Field Research in Extreme Social Media Sports

I usually try to keep my love life out of the public blogosphere, but this story just needs to be told. I have a date tomorrow night with a guy who is six feet tall and looks like a surfer dude. He enjoys talking about movies, society, philosophy, and politics, and is looking for someone mature and responsible. Sometimes he can get bored easily. Sometimes he smokes. He’s white, he’s college educated, and his religious beliefs are “Other.”

Crazy Blind Date - BetaI also know his first name and his age, and that’s about it. We’re meeting at 7pm at a bar in San Francisco. And no, a friend didn’t set us up… unless you want to call a “friend”… was started by the folks who brought us OkCupid — the free social networking / test-taking / dating site that’s given the pay sites like and eHarmony a run for their money. And so far, I’m impressed.

The premise is simple: you tell them a few things about yourself, who you’re looking to meet, where you’re willing to travel, and when you’re willing to do that. Meanwhile, other people are on the site doing the same thing. The Internet Brain lines you up, makes a match where requirements coincide, and asks both parties to confirm the date after showing basic information about the other person. This includes very blurry pictures of each other, as a teaser. Once you say yes, you’re committed to it.

CBD - Blurry Pic

Thirty minutes before the date, they open a phone relay so that you can send text messages to each other via CrazyBlindDate’s central number (you don’t actually get to see the other person’s phone number). This helps with the “spotting each other in a crowded bar” issue. Once you find each other, you’re on your own. Then, after the date, you provide feedback for each other on the site. This helps in coordinating and verifying future crazy blind dates.

Blind dates are inherently sketchy-sounding. Blind dates without mutual friends involved, even more so. That’s why I’m excited about this site: they’re taking something that has massive screw-up potential, and handling it well.

My favorite thing about the site is that it stays focused. When you get there, they don’t start by asking for your login info; they start by asking what city you’d like to go on a date in (sorry — it’s only active for Austin, Boston, NYC, and SF Bay right now). They then walk you through a full dating wizard, convince you that yes, this really could work, and get you emotionally invested in the process. THEN, at the end, after you’ve already checked your schedule to make sure you can have a date tomorrow night, they suggest signing up to actually make it happen. It’s clean, friendly, American-buddy-style language that sets an encouraging tone and asserts some basic etiquette. There’s nothing extraneous thrown in to distract. Not even any ads. And the service is free.

Since the site is pretty new, it’s not overrun with a massive dating pool yet, and finding specific kinds of people at specific times can be hard. I didn’t specify age, gender, or any other personal details. I also set my region to cover most of San Francisco, and I listed wide time slots. That seemed to do it.

What does Surfer Dude know about me? He knows that I have a shaved head, I like to talk about technology and poetry, I’m really just testing out this website, and I’m not planning on sleeping with him (let’s just get that out of the way now!).

CBD- Status

The rest will come out over a beer tomorrow night.

Don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it.

Tags: , , , , ,

If you like this post and would like to receive updates from this blog, please subscribe to the feed. Subscribe via RSS

6 Responses to “ Field Research in Extreme Social Media Sports”

  1. minnie Says:

    hahaha i can’t wait to hear how it goes!!

  2. Cricket Says:

    Ahhh you are awesome! I cannot wait to hear these stories as well, and hey, you owe me a not-so-blind-not-so-much-date whenever your busy schedule allows :-)

  3. Iuuper Says:

    From Spain and England.
    The FDA should be given the authority to issue fines.
    From Spain and England.
    A good-humored, well-disposed girl.
    Replied her husband.

  4. Dopp Juice » Blog Archive » CrazyBlindDate — Well, now, THAT was interesting… Says:

    […] Field Research in Extreme Social Media Sports […]

  5. Dopp Juice » Blog Archive » CrazyBlindDate - Cover me, I’m goin’ in! Says:

    […] meeting Surfer Dude in just over an hour. Reality is starting to sink in. This has the potential to be very […]

  6. mate1 Says:

    mate1 com…