Technology

How Match.com Makes A Match

Technology
  • Monday, September 05 2011 @ 09:47 am
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Match.com launched in 1995, and the site's popularity is still on the rise. In the highly competitive world of online dating, Match.com consistently ranks highly in dater's minds, and for good reason: their trailblazing technology makes them a cut above the rest.

Codenamed "Synapse," Match's algorithm evaluates a diverse range of factors in order to match compatible singles. David Gelles recently took a look backstage at Match.com for FT Magazine, guided by Mandy Ginsberg, president of Match.com US, and Amarnath Thombre, a key engineer for the company, to discover exactly what makes the Match algorithm so special.

Ginsberg had personal experience with the trials and tribulations of online dating before joining the Match team. After divorcing her spouse shortly after leaving college, she joined JDate but had no luck finding a partner. Love later found her in the form of a co-worker from India, who won her heart despite being vastly different from the man she thought she wanted to marry.

"If I had laid out a criteria for what I was looking for, it would not have been a guy from south India," she told Gelles. "People are complex. You're constantly making trade-offs about who's too tall, too short, too smart and too dumb. People come in and tell us a bit about what they're looking for. But what you say and what you do can be different."

With that idea in mind, known as "dissonance" in academic circles, Ginsberg helped revolutionize Match's approach to online dating. "I might come in and say I'm looking for a nice Catholic guy between 30 and 40 who is non-married," she says. "But after weeks of looking at people, I might get an e-mail from a guy who has kids, and I might accept that." Taking into consideration the fact that most people don't know themselves as well as they think they do, the engineers at Match adapted the algorithm to pair users with potential dates based on a combination of what they say they want and what it seems they actually want based on their actions on the site.

Now, instead of taking user's preferences at face value, Match's cutting-edge technology relies on a variety of factors to match prospective partners. Stated preferences like age range and body type are taken into consideration, while the algorithm augments that information with the knowledge it gains from an intelligent examination of a user's behavior on the site. If a member's actions don't match their stated preferences, Match learns that those preferences are not entirely correct and that the member is open to meeting people who don't fit the original description. Synapse also looks at the behavior of similar users and factors in that information as well, in a process known as "triangulation."

As impressive as Ginsberg's contribution to online dating is, Match's amazing innovations would not be possible without its team of brilliant engineers, like Amarnath Thombre, whose story we'll look at next time.

For more information on this popular dating site you can read our review of Match.com.

How Many Messages does Plenty of Fish Send?

Technology
  • Sunday, August 21 2011 @ 03:37 pm
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Plenty of Fish is looking to hire a Database Administrator (DBA) so if you are interested in the job and have the qualifications you should comment on their blog. Markus also released a few statistics about his dating site and what the DBA will be up against. Last year alone Plenty of Fish sent out 5.5 billion messages. This works out to about 15 million a day. He also noted that Plenty of Fish's Behavioral Matching Engine deals with almost 20 billion pieces of data from their 30 million plus registered users that is stored in their database.

What this all boils down to is POF needs some heavy duty hardware to run its website and a DBA that knows how to optimize databases and SQL statements.

For more information on this free dating service you can read our PlentyofFish.com review.

New Android Phone App for ChristianCafe.com

Technology
  • Sunday, February 20 2011 @ 10:37 am
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  • Views: 1,929
In May of 2010 ChristianCafe released their iPhone dating app. Well, this month the Christian dating service has released a version for Android phones. Those of you with Android base mobile phones can now enjoy dating on the go. The new app integrates directly with your account on ChristianCafe.com and for those new to this dating site have the option of signing up for a free trial right from your phone.

Features of this new dating app include performing basic and detail searches, viewing profiles and seeing who is online in your area. Photo uploads are a snap to do along with communicating with your matches via email and winks.

For more information about the app you can watch the video tour:



To find out more about this dating site, read our ChristianCafe.com review. To download the app visit the Android Market and search for 'christiancafe'.

ChristianCafe.com iPhone & iPad App

Technology
  • Thursday, May 13 2010 @ 06:53 pm
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The popular Christian dating site, ChristianCafe.com, released an iPhone dating app (which also works on the iPad) this week. With this App, members can search and view profile information and photos of other singles. They can also send and receive messages and winks as well. Non-members who have never visited the website before can download the app and use it to create a basic profile and sign up for the 10 day free trial. To download the ChristianCafe.com app for your iphone visit iTunes.

Here is a short video of the ChristianCafe iPhone Application in action:

Members on the go who have a Google Android phone are in luck too. ChristianCafe expects to release an app soon for Android.

To find out more about this dating site, read our review of ChristianCafe.com.

The Technology Behind eHarmony Matching

Technology
  • Monday, September 28 2009 @ 11:26 am
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  • Views: 3,257

To power their complex matching algorithms, eHarmony relies on four database and data warehousing products.

  • The very popular and open source MySQL database server.
  • Oracle Database.
  • Data warehousing appliances from Netezza Inc.
  • Hadoop, a open source data crunching application which divides work among a large number of computers.

eHarmony uses Orcale to do the initial matching after a new member signs up. For the behind the scenes processing, eHarmony uses a 50 node Hadoop cluster. Since moving to Hadoop, eHarmony has seen 4 to 6 times sped improvement in how long it takes to perform matching calculations on a large scale.

All this technology is controlled by eHarmony's main technical team, which includes 40 engineers based at the Los Angeles headquarters. eHarmony also has hired a number of development firms throughout Europe, which has doubled the number of engineers working for them.

To find out more about the technology that powers eHarmony, read ComputerWorld. For more on the dating site itself, check out some of our reviews of eHarmony.

Match.com and eHarmony use JaJah VoIP Calling

Technology
  • Sunday, July 19 2009 @ 10:02 am
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  • Views: 3,332

Last week, according to CNET News both Match.com and eHarmony started to use a special updated version of JaJah which allows members to place phone calls without giving away their phone number. Match.com calls this service for its members, matchTalk, which we recently looked at last month (see Story). eHarmony calls their service, Secure Call.

Both phone services from these dating sites require the person who will receive the call to approve of it first. Once approved members can initiate phone calls over the dating site that actually use your own home or cell phone, no special hardware required. No phone numbers are given out and either person can terminate the call and disallow the person from every calling back. It is the ultimate in privacy and security for first time callers.

For more information about these dating sites and their member calling phone feature, review of Match.com and our review of eHarmony.

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