Saturday, November 8, 2008

Crunching the JDate Numbers

In a recent post on RJ.org, my blogging buddy, Larry Kaufman, did some number crunching and analysis of the blog with regard to the number of writers, responders, their degrees of anonymity and the like. Although I don’t generally possess Larry’s meshugassen (which he loosely translates as idiosyncrasies and I would loosely translate as craziness) to “count the house,” – I possess my own meshugassen, thanks very much – his post got me to thinking about analyzing and crunching my JDate numbers.

I first joined JDate in October of 2003, about a year after I moved to New York, and, with “beginner’s luck” shining brightly upon me, met a good guy in less than a month. We dated for almost two years and are still in touch from time to time. After that relationship ended and I was ready to re-enter the JDate marketplace, I re-upped in January of 2006 with a six--month membership. Since then, I’ve been on and off the JDate merry-go-round countless times, sometimes re-joining just to access and answer a “Someone’s Trying to Get in Touch with You” email, ever hopeful that even if it’s not “Mr. Right” at the other end of the laptop, maybe, just maybe, it’s “Mr. Possibility” who’s waiting there. Unfortunately, more often than not, these unsolicited messages have been sent by game-playing 20- or 30-somethings in Florida, California, Colorado or other geographically undesirable locales whose profiles are nearly incomplete or wholly nonsensical. Most frustrating of all, however, was re-joining several months ago only to find an I-need-your-financial-assistance-to-travel-to-the-U.S. message from a JDater in Nigeria. Talk about a scam…

Now, on to the number crunching: During my JDate tenure, 477 different guys have viewed my profile and 52 (almost 11 percent) have emailed me, either proactively or in response to an email that I sent to them. It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I’ve opened and read all my incoming messages -- responding to most, even if just to say thanks, but no thanks.

On the other side of the equation, I’ve looked at the profiles of more than 500 different guys, most of who claim to be professionally accomplished, to work out with great regularity and to love dining out, travel, long walks on the beach, jazz, good wine, the outdoors and taking advantage of all that life and the city have to offer. (Many, it seems to me, however, could use a lesson in the proper use of apostrophes, as well as the difference between "your" and "you're" and “there” and “their,” as well as other grammar basics. That, though, is neither here nor there -- and it most certainly is not “their!”).

Nonetheless, I’ve manage to send some form of communication -- emails, IMs, “flirts” or e-cards -- to more than 100 different guys. In some instances, a conversation gets launched, accounting for multiple messages to the same person. In total, two hundred and twenty seven of my 270 sent communiques (84 percent) have been opened and read. The balance hang unopened in cyberspace. Many of the guys who opt not to open these messages (and many who do open them, but choose not to respond), do, however, view my profile instead -- most likely just to see the picture.

What, if anything, do their actions (or inactions) indicate about the recipients? They’re “visual learners?" Shallow? In search of a certain, very specific physical “type?” Not really interested in investing time or energy getting to know someone who, based on brief answers on a cyber-questionnaire and some pixels masquerading as an image, doesn’t fit their likely way-too-idealized notion of a potential partner? Oh, but I’m sounding oh-so jaded…

And, what is it that I have to show for the little bit of cyber-communicating that’s going on here? Sadly, not much; aside from a few IM conversations and even fewer phone calls, I have not even one single coffee JDate to my name. Yup, that’s right. With the exception of Sam, the guy I met in this crazy cyber-marketplace and dated for nearly two years, my JDate escapades have netted me zero JDates. Nada, nothing, nil…zilch, zip, zero.

So, what, if anything, can we conclude from all this JDate number crunching? I surely don’t know the answer to that one, but ever the optimist, I continually dole out hefty fees to renew my JDate membership, trusting implicitly in the New York State Lotto tag line: "You've gotta be in it to win it."