dated before and was interested in getting to know more about it.
The information given in the book was very cerebral, and I did learn a lot from it. The only problem is that she seems to talk a lot about her bad dates, but a lot of her dates seem one-sided. We all make bad decisions on dates, and she doesn't really seem to talk about what she does. Granted it is hard to fully criticize yourself, I take what I read in this book with a grain of salt.
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