1. Please read the essays listed above.
2. Look at an online dating site - match.com, nerve.com, etc. - a search in google for "online dating" will yield lots. Think about what qualities are people trying to assess, what are the signals they are using to do so.
3. The world of online dating is a classic signaling system, in which personal essays and photos are the signals - but what are the qualities they are meant to represent? Drawing from the readings on attraction above, describe the process in terms of signaling.
- What are the costs of writing a profile - terms of effort? money (here are some notes on how pay sites impose useful costs)?
- What are the costs of including a photo? What is the function of the photo? Is physical appearance a signal or a quality - and is that different than its function in the face to face world?
- What are the costs to the receivers? What are the assessment signals in these sites? What signals denote qualites main by convention?
- What are some kinds of deception that could occur (if you can't think of any, trying searching for "online bad dates")? What mechanisms are in place now for minimizing this?
- Could information be shared among the participants? Would this be helpful? How could you redesign the system to allow for this? We will discuss reputation systems in depth in a later class, but a good start is Hugo's Gossipmonger paper. How would this impose costs on deception?
Please submit the URL of your essay by Tuesday evening.